Ispod fontana (2019)

Made for Zagreb by Kaffe Matthews and the BRI,  Ispod fontana presents the realities of living today through discussions with young local women making music with their voices, piano experiments, the ELKA organ,  Zagreb street recordings and varietous studio processings. From this material, where you can ride a bike, the variety of the city’s architecture and neighbourhoods combined with Matthews own contradictions, so the score,  the route for Ispod fontana grew. Resulting in a 40 minute transformative bike ride through the city,  Ispod fontana was enjoyed by local wide ranging audiences and beyond.


Ispod fontana  means  Under the fountains.  In Zagreb, where jobs are few, salaries low and city rents unaffordable, the mayor chooses to spend its funds improving the look of its historical centre prioritising tourists over the locals. More and more fountains are built for example rather than rubbish bins or police investgation into street violence beyond the city centre. A now familiar inner city problem – tourists financing the economy – creating a bleak future for the city’s younger generation, many of whom are choosing to leave.

Commissioned by the Muzički Biennale Zagreb 2019, curated by Nina Čapolek, produced by Mirna Gott,  Ispod proved to be a new experience for audiences.

It was also enjoyed nationally with features on RTL and Croatia TV News.  WATCH

Ispod fontana performed daily between 11- 7pm from Greta galerie, Ulica, Zagreb,   4.4.-13.4.19.


Black shape at the top the start.  Then head south on the purple, blue layering under and continue to follow coloured route anti-clockwise.  This is the score that you will hear unfold as you cycle it.  Worry not.  There are sonic indicators that dong right or left before you need to turn, otherwise keep going straight on.  Duration 40 mins sonic bike floating speed time. Remember you are not going anywhere, you are moving through space listening. Welcome to the world of bicrophonics.


Top image, some of the voices behind Ispod fontana, L->R. Kristina, Valentina, Vanessa, Rebecca, Monika. We six worked together for 5 afternoons in the basement of the Composers Society, Zagreb during October 2017. They had come straight from Beautician school and I had come straight from studio.  With curious English and many cups of coffee, they taught me about their lives in Zagreb and I introduced them to bicrophonics. We map everyone’s homes onto the bike score I’d made in April. They all live an hours tram ride out of town in the places where they were born. City centre living is impossible for normal people they say. I ask them about their mums and grannys. They all come from Zagreb too, except Vanessa’s whose from Kosovo. I try to talk to them about the 90’s war and whether they think independence has made a difference but they’re too young of course and vague about what their mums think. I play them some sonic bike films. Yes, they are totally weird but they like it they say. They leave grinning with the recorders, set to record their mums or something for tomorrow’s session. I wish I spoke Croatian. READ MORE from  #compositionIspod here.


Voices in order of appearance : Rebecca, Valentina, Kaffe, Rasa, Iskra, Maja, Vanese, Monika, Kristina and Valentina.

Story of Mary Jane – Rebecca

Piano solo – Monika

My dream – Kristina

Unknown Croatian song – Valentina

Historical guide – Darinka

Concept direction recording mixing processing composition of sources – Kaffe

With thanks to all contributors, the BRI and the Croatian composers society for support on all levels.


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