20.00 Opening night: Shakuhachi & Electronics

This evening will introduce almost the entire spectrum of music the festival has to offer. The main body of the concert will feature compositions and performances for the shakuhachi Japanese flute in context with electronic music. Jim Franklin will perform the premiere of his composition, Songs from the Lake #2 for shakuhachi, theremin and live electronics. Christopher Yohmei and Stanislav Abrahám will introduce their new audiovisual project Breadcrumbs / Drobky. Vlastislav Matoušek and Martin Cikánek will show their new performance Waves for shakuhachi and theremin.
Organic Electronics of Czech didjeridoo player, Daniel Bartoš, and a special set by Dj Nemesys will conclude the evening with an exciting rhythmic dance piece. 

Japanese Music: Justin Senryu (shakuhachi)
Improvised Music: Steve Cohn (shakuhachi), George Cremaschi (contra bass), Jim Franklin (shakuhachi, live-electronics)
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Songs from the Lake #2: Jim Franklin(shakuhachi, theremin, live-electronics); premiere

This  is one of a series of pieces bearing the title "Songs from the Lake". In them, the shakuhachi is combined with various forms of electronics and signal processing. The conceptually unifying characteristic is that they are intended for a single performer, who plays the shakuhachi and simultaneously plays or controls the live electronics.

In this piece, the shakuhachi is paired with the theremin, one of the earliest electronic musical instruments. The theremin is unique, in that it is played without touching it; it reacts to changes in the electromagnetic fields around two antennas, caused by movements of the performer's hands. In this piece, the sensitivity of the insturment is modified so that it responds to movements of the performer's entire body. This allows the shakuhachi player to "dance" around the theremin, playing it simultaneously with the flute. As a result, the two apparently diverse sound worlds - finely shaded shakuhachi tones, and shaped surfaces of the electronic sounds - can meet and merge.

The shakuhachi is presented in "pure" form - its sound is modified only by addition of reverberation, and occasionally with delays. The theremin signal is heavily processed, for example with ring modulation, filtering, pitch shifting and delays, to create a soundscape in which the shakuhachi is embedded - like a lake lying in a valley between mountains.

Waves: Martin Cikánek (theremin), Vlastislav Matoušek (shakuhachi)
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Drobky (Breadcrumbs): Christopher Yohmei Blasdel (shakuhachi), Stanislav Abrahám (av sound processing); audiovisual performance

Just as crumbs are not the entire slice of bread, there is no empty plate without breadcrumbs.

Processing of the sound of the flute in real time with use of sampling, frequency filters and granular synthesis: The aim of this intervention to a normal mode of playing is to esthetically grasp and highlight those components of sound which tend to be hidden under those layers which we are accustomed to give our musical attention to.

It will be the third year of collaboration between Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, a shakuhachi master, and Stanislav Abrahám, a Czech sound artist of the youngest generation. Whereas in the past years of the festival, Stanislav Abrahám participated along with his colleague Michal Šeba forming ambient electronic duo Data-live, this year, Stanislav will attempt to bring in his experience from the realm of new media and interactive technologies on his own. For Stanislav, performing on grounds of HAMU has its own significance because it was there he mastered the tools he will use in this performance under the leadership of composer and teacher, Michal Rataj, who also leads the school's composition workshop for electroacoustic music which reflects the most contemporary form of acoustic art.

Organic Electronica: Daniel Bartoš (didgeridoo)
Dj Nemesys

Salla terena of Lichtenstein Palace, free admission

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Data-live Prague