Ian Mikyska is a Czechoslovak composer living and working between London, Prague and Berlin.
He also dabbles as a translator, poet, banjoist, improviser and maker of video.
Though his work is usually connected with sound in some way, he likes to approach it at the edges; sound in text, in light and projection, on stage or between languages. This has led him to work in traditionally notated as well as electronic and improvised media, text compositions, poetry, performance, theatre, video and installation, often in collaboration with other artists. He is interested in how meaning is created within (and without) music itself, both in culturally coded terms and in an emergent manner, and how this can be aided and directed through the use of other media.
In 2013, he co-founded Stratocluster, an ensemble focusing on multimedia improvisation, mainly through the use of lighting and analogue projections. They have performed at numerous venues and festivals, and in May 2015 prepared a program of pieces by Ian and Dutch composer Samuel Vriezen, which they toured around the Czech Republic. They have released a net-album; Tamanrasset, on Signals from Arkaim, a casette, with design by Max Máslo, jabka hrušky meotary, on Meteorismo, and their first CD, eter nagy, will be released by renowned Czech label polí5 in 2017. His debut collection of poetry, Partitury pro čtenáře (Scores for Readers) was published in 2017.
He often works collaboratively in theatre, dance or performance and video art. He composed original music for a production of Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss at the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital which was used as the basis for a film by Althea Thauberger, which then showed across North America and Europe. With Václav Gabriel Piňos, he co-authored The Analyses, loosely based on the life of composer Alois Piňos, for which he also composed the score. He also wrote and performed the music for Persona forte, a play by the artists Jan Pfeiffer and Markéta Magidová, premiered in Prague in 2015 and later shown as an installation piece in the PLATO Gallery in Ostrava. He also worked with the same artists on two video projects: Montage and Drž mi palce (Fingers Crossed), by Pfeiffer and Magidová respectively. Pfeiffer also curated his first solo show; an audiovisual installation at Galerie Pavilon (gallery of the Academy of Visual Arts in Prague) entitled 300′ writing, in collaboration with Prokop Jelínek and Jaroslav Noga.
His music has been performed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, the UK, Armenia, Lithuania, Greece, Spain and France, and by ensembles and performers like the Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, Ostravská banda, members of the Prague Philharmonic, VENI Ensemble, 6daexit Ensemble Athens, Annette Schönmüller, Keiko Shichijo, Hayk Melikyan or Lucie Víktová.
His texts, both creative, academic and journalistic, have been published in the anthology Abolishing Prague (Charles University Press) and magazines like Psí víno, Czech Music Quarterly, The Word Addict, The Goose – Journal for the Arts and the Environment in Canada, Slovo and Nový prostor. Since 2012, he has been a reviewer and writer for HISvoice. He has authored some 20 articles on Czech music for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
His translation of Filip Doušek’s novel Flock without Birds is set to be published in the UK, while his collaborative translation (with Veronika Pehe) of Lukáš Palán’s collection of poems Cunt Shit Hitler Prague will come out in 2018 with Jantar Publishing.