This is one of the three Jugoton LPs that were used to conceive the Dubravko Detoni best-of CD on Paradigm, back in 2000. Tracks Grafika VI and Gimnastika Za Grupu were included, but not the monumental, 20mn-epic De Musica. This particular track is one of the most ambitious in Detoni’s oeuvre, an all-embracing sound cornucopia including acoustic instruments, electronic organ traits, non-sensical, vocal onomatopeia, excerpts from classical music LPs, silences and musique concrète interjections (birds singing, a baby crying, trains, film excerpts, casual conversations, etc). De Musica features the composer himself at the piano, unleashing Cage-ian piano chords, while the ever resourcefull Acezantez members produce semi-aleatoric, instrumental outbursts. Amid this profusion of sounds, the exquisite voice of Veronika Kovačić helps easing the corners, and near the 13:00 mark, Kovačić’s voice is so charming it almost sounds like Shelley Hirsch’s.
Actress Veronika Kovačić, now Veronika Durbešić, was born 1945 in Zagreb, Croatia. She started her career in Zagreb theaters in the late 1960s. In 1969, she played in Dantonnova Smrt, after Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Tod. That same year she appeared in a mythic Yugoslavian comedy film titled Divlji Anđeli, or Wild Angels – see group picture below, 3rd from the right. Another of her roles of the time was Zivjeti od ljubavi, or Live With Love, in 1973.
Kovačić joined Dubravko Detoni’s Acezantez ensemble as a singer in 1970 and performed various avantgarde composers’ music. No wonder the ensemble ventured in quasi theatrical performances on record and on stage, thanks to Kovačić’s immensely flexible vocal range. In 1974 and ’75, Kovačić offered her acrobatic and charming vocals to contemporary music LPs by composers Branimir Sakač and Boris Ulrich, while Acezantez performed during Zagreb’s 1975 Music Biennale with a programme including pieces by both Sakač and Ulrich. Until the mid-1980s, Kovačić regularly returned to avantgarde composers. She was married to Croatian author and stage director Tomislav Durbešić (1928-2001). A film of a visit to her amazing Zagreb home in 2009 was posted here.
01 Grafika VI / Graphic VI (9:40)
02 Gimnastika Za Grupu / Group Gymnastics (10:53)
03 De Musica (21:20)
Total time 41:53
LP released by Jugoton, ref. LSY-66005, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, 1976