2018
April

Eternagy (Stratocluster album)

Stratocluster's Eternagy – more than three years in the making – is a bizarre and fast-paced compendium of improvisations, texts, field recordings, friends, and fun.

https://poli5.bandcamp.com/album/ternagy

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January

fading at unequal rates

for piano and video

music and video by Ian Mikyska
piano part performed by Clare Simmonds – www.claresimmonds.co.uk
recorded by Roy Cheung at the University of Surrey

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Powerless Source of All Power

Powerless Source of all Power / Peer to Peer Protocol / 1st episode
Writen and directed by Zbyněk Baladrán
Music and sound design by Ian Mikyska

Full HD, 8:00, 2018

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Improvisation with Veronika Svobodová

Improvisation with two banjos and two ebows and Veronika playing her home-made instruments at the Wakushoppu concert series in Punctum, Prague, 13. 1. 2018.

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2017
December

Slyšet ne něco, ale spíše podle něčeho, s něčím

V červnu 2017 podnikl Ian Mikyska cestu do Arménie a Gruzie. Během ní spolu s Prokopem Jelínkem sbírali obrazový i zvukový materiál pro video-instalaci do Arménského centra současného a experimentálního umění v Jerevanu, Seeing not something, but rather with something, according to something (3. 10. – 14. 10. 2017). Materiál je využitý také v této čistě zvukové kompozici pro Český rozhlas: Slyšet ne něco, ale spíše podle něčeho, s něčím.

Jedná se o něco jako experimentální cestopis, který posluchače mluveným slovem provádí nejen po reálných a specifikovaných místech, ale i po jednotlivých složkách zvukové a hudební struktury. Vedle terénních nahrávek je hlavním zdrojem zvuku pětistrunné a šestistrunné banjo. Pozornost posluchače je vedena od melodie jako hlavního hudebního, tedy myšlenkového, konceptuálního prvku, přes zvukovou informaci o daném prostředí k samotné materialitě zvuku: často chaotické detaily, vedené vlastnostmi a danostmi materiálu a situací – jak v terénních nahrávkách, tak v banju: struny, blána, smyčec, elektromagnetické vibrace a různé objekty.

Název pochází z eseje Oko a mysl francouzského filozofa Maurice Merleau-Ponty – citát původně hovoří o zraku. Merleau-Ponty se snažil pojednat zrak jako aktivitu, která je v dialogu s jevy, se kterými se setkává. Podobně je zde přistupováno ke slyšení – poslech jako ladění sebe k něčemu. Zvuk nás vede, přemisťuje nás, a my můžeme tento pohyb plně prožít, a také reflektovat to, jakými prostředky je tento pohyb uskutečňován: pomocí melodie, harmonie, rytmu, či terénními nahrávkami, tedy tvorbou virtuálního prostoru, nebo soustředěním na samotný zvuk, tedy jednotné a stálé pozornosti.

Posloucháme jiným způsobem hudbu a jiným krajinu: bližší poslech, který necháme „vést“, však opozice mezi těmito dvěma póly stírá; hudba se stává krajinou, krajina se stává hudbou. Soustředění na doznívající tón se rozlévá do prostoru. Pomalost, ticho a klid – klid aut, deště, louky, dlouhých tónů – dává možnost na všechno naše poslouchání nazírat z místa většího klidu a soustředění.

Projekt podpořilo Velvyslanectví České republiky v Jerevanu a Arménské centrum pro současné a experimentální umění.

http://prehravac.rozhlas.cz/audio/3961426

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All Ending

All Ending was written for Ensemble Konvergence, and premiered by the ensemble conducted by Petr Louženský on the 12th of December 2017 at St Lawrence's Church in Prague.

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November

G40 – Vznik

rok: 2017
autor: Jan Pfeiffer
technika: kreslená - gumovaná animace
stopáž: 3.22min
odborný poradce: Míša Janečková
zvuk: Ian Mikyska
Animace vznikla pro výstavu: Sídliště panelové bydliště v UPM

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October

Lyrical Situation

Lyrical Situation is a short video commissioned by the LiKE – Košice Literary Festival in Košice, Slovakia.

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May

a fence in Bath

a short field recording piece for Marie and Mikuláš Mrva.

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Waves

for 9 conductors, 12 players and fixed media

performed at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, May 2017

Conductors:
James Weeks, Eden Londsdale, Richard Melkonian, David Knight, Philip Golub, Alex Hall, Samuel Wilson, Jacob Dofrman, Colm Molloy

Players:
Anna Roder, Monika Chmielewska – violins
Henrietta Hill – viola
Anais Laugenie – cello
Martin Ludenbach – double bass
Marcus Dawe – alto flute
Jonathan Willett – clarinet
Anna Clarke – bassoon
Frank Walter – horn v
Scott Kepmster – trumpet
Farkhad Bulatov – trombone
Matt Frost – bass drums

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March

fading into

HD video and sound.

For best results, please listen with headphones.

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February

linear harmonic progression (impressonism)

Premiered by Justine Eckhaut at the Joseph-Joachim-Saal, UdK, Berlin, Germany.

“linear harmonic progression” is a term taken from Schenkerian analysis. Here, the linearity refers to the extremely straightforward nature of the determination of the pianists actions. However, the sonic interest arises from the impossibility of carrying out these instructions flawlessly; from the imperfection of the pianists physicality in contrast to the schematic nature of the instrument.

The score is available here.

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2016
November

Opěrné body III. / Support Points III. / 2016

Lieux publics – Centre national de création – Marseille – France

The „Support Points III.“ performance considers the topic of a long term maintenance of ideas, visions and their translation into a visual language of shapes (forms) and signs, it also asks how to know when certain philosophic direction is still vital, up-to-date and beneficial, and when it is just a repetitious effort to keep it alive. The main them of all action will be the metaphor of door: do we need go in or stay outside? Action is set for to performers and one door.

Performers: Evžénie Nízka and Jan Pfeiffer
Music: Ian Mikyska
Text: Jan Pfeiffer
Choreography: Jan Pfeiffer

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Improvisation with Bobby Barry

Improvising with British electronics player Bobby Barry in Punctum, Prague, 9th of November 2016.

We later did a few more gigs with Bobby in the UK in 2017.

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September

Corrugations

Corrugations is a piece for a quartet of sackbuts; a precursor to the modern trombone used in the renaissance and early baroque periods. It first came about after I heard Ian, Peter, Adam and James play a mass by Lassus on four sackbuts and a cornett, at a service in Girton College, Cambridge, in February 2016. We recorded the piece in June, and then I made the video together with Prokop Jelínek in August/September.

Music and concept: Ian Mikyska Video: Prokop Jelínek
performed by Ian Sankey and James Harold – tenor sackbuts, Peter Thornton and Adam Crighton – bass sackbuts
video performed by Luan Checchia Gonsalves, Prokop Jelínek – overhead projector

Special thanks to: the Punctum – Krásova collective, Slavomír Hořínka, Jan Kulka, Bára Nesnídalová and Tomáš Mika

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August

Spaces, Drones, and Melodies

Spaces, Drones and Melodies for accordion and tape was written for the 2016 Palendriai International Composer’s Course, where it was premiered and recorded by Tadas Motečius. The tape track contains field recordings made in Armenia, the United Kingdom, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

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Gestures — Stases

Gestures — Stases for clarinet and accordion was written as part of the Palendriai International Composer’s Course, Lithuania. It takes as its foundation a basic musical gesture: a sound rising in volume, reaching a peak, and then decaying again. However, this gesture is stretched in time to an almost static point.

The piece is here played by Simonas Tamulis (clarinet) and Tadas Motiečius (accordion).

https://soundcloud.com/accoakademija/ian-mikyska-gestures-stases

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July

To Be Framed

full HD, 8:28, 2016
Written and Directed by Zbyněk Baladrán
Camera by Nikola Brabcová, Jan Vidlička
Edited and postproduction by Jan Vidlička
Music and sound mix by Ian Mikyska, Jaroslav Noga
Record: Gijs Verhoofstad
Voiceover: Maartje Kunen

Actors:
Jarra Daelmans
Mus Daelmans
Das Hofman
Dit Hofman
Zij Hofman

Invited by ruangrupa, filmed in location of Buitenplaats Koningsweg, Arnhem, like part of collaboration between Code Rood and tranzitdisplay.

Commissioned by Sonsbeek 2016, Arnhem.

special thanks to Sibylle Eimermacher, Jeroen Glas and Marcel Daelmans

Arnhem/Prague 2016

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300' writing

300′ writing (300’ psaní) is a multimedia installation which includes objects, video and sound. Created by Ian Mikyska, Prokop Jelínek and Jaroslav Noga, it was shown at Galerie Pavilon (gallery of the Academy of Visual Arts, Prague) from the 21st of July to the 31st of August 2016.

At its core, we find the 300 minutes of writing mentioned in the title: 100 minutes were spent writing text on each one of the three objects, based on a specific set of instructions. Audio and video were captured during this process, which served as the material for the projections and sound track.

Glass and tracing paper were the main materials for the objects, lending the entire space a sense of transparency, in which the physicality and materiality of the writing could stand out. The experience of time – time writing, time reading, time spent in the space – was a central concern of the work: time was distorted in the video through changes in speed, and in the sound through layering, repetition and patterning to create an isolated space, torn out of the usual time frame.

[[[[[[k tomuhle bych chtěl jen přiložit fotky; jde to? viz zde: https://ianmikyska.com/music/audiovisual/300-writing/

#TODO

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Improvisation with Ábel Fazekas

A live improvisation by Ian Mikyska (guitar) and Ábel Fazekas (clarinet and bass clarinet), who hails from Budapest but is now based in The Hague.

Recorded at the Kasárne/Kulturpark in Košice, Slovakia.

Sound and video recording by Luc de la Salle as part of the Euro-PA project.

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June

Conferences

Conferences (8 pages for two voices and ensemble) came to be thanks to composer Thomas Fournil, who ran a medieval French music ensemble and commissioned several new pieces. The score presents materials of various degrees of specificity, with the main organising principle being players cueing and reacting to each other.

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Recrudescences

“Recrudescence is the revival of material or behavior that had previously been stabilized, settled, or diminished.”

“recrudescence – a new outbreak after a period of abatement or inactivity”

“recrudescence – breaking out afresh or into renewed activity; revival or reappearance in active existence”

— literally “becoming raw again”

Based on Petrarch’s 13th poem from Il Canzoniere, Recrudescences (for counter tenor, ensemble and video) was written for the GSMD New Music Ensemble, led by James Weeks, and premiered at the Guildhall School Music Hall, 29th of June 2016.

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A House for Hanne Darboven

Text by Louis Armand
Music by Ian Mikyska

performed by Lucie Páchová (voice) and Ian Mikyska (guitar) at Galerie PLATO, Ostrava, Czech Republic on the 21st of May 2015.

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May

Currents/Points

Currents/Points was written between February and May of 2016, for an instrumentation of large ensemble (fl/picc, ob, bcl, bn, hn, tp, tb, 2 vlns, vla, vc, cb, perc, pno) and video. Inspired by the distribution of water droplets from the Lakeside Terrace at the Barbican Centre, London (shown below), footage of these droplets also forms the bulk of the video material. This footage then served as the basis for the musical material as well: I slowed the video down by 50% and then asked a pianist to try and play along with it as precisely as possible (drops in the left side of the shot are lower down on the keyboard; those on the right are higher up) into a MIDI keyboard connected to notation software. I then ordered the bits of material by density and used them as a basis for the piece. If the original instigation was the chaotic system at work in the distribution of the droplets, then it is transcribed (transmedialised) four times: by virtue of being filmed, then transcribed by the pianist, then orchestrated by me, then played (from fairly difficult parts) by the musicians. The aesthetic merit of these systems (I’m reluctant to call them ‘natural’) in contrast with artificiality and obviously human design is the locus of this piece.

The piece was recorded at the Milton Court Concert Hall by musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama conducted by James Weeks.

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Constructions in Snowfall; Crystals

This piece, for pianist, prepared piano and tape, was written for pianist Clare Simmonds and premiered at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, in May 2016.

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March

this piece is to be played three times; softly

this piece is to be played three times; softly was written for the VENI academy in 2016, received its premiere at the radio_head awards 2015 at the Slovak Radio, Bratislava, Slovakia, conducted by Marco Vlasák, with soloists David Danel (violin) and Ábel Fazekas (bass clarinet). The piece was then played again at a concert in Kasárne/Kulturpark, Košice, Slovakia.

Video and audio recording by Luc de la Selle as part of the Euro-PA project.

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road patterns in decay

road patterns in decay is an electronic composition recorded in March 2016, released on the Signals from Arkaim label, where you can listen and download for free.

It was made using only the on-board entertainment system of a Student Agency “Fun & Relax” bus going from London to Prague, specifically the radio. The piece consists of four movements, each of which is based on a different ‘rule’ for when to tune the radio up by .5 MHz (the default setting). Hidden in the fascinatingly complex noise that comes out are certain minor details about the given stage of the journey; just enough to form a hazy idea of the movement of the bus, of other cars, of the landscape.

http://signalsfromarkaim.blogspot.cz/2016/06/sfa063-ian-mikyska-road-patterns-in.html

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January

Breath; Dying

A piece for wind quintet (bass flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn).

Recorded in March 2016 at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London.

Simon Williams – bass flute
Isha Crichlow – bass clarinet
Kaija Lappi – oboe
Juliet Webb – bassoon
Ruth Dingle – horn

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2015
October

Montage

Montage is a piece by artist Jan Pfeiffer in which a performer (Hana Polanská Turečková) constructs an object in a gallery, to music. This object is then exhibited there, together with a video of the construction process.

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September

bass; rhythm; texture; light; materials

This piece, written as a text score for three drumkits, three electric basses, three analogue projectors, guitar and saxophone, was premiered at a concert at Punctum, Prague, on the 31st of August of 2015.

The piece was performed by the ensemble Stratocluster, with special guests Lukas Ligeti and James Ilgenfritz on drumkit and bass respectively. The analogue projectors were designed and built by Jan Kulka.

Line-up:

Marcel Bárta – saxophone
Tomáš Mika – guitar
Ian Mikyska – projections
James Ilgenfritz – bass guitar
Ondřej Komárek – bass guitar
Mikuláš Mrva – bass guitar<> Lukas Ligeti – drumkit
Jan Kulka – drumkit
Jaroslav Noga – drumkit

The concert also featured several improvisations featuring our two guests and members of Stratocluster, which can be found here:

https://hra94.bandcamp.com/album/stratocluster-featuring-lukas-ligeti-and-james-ilgenfritz

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August

Three Oddly-Shaped Pieces of Tinder for Laurence Crane

A piece for any two plucked string instruments and fire (outdoors). A new set of chords are chosen for each realisation and placed inside a pre-composed grid.

Played here in a version for guitar and banjo by myself and Tomáš Mika.

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Settings; Stillness (On Romantic Style)

Premiered at the Ostrava Days Festival on the 25th of August 2015 by Annette Schönmüller (mezzo-soprano), Keiko Shichijo (piano) and Lucie Vítková (projection operator). It is based on J.W. von Goethe’s Wandrers Nachtlied (Ein Gleiches), and uses ‘text’ by Ferenc Liszt and Franc Schubert.

The piece was also performed by Lucie Vítková (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Houston (piano) and Rebecca Lane (projection operator) in Berlin on the 7th of December 2015.

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So Bury Me

This piece, based on the bluegrass classic ‘Bury Me Beneath the Willow’. It is performed here by Lucie Vítková, James P.A. Falzone, and Ian Mikyska at the Ostrava Days Festival 2015.

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through a wheat field; to a pond

This piece, a video poem for guitar and wheat field was written for the September issue of The Goose: Journal for Arts, Environment and Culture in Canada. It was performed by Tomáš Mika on guitar, Kryštof Vosátka carrying the score, and the composer recording, and is dedicated to Václav Gabriel Piňos and Kryštof Vosátka.

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on properties of observation

on properties of observation, a poem published in Abolishing Prague, an anthology of Prague-based writing edited by Louis Armand and published by Litteraria Pragensia (Charles University Press) in 2015. E-book available for download.

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June

Manuscript

This piece was part of a project based on transcriptions of Guillaume de Machaut, led by James Weeks. It is based on Machaut’s ballade Riches d’Amour.

Performed at Milton Court Concert Hall by the Guildhall New Music Ensemble conducted by James Weeks.

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Persona Forte

Persona Forte is a theatre play/installation by Czech artists Jan Pfeiffer and Markéta Magidová. It took place in Prádelna Bohnice in, June – August 2015.

The show, for which I wrote and performed live music and sounds, was recorded and then placed as part of the installation, which includes the movable set, designed by Jan, and further video.

Further info and photos

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malé věci v krajině

This is a series of text score pieces called malé věci v krajině (small things in the landscape), after Michal Šiška’s eponymous book.

The first piece, Accordi, is as yet unperformed.

The second is documented here, performed by members of Stratocluster the hra94 inaugural concert at Atelier Varšavská in June 2014.

// for the few Czech words that are spoken, you can turn on the English captions.

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2014
December

Piece no. 2 – Banalita

A piece for video and sound; presented online. Recorded on an MQ825USB 37 Key Electric Piano.

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August

Stratocluster live at vs. Interpretation Festival

Stratocluster is a sextet from Prague, CZ, focusing on musical and multimedia free improvisation. Live recording from Vs. interpretation festival organised by Agosto Foundation Ian Mikyska, Tomas Mika, Marcel Barta, Jan Faix, Mikulas Mrva, Jan Kulka http://bandzone.cz/stratocluster

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April

Romanzas Cortas en Una Lengua Privada

This piece, for speaking violist and speaking cellist, was written between the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 in Prague and London, and premiered by Miguel Angel Rodriguez Olivera and Andrew Power at Power Lunches in Hackney, London, on the 1st of April 2014. The same musicians are on this recording, engineered by Mark Rainbow at the studios of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

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2013
August

Places and People

This piece was written in June 2013 and was premièred at the Ostrava Philharmonic Hall during the Ostrava Days Festival of New and Experimental Music, during the Into the Night program on the 27th of August 2013.

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March

The Analyses

The Analyses is a stage play that I co-wrote with Václav Gabriel Piňos in January 2013, for which I also wrote the music. It was produced in April of the same year, in Divadlo Inspirace in Prague’s Lesser Town by Blood Love & Rhetoric Theatre.

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2012
September

Hemiplegia for Singer, Two Narrators and Ensemble

Composed in 2012, based on stories from Dubliners by James Joyce and poems by Seamus Heaney.

For singer, two male narrators, string quartet, clarinet, acoustic guitar, double bass, drum set.

The idea behind this piece was to base each movement on a particular story from Dubliners (The Sisters, Araby, A Painful Case and Eveline), with the music being subjected to the narrative as much as possible. The narrators generally take on more authoritative, antagonistic roles, while the singer introduces a softer, lyrical aspect to the stories, defending against the narrators’ relentless attacks with various types of song, often parodying or mocking.

Script

Programme notes (also includes notes to the Quintet for Strings and Guitar and Metamorphoses for Two Clarinets)

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Metamorphoses for Two Clarinets

Based on Francis Poulenc’s, Sonata for Two Clarinets, composed in 1908, and the opening of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, written three years earlier, explores the relationship between two identical instruments timbres, as well as the cadence and tonality of speech.

Played by Jiří Mráz and Aleš Hustoles, recorded live at Studio Alta on the 14th of September 2012.

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June

Marat/Sade

In 2012, I served as music director, composer and conductor for Akanda’s adaptation of Peter Weiss’ fantastic Marat/Sade, produced by Canadian artist Althea Thauberger.

There were five performances of the play, plus one for the inmates of the asylum, followed by a discussion. Then followed a week of filming, which was turned into a film by Thauberger which was shown in Liverpool, Toronto and Nottingham amongst others. Unfortunately, the film is not in the public domain, but you can watch excerpts with my music here:

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