Times of Day

CD Times of Day
Concerto suite for sax and chamber ensemble

Published by ReR Megacorp London, 2015
Composed by Boris Kovač / GEMA (Sokoj for Serbia only)

Performed by New Ritual Ensemble:
Boris Kovač – reeds
Slobodanka Stević – piano
Vladimir Ćuković – I violin
Marta Kojadinović – II violin
Aleksandar Stankov – viola
Milica Svirac – cello
Siniša Mazalica – double bass
Lav Kovač – percussion/drums

1. Morning
2. Noon
3. Evening
4. Midnight

Total playing time 53:08



Times of day

Music for the times of day, or…
for the times of life…

Times of Day is a celebration of life!
Boris Kovač weaves a rich tapestry of each of the four intervals that make up a day in his universe: against the “warp” of the changes in light and various moods and activities (waking, toiling, thriving, resting, contemplating) that define a certain chapter in the recurring twenty-four hours of our lives, a “weft” of emotional, philosophical and spiritual reactions and impressions is woven to convey what it means for him to be alive in those moments.

Though Boris derives his inspiration from the simple quotidian life of his small home village of Bukovac in Vojvodina, northern Serbia, his universe is rich and vast… His love of nature and slow village ways – far from the madding crowds of today’s barren globalised society – gives him deep insights into the fleeting, precious moments we ultimately call life.

Whereas “Times of Day” depicts the prolific textures and motifs of Boris’s daily environment… be they the winding tendrils of the grape vines, the hidden crickets’ wistful chirpings, the meandering village stream, the bleating of sheep on the hillsides, the snaking coils of smoke drifting from a neighbour grilling ćevapčići, the elongating shadows of trees over the potholed roads, a breeze transporting dry leaves and the smell of dusk, a gentle rain, the nocturnal howlings of street dogs… it also bares the heart and soul of this masterly witness doomed to impermanence – that reveal a gamut of responses from elegiac quietude, to the pangs of a wrenched heart, to the racing blood pulsations of pure joy… reminding us of the relentless course of Time, reminding us that we too are impermanent, that all is passing and that it is best to celebrate those moments left to us while we are still around to take notice of them.
Nora Hoppe, from the CD booklet

What Boris does is without parallel or precedent, and he’s been doing it for over 40 years, perfecting a language that is uniquely his own: not chamber music, not world music, not jazz – but demanding performance skills vital to all three. What do you call a music that is fully scored, played only by acoustic instruments, and demands not only extremely high technical standards from its performers but – if they are to imbue what is written with its proper ritual body – shared histories and deep cultural roots? To grasp the essence of this work, the composition and the ensemble need to be considered together and it’s this aspect of Boris’ work that is so exceptional. Composers write scores, while folk and jazz ensembles spin the present out of collective memory; Boris somehow manages to do both, and there is a depth here that’s not in the notes or in the performances but in an ability to tap into a collective reservoir of archetypical resonances. That’s the source of its intangible strength and apparent inevitability. It has, as we say, the ring of truth.
Chris Cutler, from the CD booklet

I see this music as a fruit of my way of life, especially in the last years, while I have been much more intimate with and affected by the nature than by the culture. From a poetical sense of view I found this music belongs to my “Simple Life” stage…

Starting from a spontaneous music contemplations, which have been played on my curved soprano sax in a different times of day, I’ve discovered that some motives where somehow connected with a differences in light and atmospheres and also with a mental and emotional states related to the particular time of day…Then I continue to develop that motives playing them in a chosen time of day only. And because every morning or evening is different when I had started to write a music piece based on that motives I’ve understood that I should leave an open spaces for a free, improvised way of playing at least for me as a solo performer in this “concerto for sax”.

In the structural and dramaturgic sense each of 4 parts begin from in impression of a particular time of day’s atmosphere and then the music became more and more an expression of inner, mental and emotional states and all became more human than natural…
But what is the most important: all that were born in the Nature, the Mother of everything…

Thanks to Her and to all good and wised people who has somehow helped me to understand the sense of simple… life.

Boris Kovač
Bukovac, Pannonia 2014.

Additional information


Recorded at The Old Synagogue in Novi Sad, in November 2013.
Produced by Boris Kovač. Recording operated by Ljuba Pejić.
Mixed by Boris Kovač at KACHARA MM studio Bukovac.
Mastered at Athens Mastering studio, Greece.
Cover photo by Ivan Milinkov Vanjus, photos of the musicians by Tamara Jakoković, portret
Photo by Ivan Grlić.
Design and layout by Tamara Jakoković
This production was supported by The Secretariat of Culture and Public information of Vojvodina Region and by the City Councilor for Culture of Novi Sad.