Milana has been actively engaged in free improvisation since 2009. Her Master thesis in the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, entitled Structuring free improvisation, dealt with work dynamics of a plucked strings and percussion ensemble (Ensemble Echoes). It was a one year project during which the group regularly met and explored micro sounds, overtones and resonances between naturally related instruments, such as the harp, piano, acoustic guitar, koto, double bass, percussion…
Over the course of her specialization in The Hague, she has participated in workshops and performances with Richard Barrett, Peter van Bergen, Anne la Berge, Butch Morris, Evan Parker, Augusti Fernandez, Yedo Gibson, Mary Oliver, Wiek Hijmans, Marie Guilleray, Raoul van der Weide, Yannis Tsirikoglou, Lovorka Holjevac, etc.
Performance highlights include concerts with Sonology Electro Acoustic Ensemble, under the direction of Richard Barrett, being part of Butch Morris’ Conduction, playing a duet with Interactive Orchestral Machine, conceived and built by Peter van Bergen, participating in several dance and music improvised performances, with Mary Oliver, Michael Schumacher, Katie Duck.
Other projects include forming an ensemble of strings and percussion with Iranian and Middle Eastern instruments and musicians playing qanun, santur, setar, kemence and tombak. The project, conceived as an exchange between improvising traditions of Europen and Asian musicians, was part of the Atlas academy 2009 and 2010, organized by the Nieuw Ensemble in Amsterdam.
For the Spring Festival solo harp improvisation performance in 2011, Milana has collaborated with saxophonist and improviser Yedo Gibson. During the process of working on the piece, the intent was to communicate outside of boundaries of typical composer – performer relation, hence there was no score nor any written guidance.
The result was freely improvised material, by Milana Zaric, stemming from ideas, concepts and tools used in improvisation by Yedo Gibson.
Back in Belgrade, Milana co-founded a collective for improvised music performance, ImprovE2. The monthly series of concerts, installations, site specific interventions happens every 15th in a month, in various venues in and around Belgrade. Since 2012, the collective organized more than 30 events, with dozens of performers from all around Europe, renowned improvisers in equal measure as up and coming young experimentators from Serbia. More info: http://www.i2.rs
As part of ImprovE2 series, Milana has performed with Paul Pignon, Chris Cutler, Annie Gosfield, Richard Barrett, Biliana Voutchkova, Joel Grip, Svetlana Maraš, Manja Ristić, Ivana Grahovac, Teodora Stepančić, Jasna Veličković, Ana Sofrenović, Kaja Farszky, W0o, Lukatoyboy, Igor Čubrilović, Igor Štanglicki, Rodrigo Roy Cezares, Djordje Marković etc.
In 2014 and 2015, Milana has performed at Ring Ring festival in Belgrade (with Agusti Fernandez and Zsolt Sőrés Ahad respectively), Showroom of contemporary sound festival in Zagreb (with Alen Sinkauz, W0o and Svetlana Maraš), in Singapore, Budapest, Melbourne (with Golden Fur ensemble, Dave Brown and Make it up club respectively), Subotica (Jazzire festival, with Yedo Gibson and Vasco Trilla), Novi Sad (Improstor concert series), Belgrade (with Eruption duet)
with Ensemble Echoes, De Regentes Theatre, The Hague, June 2011 >>>
ImprovE2.12, December 2013, KM8, with R.Barrett, R.Cezares, T.Stepančić, R.Popović, A.Berendika, Dj.Marković and I.Čubrilović >>>
solo improvisation at Dom Omladine, Beograd, ImprovE2.1, January 2013>>