Mirko Banovic

Mirko Banovic (1970) starts his musical quest at the age of 15 as an autodidact. After training at the Conservatory of Ghent (Jazz bass) he plays with various experimental formations of Kaat Dewindt, Jan Rzweski, Tom Wouters and Peter Vermeersch & Pierre Vervloesem.

In 1999 Arno crosses Banovic’ path. He joins his live band, plays on the studio recordings, and writes songs for the albums. It is still a fruitful collaboration today, as evidenced by the recent releases Santeboutique (’19) and Vivre (’21) and the farewell tour.

A few years later he joins that other big Belgian pop/rock band: Arsenal. He is part of the successful live group and can be heard on the albums up to and including the latest In The Rush Of Shaking Shoulders (’18).

However, the step into the world of pop/rock is not limited to these two big names. Curiosity and the desire to develop his sound further, lead to inspiring projects with Stef Kamil Carlens / Zita Swoon, Pieter-Jan De Smet, Roland, David Bovée, An Pierlé and Sioen / Soweto project. And he arranges and produces albums by others such as singer Marie Warnant.

In between the pop/rock tours, Banovic also continues to play and deepen other music genres. For example, he records the record live at Het Bos with drummer Teun Verbruggen. He is part of the experimental jazz trio Root and their recent album Vegir (’18). At the request of Peter Vermeersch and David Bovée, he joins Flat Earth Society for the Boggamasta tours and the recording of Boggamasta III (’21). With Kaat De Windt he continues to work on an oeuvre on the verge of contemporary classical, minimal pop and jazz. The first album of their new formation PRINCESS4PRESIDENT sees the light of day in ’21.

Banovic also collaborates across the boundaries of disciplines: he makes music for the theatre performances Tambours Battants (Zuidpool), Soeur Sourire (Marijke Pinoy /Cie Cecilia) and Rising Soul (Isnelle Da Silveira). In the winter of ’22 a new step in this process follows with the composition for Surfer Rosa Begijntje (Adriaan Van Aken/HETNIEUWSTEDELIJK) together with Pieter-Jan Vervondel.

In ’17, a short-term grant creates time for research in which Mirko Banovic works on the development of a new sound and methodology for improvisation with analog electronics and bass in which he places his instruments and himself, the musician, at the core of the composition. This resulted in new collaborations in which Banovic uses analogue electronics as his main instrument. With Berlinde Deman he forms the duo HUM, an unusual combination of serpent and electronics. In residencies supported by VOORUIT and JazzLab, they develop their own sound at the interface between improvisation, ambient and drone. With Rob Banken (alto saxophone), Matthias De Waele (drums), Peter Delannoye (trombone) and Dries Geusens (bass) he forms the new quintet Rapidman. In ’22 follows a first album on which the jazz tradition blends seamlessly with contemporary influences. JazzLab signs for the support and release tour. And during the pandemic, the new duo S T I L L L is born in which Banovic and Pieterjan Vervondel (ex Madensuyu) bring together inspirations from gospel and voodoo in a completely new sultry sound.

Also encounters outside the world of music follow this research period. In search of a new position as a solo performer, he has been creating and playing since ’17 in dialogue with choreographer Lisi Estaras, actress Kristien De Proost and dramaturge Sara Vanderieck the multidisciplinary in situ performance When I look at a Strawberry, I think of a Tongue.