Milica Paranosic, composer: We’re all immigrants, we’re all people

~ Milica Puric ~

16. From video spot, photo credit by St. John

Insert from video spot ‘Nina’ (photo credit by Lara St. John)

New Yorker Milica Paranosic, originally from Belgrade, Serbia, is one of the most hardworking and appreciated composers in America. She graduated at the Music Academy in Belgrade as a composer, and after that she got her master’s degree at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, where she now teaches the technology of music. Devoted to art, music and composing, Paranosic had a very successful concert at Carnegie Hall, the most prestigious concert stage in the United States, a few years ago. She is the founder of many art projects. One of them is a festival dedicated to the electronic music called “Beyond the Machine” at Juilliard. Also, a few years ago she started an even greater multimedia project — a musical center in Harlem called Paracademia in Harlem.

14. Milica Paranosic at Gallery MC, openign a Dance presentation. Photo by Gorazd Poposki

Milica Paranosic at Gallery MC, openign a Dance presentation (photo by Gorazd Poposki)

Milica Paranosic: “The idea of this project wasn’t made in an instant, it came slowly and organically throughout the years. I moved to Harlem 10 years ago, but a lot of time had to pass before that idea came fully to fruition and that Harlem become not only a place where I live, sleep, eat, compose music, but a place where I truly live. Plays, museums, performances, concerts, presentations, parties, restaurants, bars, clubs, yoga studios — I have all of that ‘around the corner’ in Harlem, and I finally started to feel that neighbor vibe like in Belgrade many years ago. Also, during many years I’ve been active on many fronts, and I finally realized that it’s time to bring all those activities ‘home’ and start making my music workshop.”

9. Make Music Harlem, summer 2015 (photo credit Meschida Philip)

Make Music Harlem, summer 2015 (photo credit  Meschida Philip)

And that’s Paracademia: a music and multimedia organization for production, education and collaboration, open for everyone who is interested. Since the year 2015, Paracademia started organizing the annual festival “Make Music Harlem” — a  big community fair that gathers musicians and artists. The 2016 festival, part of Make Music New York, was a huge success. It was made in the form of a block party with a four-hour music marathon featuring La Banda Ramirez, ShoutHouse, Bonnie Bowers, Johari Mayfield, Jennifer Rae, and the first-ever Paracademia Junior Collective joined by The Dream Team Dance collective. Also, live painting was created by Daaz Daaz.

1. Keve Wilson, Lynn Bechtold and Milica Paranosic (photo credit Meschida Philip)

‘Ladies First’ – Keve Wilson, Lynn Bechtold and Milica Paranosic  (photo credit Meschida Philip)

Milica Paranosic:  “In 2017, we are producing it in the same format and location but with different musicians (and) artists, including Harlem Chamber Players, Max Pollak, and Macedonian Jazz/World group ‘Leteci Pekinezeri’, which makes this festival an international one for the first time this year,” Paranosic said about the third festival, which will take place this year.

Beside founding and organizing an annual festival, Milica Paranosic and her friends Lynn Bechtold and Keve Wilson founded a new project, “Ladies First,” within production of “Paracademia.” This is a new concept for a concert series, a collective highlighting female artists in multiple genres. With the intention of women empowering other women through art, “Ladies First” is a celebration of local and global accomplishments. Recently they organized the project “We’re All Immigrants.”

11. Milica Paranosic at the festival Make Music Harlem, summer 2016 (photo credit - Bonnie Bowers

Milica Paranosic at the festival Make Music Harlem, summer 2016 (photo credit – Bonnie Bowers)

Urban Culture Tribe: Why did you call the project “We’re all immigrants,” and why is important for you to talk about immigrants?

Milica Paranosic: The irony of it is that being an immigrant in the states never meant a thing to me. I was always very comfortable in the mixed, diverse scenes and setting. New York is full of immigrants, it’s a big part of its charms and identity. In my 20-something years here, I was always surrounded by immigrants and Americans, and it never made any difference whatsoever how I would perceive the people, how I would value their friendships or their art.
Today, the immigration here is a hot issue, and you start to notice it more, and all of a sudden being an immigrant becomes more important to you, it becomes a part of your identity, it starts to define your expression, your socio-political and cultural decisions. Similar thing happened in Yugoslavia before I moved here: Until it became important on the political scene if one is a Serb or Croat, I never even new or paid attention to it. I never wanted to, and to this day it sounds unnatural to me to say I am from Serbia, or worse, I am from Former Yugoslavia. There’s nothing former about the country I grew up in, in my heart. By saying “We’re All Immigrants,” I am saying we’re all people. I feel that national(istic) divisions are (or should be) a thing of the past.

4. Full ensemble Ladies First (photo

 Full ensemble Ladies First (photo credit Robert Morton)

Urban Culture Tribe: It seems that you are always surrounded with many people. What do you find to be the most interesting thing in collaborating and working with them? 

Milica Paranosic: I’m born with a blessing and a curse that I simply CANNOT be bored. If I am not stimulated, surprised, challenged, I will lose interest and walk away in the middle of the project, situation, relationship. When you’re collaborating with others, they will constantly surprise you, compare their point of view with yours, interlace their arts’ languages and syntax with yours, and you are just always a bit on the edge, a bit in the ‘unknown’, a bit uncomfortable, but always learning. I like that, in my art and in my life, and cannot function well without it.

Urban Culture Tribe: You graduated from Belgrade Music Academy and got a master’s degree at Juilliard School in NYC. Unlike many of your colleagues who can be pretty untouchable, you perform outside, in the neighborhood, and directly interact with your audience. What motivated you to go out, to be among your neighbors and perform music for them? 

Milica Paranosic: I wish I can answer that. Nothing motivated me. It’s my natural need, I was always like that. I am a mingler, a party person, a people person. I am a monkey and a performer and often an entertainer, and I like close interaction with people. I don’t believe in art that is not meant to be shared. In my opinion, if it’s not shared, it doesn’t exist.

15. Milica's design (photo credit Milica Paranosic)

Milica’s unique design

Urban Culture Tribe: What is the future of your Paracedemia?

Milica Paranosic: This spring, we are starting a new series, “The Other Graduation.” It is designed for young musicians and  artist in order to encourage them to keep an open mind about the ways they can fulfill their careers and their dreams. Too often, the rigid academic education offers a limited, restricted view into the career options for artists. I see too many students whose dreams are shattered by a fact that they didn’t get an audition, or a job or a performance opportunity  their teacher or their mom thought was the “right” one for them. Or worse, “the only” one. In “The Other Graduation” series, I will introduce those young artists to the ones that were curious and courageous to think differently and became big names because of it. After that, we have our “Make Music Harlem 2017” in June, then “Ladies First — Sisters and Wives” in September 2017, while working with children and adults in our education programs year-round.

Milica is also jewelry designer, and you can see her art work here



Milica Paranosić, kompozitor: ‘Svi smo mi imigranti, svi smo ljudi’

2. Lynn Bechtold, Keve Wilson and Milica Paranosic (photo credit Ian D Donald)

 Lynn Bechtold, Keve Wilson i Milica Paranosić (photo credit Ian D Donald)

Njujorčanka Milica Paranosić, poreklom iz Beograda, jedna je od najvrednijih i najcenjenijih kompozitora u Americi. Ona je završila Muzičku akademiju, odsek kompozicije, u Beogradu, a potom stekla diplomu mastera na prestižnoj Džulijard školi u Njujorku, gde predaje tehnologiju muzike. Istinski posvećena umetnosti, muzici i komponovanju Milica je pre par godina imala uspešan koncert u Karnegi holu. Poznata je kao osnivač raznih umetničkih pojekata koje organizuje samostalno i sa saradnicima, a pre nekoliko godina osnovala je na Džuliard školi Festival elektronske muzike ‘Beyond the Machine’. Milica Paranosić ubrzo je pokrenula još veći multimedijalni umetnički projekat. Reč je o centru za muziku koji se zove ‘Paracademia’ u Harlemu. O tome kako je nastala ideja o osnivanju ovog umetničkog projekta kaže:

10. Make music Harlem 2015, (photo credit - Meschida Philip)

Festival ‘Make music Harlem’ 2015 (Photo credit: Meschida Philip)

Milica Paranosić: ‘Ideja o ovome nije ‘nastala’ već je ‘nastajala’, postepeno i organski, u toku mnogo godina. Predstave, muzeji, performansi, koncerti, prezantacije, žurke, restorani, barovi, klubovi, joga studio – sve to imam ‘iza ćoška’, ovde u Harlemu. Tu sam počela da osećam onaj komšijski ‘vajb’ kao nekada u Beogradu. Takodje, u toku mnogo godina bila sam super aktivna na svim  stranama i konačno shtvatila da je vreme da sve te aktivnosti donesem ‘kući’ i počnem da gradim svoju muzičku radionicu. I to je ‘Paracademia’ – centar za muziku: muzička i multimedijalna organizacija za produkciju, edukaciju i kolaboraciju, otvorena za sve one koji su zainteresovani.

Od 2015. godine ‘Paracademia’ je počela da organizuje godišnji festival ‘Make Music Harlem’ – veliki festival zajednice koji okuplja kreativne muzičare i umetnike. Poslednji festival ‘Make Music Harlem 2016’ (deo ‘Make Music New York’) bio je veoma uspešan. Bio je organizovan kao zabava u kraju sa četvorostnim muzičkim maratonom na kome su učestvovali La Banda Ramirez, ShoutHouse, Bonnie Bovers, Johari Maifield, Jennifer Rae i prvi Paracademia Dzunior kolektiv kome se pridružio The Dream team dance kolektiv, a za vreme festivala Daaz Daaz je slikao uživo.

3. Higllighting the relationshhip between sports and music- Lynn Bechtold, Milica Paranosic and Keve Wilson (photo credit Ian D Donald)

Isticanje veze izmedju sporta i muzike: Lynn Bechtold (levo), Milica Paranosić i Keve Wilson (photo credit Ian D Donald)

Govoreći o sledecem festivalu, Milica Paranosić kaže: “Ove godine Festival će imati isti format i lokaciju, ali druge muzičare, umetnike. Tu ce biti ‘Harlem Chamber Plaiers’, Maks Pollak, makedonski dzez grupa ‘Leteći pekinezeri’… Time ove godine Festival prvi put postaje medjunarodni”.

Pored festivala ‘Make Music Harlem’, u produkciji ‘Paracademie’ Milica i njene prijateljice Lin Bechtold i Keve Vilson osnovale su novi projekat ‘Ladies first’ (‘Dame prvo’). Ovo je novi koncept za seriju koncerata i kolektivnog isticanja žena umetnika u razlicitim žanrovima. Sa namerom da žene kroz umetnost podržavaju druge žene. Nedavno su ove devojke organizovale projekat ‘Svi smo mi imigranti’.

Urban Culture Tribe: Sta znači rečenica ‘Svi smo mi imigranti’ i zašto je za tebe važno da govoriš o imigrantima?

8. We are all immigrants, Keve Wilson, Lynn Bechtold and Milica Paranosic (photo credit Meschida Philip)

‘Svi smo mi imigranti, svi smo mi ljudi’ – Keve Wilson, Lynn Bechtold and Milica Paranosić (photo credit Meschida Philip)

Milica Paranosić: Ironija je da biti imigrant u ovoj državi za mene nikada nije značila ništa. Ja sam se uvek osećala prijatno u mešovitim, različitim okruženjima. Njujork je pun imigranata i to je veliki deo njegovog šarma i identiteta. U toku ovih 20-ak godina koliko sam ovde uvek sam bila okružena imigrantima i Amerikancima i to mi nikada nije odredjivalo kako doživljavam ljude i kako vrednujem njihovo prijateljstvo i umetnost. Danas je imigracija vruće pitanje i to počinjete da primećujete sve više i više. Odjednom biti imigrant postaje važno, postaje deo vašeg identiteta, pocinje da definiše vaš izraz, vaše društveno- političke i kulturne odluke. Slično se desilo u Jugoslaviji pre nego što sam se doselila ovde: nikada nisam znala, niti obraćala pažnju da li je neko Srbin ili Hrvat sve dok to nije postalo važno na političkoj sceni. Nikada nisam želela i sve do današnjeg dana zvuči mi neprirodno da kažem ja sam iz Srbije ili, jos gore, iz bivše Jugoslavije. U mom srcu ne postoji ništa ‘bivše’ iz zemlje u kojoj sam odrasla. Govoreći ‘Svi smo mi imigranti’ govorim ‘Svi smo mi ljudi’. Mislim da su nacionalna ili nacionalistička deljenja stvar prošlosti.

Urban Culture Tribe: Izgleda kao da si uvek okružena mnoštvom ljudi. Šta je za tebe najinteresantnije u saradnji sa drugima?

14. From video spot, photo credit by St. Jogn

Insert from video spot ‘Nina’ (photo credit by Lara St. John)

Milica Paranosic: Rodjena sam sa blagoslovom i prokletstvom da mi nikada nije dosadno. Ako nisam stimulisana, iznenadjena, izazvana, ja gubim interesovanje i odlazim usred projekta, situacije, veze… Kada radite sa drugima, oni vas stalno iznenadjuju, porede njihova gledišta sa vašima, prepliću njihov umetnički jezik i sintaksu sa vašsom i vi ste uvek na ivici, nikada baš ne znate sve, nije vam baš uvek komforno, ali uvek učite. To volim i u životu i u mojoj umetnosti i ne znam kako bih funkcionisala bez toga.

Urban Culture Tribe: Dimplomirali ste na beogradskoj Muzičkoj akademiji i magistrirali na Juilliard školi u Njujorku. Za razliku od kolega koji su ponekad nedodirljivi, vi organizujete performanse napolju, u komšiluku gde direktno komunicirate sa publikom. Šta vas motiviše da izadjete, da budete medju ljudima i izvodite muziku za njih?

 Milica Paranosić: Volela bih da imam odgovor na to. Ništa me ne motiviše. To je moja prirodna potreba, bila sam uvek takva. Ja sam neko ko se ‘muva’, ko je osoba za žurke, socijalna osoba. Ja sam majmun i performer i čest zabavljač i volim da imam bliske kontakte sa ljudima. Ne verujem u umetnost koja nije namenjena deljenju. Ako se ne deli, onda i ne postoji.

12. Milica is performing as a little girl

Milica Paranosić nastupa kao devojcica (Milica is performing as a little girl)

Urban Culture Tribe: Kakva budućnost očekuje Paracademiu?

Milica Paranosić: Ovog proleća pokrećemo novu seriju – ‘Drugo diplomiranje’ (‘The Other Graduation’). Dizajnirano je za mlade muzičare i umetnike kako bi ih ohrabrilo da se otvore prema načinu na koji mogu da ostvare svoju karijeru i ispune svoje snove. Vrlo često rigidno akademsko obrazovanje nudi limitiran, restriktivan pogled na moguće profesionalne opcije za umetnike. Vidim jako mnogo umetnika čiji su snovi razbijeni činjenicom da nisu imali  mogućnost za audiciju, posao ili performans za koje su njihovi nastavnici ili majke mislili da su ‘baš za njih’. Ili još gore da su ‘jedini’ za njih. Ja ću u ‘Drugom diplomiranju’ predstaviti ove mlade umetnike onima koji su radoznali i hrabri da misle drugačije i postanu velika imena zbog toga. Još više o tome mozete saznati ovde Posle toga imaćemo nas festival ‘Make Music Harlem 2017’ u junu, zatim ‘Ladies First – Sisters and Wives in September 2017’, a za sve to vreme radićemo u toku cele godine sa decom i odraslima u nasem obrazovnom programu.

Kreativna i originalna po prirodi, Milica je usmerila svoju kretaivnost i ka dizajniranju nakita, a njene najnovije dizajne možete videti ovde

16. Milica's design (photo credit Milica Paranosic)

Milicin dizajn (Milica’s design – photo credit Milica Paranosic)

4 thoughts on “Milica Paranosic, composer: We’re all immigrants, we’re all people

  1. Anonymus

    She has a lo of good energy, she is natural leader, creative and strong young woman. New York is supposed to be happy to have her.


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