Dr. Igor Karača is a Bosnian composer and pianist of classical and jazz music. Most of Karača's work has been for chamber ensembles and electronic media. He employs a wide variety of techniques, ranging from controlled aleatoric, free-jazz inspired textures, to more traditional, neoclassical style; he usually aims to make his work accessible to a relatively large audience.

After taking private music lessons, Karača studied music at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo under Josip Magdić and Andjelka Bego-Simunić. He graduated in 1996 with a BM in music composition, and has since been a guest at different masterclasses in Europe, working with Boguslaw Schaeffer, Klaus Huber, Helmut Lachenmann, Marc-André Dalbavie and Marco Stroppa, among others.
In 1999 Karača came to United States to study composition with Dr. Thomas Wells at the Ohio State University, from which he received his DMA in 2005.

Igor Karača has written three symphonies, suite for wind ensemble, concertante works for clarinet and piano, twenty electro-acoustic compositions, over seventy chamber compositions, including the award-wining Wind Trio, Between Walls for violin, clarinet and piano, and Handful of Dust for bass clarinet and piano. Karača composed dramatic scores for three motion pictures: A House Over the Rainbow, Sarajevo War Diary and Tell Me Your Name Again, and three theater plays: Twelfth Night, Fate of a Cockroach and Requiem for 'Bird' Parker.

Recent performances include premieres in the USA, Croatia, Serbia, Switzerland and the Netherlands, and other performances in Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Poland, Sweden, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He was a member of Sarajevo Jazz Quartet, jazz quintet Happy End and Bosnian pop-rock band Punkt, for which he played piano, Hammond organ and electronic keyboards.

Dr. Karača is teaching courses on music composition, counterpoint, jazz improvisation, orchestration, technology and theory at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. He is a Visiting Full Professor of Music at Sarajevo Music Academy, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Compositions

"Mantra" for Saxophone Quartet



A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating spiritual transformation". These words -

"Om Bhur Bhuvas Suvaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyoyonah Prachodayyat"

were used as a basic material for the piece, and then translated - in a process similar to "Between Walls" below - into a modal stream of notes played on the saxophones. This mantra is known as the "mother of the Vedas".

Performed by the H2 Saxophone Quartet.


"Valse Sentimentale" from "Belle Dance" for Violin and Double Bass



Belle Dance is a XVI and XVII century European dance, closely linked with Baroque theater and opera. It originated at the French court under Louis XIV, and it was used both at social events, and as theatrical dance in court ballets and at public theaters. Many of these dance types, such as Gigue, Menuet, Sarabande, are familiar from classical music, especially from the stylized suites of J. S. Bach.

In his Belle Danse Igor Karača brings his own, neoclassical version of the three dances - a Gavotte, a slow (and non-traditional) sentimental Valse, and a fast and lively Gigue.

Performed by Dr. Laura Talbott (violin) and Professor George Speed (double bass).


"Amber Sonata," Mvmt. 3 - Allegro Molto for Flute and Piano



"Amber Sonata" is inspired by the fantastic, surreal world of Roger Zelazny. It's a world of magic and technology, illusions and reality, a mixture of allusion, lyricism, and mythic imagery.
Karača's Amber for Flute and Piano is a kaleidoscope of ideas, always oscillating between classical tonality, modality and free atonality in a fresh and unpredictable way.

Performed by Dr. Conor Nelson (flute) and Shinae Kim (piano).


"Between Walls" for Violin, Clarinet and Piano



Between Walls is an experimental piece, belonging to the genre of computer-assisted algorithmic music. Three short articles from NY Times were used as a basic material for the piece, manipulated in real time through the use of a special algorithm programmed by the composer, and then translated - using a personal computer running ArtWonk into a musical data stream played on the violin, clarinet and piano.

Performed by Dr. Laura Talbott (violin), prof. Babette Belter (clarinet) and Dr. Zarina Melik-Stepanova (Piano).