Mimika Mak Murtic Ensemble, a London-based Concept Avant Gard ensemble of 8-20 members, is located in London. This ensemble is known for its cinematic music, young jazz musicians, and brass orchestrations. Mak Murtic, a Croatian composer and saxophonist, founded Mimika in 2010. The band started out as a nine-piece Balkan-influenced jazz band with clarinets and brass, strings, rhythm section, and vocals. However, it has evolved to a smaller orchestra with more urban and contemporary influences. Their first Suite, “From Scratch to Structure”, was premiered. London’s Time Out Magazine called Mimika’s music Balkan Space Jazz. The description has remained as a description for their diverse musical approach, strong roots in Jazz and Balkan heritage, and science fiction themes. They are currently performing A Place Glowing a Brilliant red, a suite about the human colonization on Mars. Parts of this work were pre-premiered for the first time at London Jazz Festival 2012, and showed Mak Murtic’s strong interest and growing interest in urban music, especially from London’s hip-hop, experimental, and modern jazz scenes. This music incorporated elements from hip hop, avantegarde, free jazz and metal. It also included contemporary classical and impressionist music. The music retained the influence of Duke Ellington, Balkan music, and at least partially. Mimika composed and performed the music for “Final Beats”, a British short film. Mimika, in collaboration with Vid Jeraj, is currently exploring concept works from Russia’s Futurist period. Mimika, who is funded by Steve Reid, is also working with Nwando Vendredi, aka Lady Vendredi, on a project that combines contemporary pop and Haitian rhythms with modern cinema. The piece, which was partly influenced by Post New Wave cinema and Sexploitation films, and has some blood shedding ceremony, is Music Concepts Mimika’s work. It explores sociopolitical and philosophical themes as well as scientific and futuristic ones. The first Suite, “From Scratch to Structure”, is a piece inspired by folklore and world music about historical migrations and the development and improvement of agriculture. Based on Jared Diamond’s popular book Guns, Germs and Steel, the storyboard was created. The second Suite, A Place Glowing a Brilliant red, is a science fiction story about the future human presence in Mars. This piece features a dystopian urban jazz section that sometimes includes cinematic visual projections and narration. Murtic described the piece in a radio interview for HRT radio as questioning the world’s dependence on non-renewable energies and global economic interdependency. He also pointed out that the piece had a positive side. It celebrates humanity’s ability to adapt to new situations and the possibility of humans bringing about life on other planets. Divinities of the Earth, the Waters, the new pieces, are currently under the title. They deal with the ancient and modern, the relationship of ceremonies, how they apply to today, strong emotional reactions, and transcedental states. Line-up The line-up includes a front line consisting of a female vocalist, 2 trombones and 2 trombones. One doubling on soprano clarinet, and one doubling on bass clarinet. There are also 2 trumpets and 2 trombones. Mimika is a big jazz band, but it has unusual section writing. There are clarinet/soprano and trombone sections, as well as a brass section, tuba/bass or trombone section. Mimika’s brass section uses a variety live electronics and mutes, which is a departure from many other contemporary jazz groups. Mimika’s visual appearance is not only a highlight of their eclectic music but also their unique musical style. Sometimes they will wear white and assume a military posture. Other times, they may be dressed in ceremonial attire or perform a dramatic rendition of a 1930s big band setup. from http://makmurticensemble.com

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