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SOFFA

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ISSUE THEME: MUSIC Most people cannot imagine life without music. In this issue we reflect on the past and the future of music and on the feelings that it evokes in us all. Tune in!


Contents

SOFFA ISSUE 22 IS DEDICATED TO

MUSIC Music and design have more in common than meets the eye – both bring joy and inspiration into our daily lives. And what inspiration does this issue offer? We begin with musings about the future of music from the publicist and hip hop expert Karel Veselý, whose vision of the future may read like a page out of a sci-fi novel. And where would the future be without the past? We return to our musical roots with a songbook of traditional music from Czechia’s three music regions, complete with notes and folk costumes. Classical music emanates from young debutants of the international music festival Dvořákova Praha, whom we present in a less than ‘classic’ photo gallery. They probably learnt music at their local liduška, featured in our story on things ‘utterly Czech’, where they played instruments that were quite different from those you will find in these pages! When you have had enough reading, listen to one of our special playlists – they sound divine on vinyl, record players and speakers produced by Czech firms like GZ Media, 440 Audio and AQ. Our photos from sunny Jamaica will get you moving to the offbeat rhythm of reggae, but if disco is more your thing then visit a garage where the disco ball rules!

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6 9 14 26 35 56 60 67 76 79 86 89 95 100 107 114 128 135 143 151 154

Welcome | Every Czech a Musician? Essay | To Your Own Tune Gallery | Architecture of Music Unusual Instruments | Clap, Move and Play Travel | Bornholm Car | Leave the City Behind Decor | Love of Sound Photo Essay | Sounds of Nature Culture | Road to Bob Dylan Creative People | Music for the Soul Editor’s Choice | Pure Listening Pleasure Fashion | In Step with Colour Travel | The Rhythm of Reggae Decor | Sitting Pretty Creative People | Music Therapy Dvořákova Praha | Oratorio to Youth Interior | Of Bikes and Men Creative People | Vinyl Fever Fashion | Summer Interlude Utterly Czech | Our Liduška Songbook | Trio of Tradition


Welcome

EVERY CZECH A MUSICIAN? One of the things I love the most about my work is coming up with the themes for upcoming issues and the content of individual editions. I must admit, however, that the theme of music, to which the issue you have just opened is dedicated, has been a daunting proposition since the team had agreed on it about a year ago. Why? Although I love music, I’m not as comfortable in the music realm as I am in visual art and literature. So this issue was a bit of a personal challenge for me, and as it has turned out, also for much of the editorial team – even though we have fans of hip hop, Mozart and traditional folk songs in our midst. When we were discovering who can play what on our team, who has a musical ear and who doesn’t, we all recalled the piano, guitar or violin lessons we had to attend as children. And then we realised that we had all attended the liduška, Czechia’s ubiquitous public art school, and that is why we decided to honour the humble liduška with a somewhat nostalgic piece. Some on the team have studied music with good results, and some, like me, with a bit of drama that continues to this day. Playing the piano has for me become an almost unattainable goal, but secretly I hope to take it up again when I retire. So you see, the age-old saying ‘every Czech is a musician’ isn’t quite true. But who knows, maybe I will become a musician in retirement. How about you? PS: Be sure to visit www.soffamag.com/music to listen to playlists that were prepared especially for this issue!

Adéla Kudrnová | editor in chief

photo: Adéla Havelková RIGHT: Wireless Bluetooth Headphones by Bose, www.rstore.cz

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SOFFA COMMUNITY WE ARE OFTEN ASKED WHAT SOFFA IS AND WHAT WE ARE PLANNING NEXT. THERE IS A LOT TO SOFFA! IN ADDITION TO THE PRINTED AND ONLINE MAGAZINE, OUR WEB PLATFORM OFFERS ENGAGING VIDEOS AND PODCASTS IN CZECH. EVERYONE IS ALSO WELCOME TO BECOME PART OF THE SOFFA COMMUNITY THROUGH OUR WORKSHOPS AND THE WEB-BASED CREATIVE PLATFORM MINDTRAVELLERS.NET. AND IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A UNIQUE DESIGN GIFT, BE SURE TO LOOK IN OUR E-SHOP!

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illustration: Lenka Hlaváčová

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Essay

TO YOUR OWN TUNE A BLUE-HAIRED NYMPH PERFORMING YOUR MEGAHIT AT A VIRTUAL CONCERT? THE MUSIC PUBLICIST KAREL VESELÝ MUSES ABOUT THE FUTURE OF POP. text: Karel Veselý

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ON STAGE, HATSUNE MIKU MAKES FOR A SURREAL VISION. SCREAMING FANS WAVE THEIR FLUORESCENT LIGHTS EXCITEDLY AS HER LONG BLUE HAIR UNDULATES THROUGH SEVERAL LAYERS OF HOLOGRAPHIC PROJECTION. THE ENERGY IS CONTAGIOUS AROUND THE UNTOUCHABLE HATSUNE MIKU, A POP STAR LIKE NO OTHER. SHE IS VIRTUAL AND YET, FOR MANY IN THE AUDIENCE, MORE REAL THAN IDOLS MADE OF FLESH AND BLOOD – ALL BECAUSE SHE DOES WHAT THE AUDIENCE TELLS HER TO DO. THE JAPANESE VIRTUAL IDOL FORESHADOWS THE FUTURE OF POP, WHERE THE LINES BETWEEN THE ARTIST AND THE CONSUMER ARE BLURRED.

Hatsune Miku was born in 2004 as Vocaloid, a computer program for voice modulation, and three years later gained the persona of a short-skirted sixteen-year-old girl with turquoise hair. The software packaging introduced Hatsune as ‘an Android diva in the near-future world where songs are lost’ and suggested subliminally that if something is lost, it needs to be discovered again. Developed by Crypton Future Media, the package allows would-be composers to write simple songs for Hatsune. The results can be posted on social networks, together with the animated dance routines their software also helps create. ‘I was so lonely and you took me by your gentle hands,’ sings the blue haired nymph. So far the history of pop has been written by brilliant musicians and their managers. Hatsune Miku is different. The fact that she has sold out concerts, topped the Japanese charts, overtaken Lady Gaga in popularity and guest-starred on American talk shows is all thanks to the enthusiasm of her fans, whose creativity breathes life into the virtual idol. Pop stars have always thrived on their listeners’ enthusiasm, but what happens when fans realise they don’t need unpredictable idols and can ‘perform’ their own music instead? When Hatsune Miku sold out two shows last spring at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, the New York Times featured an apocalyptic headline: ‘Does Hatsune Miku’s arrival signal the end of music as we know it?’ Perhaps their prophesy is true, but it may also signal the beginning of something new. The internet has narrowed the gap between musicians and their audiences – music is now sold directly from the artist and fans promote their favourite musicians on social networks. But perhaps the greatest change in recent times came when consumers realised that a song is nothing more than open code waiting to be rearranged ►


with modern technology tools. In the naughties creative computer geeks made wild remixes of two or more songs, known as mash-ups, and a few years ago the internet was beset with the viral madness of Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake, which drove people to post their own versions on YouTube. Memes with slogans from hip hop hits are the latest trend, showing up in places like Twitter and Instagram. Already this year two songs whose popularity was born out of memes have reached the top of the American charts – Bad and Boujee by Migos and Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd. The popularity of the two songs indicates that today’s hits are made in the wild land of internet discourse, a process that is both improbable and unpredictable. People will remake songs to their own liking. Musicians need to come to terms with this, and some already have. When two years ago the Icelandic musician Björk released her album Vulnicura, she followed it shortly with a mobile application that enabled her fans to easily remix the album. Accompanying the album release was an immersive virtual reality exhibition featuring 360-degree video clips, some of which are available on line. Just like the rest of the internet, music is heading towards personalised experience. When you listen to the American singer Bill Baird’s album Summer is Gone on a streaming service, the order of the songs changes depending on your location and the time of day. So everyone hears a different album, just as with Brian Eno’s latest album Reflection, which generates itself through an app on the basis of a randomly chosen algorithm. We like our music, and we also like to feel personally connected to it. Hatsune Miku, the star that plays your whims, is the tip of the iceberg for the personalised experience we will demand in the future. Services like Pandora, Spotify and Amazon already embrace this approach when creating playlists based on a listener’s mood or previously chosen music with the help of artificial intelligence that analyses tempo, key or the instruments used. Smart software is capable of a lot more though, and it is clear it will be an important element of the future of music. Last autumn a team of computer scientists from Paris and New York released the first song written by artificial intelligence known as the Flow Machine. The song Daddy’s Car was created from a detailed analysis of the music of the Beatles, and was further refined by the French musician and composer Benoît Carré. The song sounds a bit like a hit the Fab Four could have written, but never did. A similar approach will probably soon be used to create advertising songs or – if copyright owners allow it – new recordings of artists long gone. ‘Retro’ is a lucrative commodity, so it is only a matter ►

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of time before someone cashes in on it. And in (virtual) reality there is no reason why the Beatles or Elvis could not appear on stage again. They can come back with the help of holograms that have brought us not only Hatsune Miku, but also the ‘return’ of Michael Jackson and the rapper Tupac Shakur. However, there is one thing we cannot expect from artificial intelligence – originality – not yet at least. Originality has always been a uniquely human trait. Artificial intelligence can compose consumer music for advertising or TV, music that follows a strict format and requires nothing out of the ordinary, but it cannot advance the evolution of pop. It does though promise to be an indispensable aid in the recording studio, a composer’s equal partner holding an encyclopedic knowledge of processes and possibilities. And not only a musician’s partner, because smart software will make composing that much easier for all of us. It will become as fundamental to pop as the electric guitar and drum machine. The next revolution in popular music lurks just around the corner, so close you can almost hear it. Listen to a playlist made by Karel Veselý at www.soffamag.com/music ■


26. – 30. 10. Designblok

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Prague International Design Festival www.designblok.cz Designblok is supported by following institutions: EUNIC Cluster CR – European Union National Institutes for Culture, Czech Centres, Prague 1 and Prague 7 City Districts, National Museum, Netherlands Embassy in Prague, Embassy of Belgium – Delegation of Wallonia, Embassy of Belgium – Delegation of Flanders, Embassy of Norway in Prague, Lithuanian Embassy in Prague, Embassy of Finland in Prague, Goethe Institute in Prague, Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Prague, Italian Cultural Institute, Hungarian Cultural Institute in Prague, Cervantes Institute in Prague, Polish Institute in Prague, Camões institute in Prague, Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague Official Suppliers: Parfumerie Douglas, Excelent, SPYRON, TONI&GUY, Veuve Clicquot Diploma Selection / Czech Section support: T-Mobile Media Partners: Apetit, Architect+, Art+Antiques, Dopravní podnik hl. m. Prahy, dolcevita.cz, ELLE Decoration, elle.cz, ERA21, Flash Art, H.O.M.i.E., Marianne Bydlení, Nové proměny bydlení, Radio1, SOFFA Foreign media partners: Atrium, H.O.M.E., Designum, H.O.M.i.E.

Partners:

Česko – země příběhů Nespresso T-Mobile Výstaviště Praha Holešovice Penta

Main Media Partners:

General Media Partner:

Main Partners:

General Partner:


Gallery

ARCHITECTURE OF MUSIC THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, CONCERT AND THEATRE HALLS HAVE TRADITIONALLY FEATURED SPECTACULAR ARCHITECTURE. THEIR REFINED ACOUSTICS AND INNOVATIVE STRUCTURAL FORMS COMBINE TO CREATE AN AWE-INSPIRING EXPERIENCE. text: Hana Švolbová | illustration: Lenka Hlaváčová | photo: Shutterstock and company archives

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MANY THEATRE, OPERA AND MUSEUM BUILDINGS EMBODY SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF ARCHITECTURE THROUGH THE AGES. SOME ARE EVEN VEILED IN LEGENDS INTRIGUING ENOUGH TO LURE VISITORS WHO HAVE NOT YET BEEN KISSED BY A MUSE. WITH DEVELOPMENTS IN LATE TWENTIETH AND TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ARCHITECTURE, MANY NEW CONCERT HALLS HAVE BEEN HONOURED BY THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS PRIZES IN ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN.

Prize-winning buildings often serve as the impetus for a new trend or development in architecture, inviting admiration for the materials used or the awesome structural feats achieved. Music inspires an architect’s creativity, and so it is not surprising that prized concert halls are defined not only by the perfection of their design, but also their functionality. There are many famous opera houses throughout the world, and names like La Scala, Wiener Staatsoper [Vienna Opera House] and Dresden’s Semperoper are particularly recognisable. When thinking about modern architecture and music, most people will immediately conjure up the Sydney Opera House, one of the most photographed buildings across the globe. Musicians dream of performing at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and although the hall doesn’t impress with its form, its acoustics and fame are difficult to match. The same can be said of London’s Wigmore Hall. In Czechia we too have our grand architectural tributes to music – the Renaissance Revival Rudolfinum and the Art Nouveau Municipal House, to name but a few. Our gallery features five architectural gems that challenge the notion that twenty-first century architecture is all about uninspiring office building and residential complexes. Built since the year 2000, the five concert halls presented here have been awarded a number of prizes, including the prestigious Mies Award given once every two years to the best European building. SOFFA’s selection includes buildings designed primarily for symphonic orchestras, chamber music and concert-style performance of operatic arias. We should note that this is but a representative sample, for in spite of the global financial crisis of 2007–08, many beautiful buildings have been purpose built for the arts over the past decade. We can only hope for a similar arts centre with a noteworthy design to be constructed here in the Czech Republic. ■


ELBE PHILHARMONIC HALL | HAMBURG, GERMANY At the end of 2016, after years of waiting, the port city of Hamburg was rewarded with a new music cathedral. The Elbe Philharmonic Hall, designed by the Basel-based architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron, beautifully encapsulates the traditional symbols of Hamburg – the windy weather, the water element and the city harbour. These symbols are reflected not only in the building design, which features a roofline that sways like a stormy sea, but also in its location. Rising to the height of some 110 metres, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall is framed on its three sides by the river Elbe. To withstand flooding, the building’s first level was constructed some 8.5 metres above sea level, and its unique location makes it a great navigation point for passing ships. Visitors to any of its three concert venues need not worry about the noise of a passing steamer – music is all you hear thanks to the work of the world-famous acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota. photo: Shutterstock


KILDEN PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE | KRISTIANSAND, NORWAY The Kilden Performing Arts Centre, which houses the local theatre, opera and symphony orchestra, opened its doors in 2011. Like the previous two buildings featured in this gallery, this temple of the performing arts is also located on the water, which it beautifully evokes. The dominant feature of the rectangular building is a massive, undulating wall that emerges out of the building and over the entrance like a giant wave. The massive wave is more than a striking decorative element of the exterior – it retracts dramatically into the interior and lends the building its state-of-the-art acoustics. To make the massive wall, the Finnish architectural studio ALA Architects, collaborating with the Norwegian studio SMS Architects, used oak wood planks sourced from the local area. The four venues found inside the arts centre were designed with unique materials to serve their specific functions, and the superb acoustics make the Kilden Performing Arts Centre suitable for all types of music, from classic to rock. photo: Tuomas Uusheimo


SZCZECIN PHILHARMONIC HALL | SZCZECIN, POLAND In 2014, the port city of Szczecin gained a striking, white concert hall built on the spot of a former music hall destroyed during the Second World War. An architectural duo from the Spanish architectural studio Barozzi Veiga crafted a performance venue that is at once unimposing yet infinitely multi-faceted, thanks in part to its striking glass facade and modifiable lighting. The creators were inspired by the history of the city, the saddle roofline of the surrounding area, and the sails of the ships floating in the nearby harbour. The simple interior of the hall is intended to facilitate a seamless visitor experience, and the building’s simplicity extends to its operation, which relies on energy saving technologies. Perhaps the only departure from simplicity are the reflective interior walls made of gold-plated triangular panels, which are responsible for the festive and ever changing atmosphere inside the performance hall. The building was honoured with the Mies Award in 2015. photo: ŽHufton + Crow


CONCERT HALL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE HARPA | REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND Iceland began to build the captivating concert and conference hall in Reykjavík’s harbour during the global financial crisis. The investment paid off and two years after its completion in 2011 the kaleidoscopic Harpa with its spellbinding glass facade won the Mies Award for the best European building. The design of the concert hall and conference centre is the work of the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects in collaboration with the Icelandic architecture studio Batteríiö and the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The southern facade of Harpa is covered in steel and glass quasi-bricks that evoke the basalt rock formation of Iceland. The building stands not only as a reflection of the sober Icelandic landscape, but also as a reflection of the surrounding harbour, whose surface mirrors its stunning design. The interplay of light entering and exiting the building is an experience to be savoured both inside and outside the spectacular Harpa. photo: Shutterstock


WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL | LOS ANGELES, USA Out of the five buildings presented in our gallery, the Walt Disney Concert Hall required the longest time between the building’s first design and its completion. The renowned architect Frank Gehry won the design competition in 1987, but music did not sound in its halls until 2003. But there were benefits to the delays in construction, as Gehry reworked his original plans to take advantage of emerging technologies and his experience on other projects. As a result, he let go of the idea of a stone facade and replaced it with a dynamic steel construction full of movement. The building’s exterior appears complex thanks to an internal structure that resembles a flower, but the interior is relatively simple and highlights natural materials. Even the concert hall is not imposing – despite its large capacity – making it possible for audiences to savour an intimate music experience. The hall has also become famous for its perfect acoustics, made possible by Frank Gehry’s collaboration with the acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota. photo: Shutterstock


Unusual Instruments

CLAP, MOVE AND PLAY IN COLLABORATION WITH THE CITÉ DE LA MUSIQUE IN PARIS, SOFFA PRESENTS SIX STRIKING OBJECTS CREATED TO ENDOW OUR LIVES WITH MELODY AND HARMONY. text: Patrik Florián | photo: © Musée de la musique

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THE HUMAN BODY, WATER, VIBRATION, FRICTION – ANYTHING THAT MAKES SOUND CAN BE LABELLED AN INSTRUMENT OF MUSIC. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ARE AS OLD AS HUMANITY: PALMS CLAPPING RHYTHMICALLY, WHISTLES ANNOUNCING THE START OF A HUNT, TRUMPETS HERALDING CELEBRATION, DRUMS ACCOMPANYING RITUALS. SOME INSTRUMENTS HAVE EVOLVED FROM A PURELY FUNCTIONAL FORM AND TAKEN ON A WIDE SPECTRUM OF SHAPES, MATERIALS AND SIZES. THEIR PURPOSE TODAY IS MAINLY TO ENTERTAIN.

Ancient Egyptians believed that the goddess Hathor brought music to the world, together with musical instruments, dance and love. The first documented musical instrument was a flute from animal bone made between 37,000 and 67,000 years ago. Instruments evolved regionally and explorers and merchant travellers introduced them to other parts of the world. The study of the history of musical instruments is called organology, from the Ancient Greek word órganon, originally used to describe any instrument, not only a musical one. Later the term was adopted for the king of musical instruments, the majestic organ. Musical instruments can be classified by their range, the way in which they make sound, their shape and their material. The most common system is the Sachs-Hornbostel classification of musical instruments, created by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs in 1914. The system identifies six groups of instruments based on the way they make sound. Idiophones, instruments in which sound is produced by vibrations in the body of the instrument itself, include bells, gongs, the triangle and other more unique instruments such as castanets and the boom-ba. Drums, tambourines and kazoos are membranophones, instruments that make sound through the vibration of a tightly stretched membrane. Chordophones include the most popular string instruments such as the violin, guitar, harp and piano. Aerophones make sound with the vibrations of the air and include the flute, clarinet, saxophone and trumpet. A theoretical group of instruments includes hydrophones, instruments that make sound with water. Finally, the youngest and perhaps most complex of instruments translate electrical energy into sound. These are called electrophones and by definition, they make no sound without a power supply. How does the future of sound-making look? It includes an electronic mini-organ capable of replicating the sound of the magnificent church organ; gloves that create melody via the simple movement of a hand; an electronic mushroom with sensors that react to pressing, bending and shaking; and the Holophone, a musical instrument that creates sound and paints holographic 3D images in the air. ■


Thomas Zach | 1873 | Austria

VIOLINO HARPA FORMA MAGNA

THE CLASSIC VIOLIN SHAPE DEVELOPED BY THE ITALIAN VIOLIN-MAKING DYNASTIES OF AMATI, GUARNERI AND STRADIVARI HAS LONG BEEN CONSIDERED THE PERFECT SHAPE AND HAS THUS NOT CHANGED MUCH SINCE THE MIDDLE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. HOWEVER, SOME VIOLIN MAKERS HAVE TAKEN A MORE CREATIVE APPROACH TO THE TRADITIONAL VIOLIN FORM. ONE OF THESE WAS THE CZECH NATIVE THOMAS ZACH, WHO FIRST MADE VIOLINS IN PRAGUE AND LATER SETTLED IN VIENNA, WHERE HE WAS HIGHLY REGARDED IN HIS FIELD. HE RECEIVED SEVERAL PRIZES AT THE WORLD EXPO AND HIS CLIENTS INCLUDED THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.


SERPENT

Antoine Gabriel Baudouin | first half of the nineteenth century | France

SERPENT IS A BASS-WIND INSTRUMENT DESCENDED FROM THE CORNETT, A DISTANT ANCESTOR OF THE TUBA. ITS FORM RESEMBLES A SLITHERING SNAKE – HENCE ITS NAME. THE MASSIVE INSTRUMENT MADE USUALLY FROM WALNUT WOOD FEATURES IN THE COMPOSITIONS OF FAMOUS COMPOSERS, INCLUDING HANDEL’S BEAUTIFUL WATER MUSIC. FROM THE END OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY THE SERPENT ACCOMPANIED CHURCH SINGING, AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY IT JOINED THE RANKS OF INSTRUMENTS USED IN MILITARY ORCHESTRAS. IT WAS REPLACED BY OTHER INSTRUMENTS IN TIME, AND BY THE TURN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY IT WAS RETIRED COMPLETELY.


Jacob Hes | 1586 | Italy

RENAISSANCE LUTE

THE EARLIEST REFERENCES TO LUTES COME FROM MESOPOTAMIA, WHERE THE INSTRUMENT WAS MADE FROM A CARVED GOURD COVERED IN ANIMAL SKIN. THE LUTE WAS INTRODUCED TO EUROPE BY ARAB CULTURES AND QUICKLY GAINED IN POPULARITY, RESULTING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF NO FEWER THAN 40 DIFFERENT TYPES OF LUTE. CHANGING MUSICAL TASTES IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LED TO A DECLINE IN THE INSTRUMENT’S POPULARITY, HOWEVER, AND IN TIME IT WAS REPLACED BY THE GUITAR. BUT DURING THE TWENTIETH CENTURY THE LUTE EXPERIENCED A RENAISSANCE, AND TODAY WE CAN HARDLY IMAGINE A FAIRY TALE WITHOUT AN ITINERANT LUTE PLAYER.


CRISTAL BASCHET

Bernard and François Baschet | 1980 | France

CRISTAL BASCHET IS A LEGENDARY INSTRUMENT DEVELOPED IN 1952 BY THE INSTRUMENT MAKERS AND ARTISTS, THE BROTHERS BASCHET. THEY WERE AMONG THE PIONEERS OF THE SO-CALLED MUSIQUE CONCRÈTE [CONCRETE MUSIC]. THE INSTRUMENT BECAME FAMOUS IN CZECHIA AFTER THE CZECH ARTIST LENKA MORÁVKOVÁ MET THE SPANISH MUSICIAN MARTÍ RUIDS, AN INSTRUMENT MAKER AND FOLLOWER OF THE BROTHERS BASCHET. TOGETHER THEY COMMISSIONED THE FIRST CZECH VERSION OF THE INSTRUMENT, MADE FROM JABLONEC GLASS AND METAL RESONATORS, AND CALLED IT THE BOHEMIAN CRISTAL INSTRUMENT.


John Matthias Augustus Stroh | 1925 | Great Britain

VIOLINOPHONE

VIOLINOPHONE, ALSO KNOWN AS THE STROH VIOLIN, WAS BUILT IN 1899 BY J.M.A. STROH BY COMBINING A VIOLIN WITH A METAL RESONATOR. THE INSTRUMENT DOESN’T HAVE THE TYPICAL RESONATING BODY OF A VIOLIN, BUT A FRAME WITH A FINGERBOARD TO WHICH STRINGS ARE ATTACHED. THE BRIDGE IS CONNECTED TO A METAL HORN, WHICH AMPLIFIES THE SOUND AND GIVES IT DIRECTION. THE INSTRUMENT WAS VERY POPULAR BETWEEN THE TWO WORLD WARS, WHEN IT OFTEN REPLACED THE VIOLIN FOR RECORDING ON A PHONOGRAPH. TODAY IT IS MOSTLY A CURIOSITY, ALTHOUGH IN ROMANIA IT HAS BECOME A POPULAR FOLK INSTRUMENT.


BIG BRIAR THEREMIN

Moog Music Inc. | 1990-1993 | USA

THEREMIN IS AN ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENT DEVELOPED BY THE RUSSIAN INVENTOR LÉON THEREMIN IN 1920. THE FIRST INSTRUMENT TO BE PLAYED WITHOUT PHYSICAL CONTACT, THE THEREMIN IS VERY DIFFICULT TO MASTER. THE INSTRUMENT MIXES THE FREQUENCY OF TWO NON-SYNCHRONISED OSCILLATORS – ONE HAS A FIXED FREQUENCY AND THE FREQUENCY OF THE OTHER CHANGES AS THE PERFORMER’S RIGHT HAND MOVES TOWARDS THE ANTENNAE. THE VOLUME IS DRIVEN BY A THIRD OSCILLATOR INTENDED FOR THE LEFT HAND. THE INSTRUMENT INSPIRED GROUPS LIKE LED ZEPPELIN AND THE BEACH BOYS AND CAN BE HEARD IN ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S FILM SPELLBOUND.


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Travel

BORNHOLM WELCOME TO AN ISLAND WHERE EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU EXPECT. IT IS DENMARK, BUT IT DOESN’T SEEM DANISH. IT LIES IN THE BALTIC SEA, BUT IT FEELS MEDITERRANEAN. BORNHOLM MARCHES TO ITS OWN TUNE. text: Adéla Kudrnová | photo: Adéla Kudrnová and Ondřej Lipár


THEY SAY THAT WHEN GOD CREATED SCANDINAVIA, THERE WERE BITS LEFT OVER – SOME WATER, LAND, ROCKS, CLIFFS, VALLEYS AND FINE SAND. HE THREW THEM ALL INTO THE VERY HEART OF THE BALTIC SEA, AND THAT’S HOW BORNHOLM CAME TO BE – A PICTURESQUE ISLAND LOCATED CLOSER TO SWEDEN AND GERMANY THAN TO ITS DANISH KINGDOM. PERHAPS THAT IS WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO ITS ONE OF A KIND ATMOSPHERE, WHICH IS SURE TO GRAB YOU AS MUCH AS IT HAS US. OH, AND DID YOU KNOW? BORNHOLM IS A FOODIE’S PARADISE!

Perhaps paradoxically, as Bornholm’s popularity as a tourist destination is rising, its permanent population is on the decline. Fewer than 40,000 people live on Bornholm, which measures some twenty by thirty kilometres and can be compared in size to Prague. Its population has been dwindling from 43,000 in 2007 to the projected 36,000 in 2018. All this while the island – formerly known for its smoked herring and the iconic dish Sol over Gudhjem [Sun over Gudhjem] – offers more than ever before, especially when it comes to fine food, fine craft and the arts! Bornholm is unusual in many ways. Found in the middle of the Baltic Sea, its warm summers and long, sunny days give it the atmosphere of an island in the Mediterranean. Only the ever-present cool breeze reminds that you are on the very southern tip of Scandinavia. The north of the island is rocky, its stones and boulders giving way to massive cliffs guarding over the sea. The southern tip is fringed by a long ribbon of sandy beaches flanked by azure blue on the one side and towering sand dunes on the other. The sand is so fine that it is used to make hourglasses, and the beaches are quite simply among the most beautiful in all of Europe! The middle of the island is sparsely settled, covered by the Almindigen forest that stretches across two valleys. You can pick mushrooms there, not a pastime favoured by the locals, and so you are assured a brimming basket! The Bornholm dialect is also unusual. Although a variant of Danish, it has retained elements of the Old Norse language and is more intelligible to Swedes and Norwegians than it is to Danes. ► PREVIOUS PAGE AND RIGHT: At the end of every June, the charming fishing town of Gudhjem – which translates to ‘the home of gods’ – becomes a magnet for foodies. They are drawn to the annual gastronomy festival and cooking competition known as Sol over Gudhjem [Sun over Gudhjem], named after the local specialty of smoked herring and raw egg yolk served with rye bread. In contrast to the southern part of the island, the north is very rocky – large boulders characterise the landscape of the interior while pebble beaches and cliff faces define the coastline.

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RIGHT: Every coastal town and village on Bornholm has its own smokehouse. Your search for the nearest one will be aided by tall white chimneys, which shine like beacons in the distance. The largest smokehouses are found in Hasle on the eastern coast. Smoked herring, salmon and mackerel is best eaten with bread or Danish potato salad.


Perched above the Helligdomsklipperne cliffs, the exterior of the modern Art Museum of Bornholm captivates with its clean lines.

LEFT AND RIGHT: Indulge in Karamelleriet caramels and chocolate from Svanake Chokoladeri. Then whet your cultural appetite at gallery R2.


There is almost a medieval feel to the island, defined mainly by its round Romanesque churches, quaint fishing villages, the ruin of the Hammershus fortress and the timber framed houses of Rønne, Nexø and Svaneke. This historical side of the island contrasts sharply with the latest in gastronomical and culinary trends, which are finding a solid fan base on Bornholm, especially in the use of local ingredients. There is no best place to start your exploration of Bornholm. After all, you can get from one end to the other in about a half hour. However, your exploration should definitely include the four so-called round churches [rundkirke], one of the most recognisable symbols of the island. The oldest and largest of the four was built in the village of Østerlars around 1150. The characteristic design of the church, supported by a massive central column, is derived from the defence function it served in the past. On Bornholm there are no towns in the classic sense of the word. Even the largest settlement on the island, the capital Rønne, looks like an enlarged Lego city. But don’t be fooled – it’s well worth your visit! You must not miss the town centre with its timber framed houses, the oldest theatre in Denmark still in operation, and Hjorths Fabrik, a 150-year old ceramics factory and ceramics museum under one roof. A few kilometres further north is Hasle, which boasts the largest smokehouses on the island, where you will learn about the history of fishing in the area and about fish preservation. Art and crafts enthusiasts should not miss an exhibition at the Grønbechs Gård, a tastefully renovated former food warehouse. And if you visit in summer, take a dip in the floating swimming area known as Hasle Havnebad [harbour pool], the town’s response to the declining fishing trade. The next place to explore is Svaneke on the northeastern tip of the island, selected in 2013 as the most beautiful town in Denmark. It has one of the most picturesque of Bornholm harbours complete with a lighthouse (available for accommodation at www.svanekefyr.dk). In the centre of Svaneke be sure to visit the Svaneke Bryghus brewery, the Pernille Bülow glassworks and the R2 art gallery, located right next to the famous Svaneke Brød bakery. An equally charming and welcoming town is Gudhjem on the northern side of the island. Narrow lanes wind their way to the top of a small hill dominated by a large windmill, and in the lanes you will find quaint shops selling the wares of local artists and the sweet-smelling Karamel Kompagniet toffee house. ► RIGHT: Chef Nicolai Nørregaard, who was born in Svaneke on the eastern side of the island, has opened a restaurant on the southern sandy coast. Named Kadeau, the restaurant was awarded the prestigious Michelin star in 2016. A multi-course meal at Kadeau includes delicious bread served with hay ash butter.

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THIS SPREAD: No other historical monument defines the history of the island as well as its round churches. There are four round churches on Bornholm – the largest is in the town of Ă˜sterlars and the smallest in the settlement of Nyker. The beautiful column of the church in Nylars has the most intricate decoration.


THIS SPREAD: Craftsmanship thrives on Bornholm, and you will find small artisan workshops – making everything from leather products, jewellery, glassware and ceramics – scattered throughout the island. Local artisans are welcoming to visitors and let you sneak a peak at their latest creations. Two great examples are the Baltic Sea Glass glassworks and the makers of leather products Broe & Co.


West of Gudhjem overlooking the cliffs of Helligdomsklipperne is the Art Museum of Bornholm, a modern art gallery housed in one of the most prized modern buildings of northern Europe. Art, fine craft and design are also on offer a little further to the west – first at Baltic Sea Glass and then in the port of Listed. Madam Stoltz’s designer homeware is based in Listed, and the jeweller and timepiece maker Sebastian Frost has opened his flagship store and cafe there. Bornholm is also about sport and summer fun. The island is a web of cycling trails and its gently rolling landscape is perfect for a day in the saddle. If you visit in the summer you are likely to spend a lot of time in the south and southwest, where the Balka and Dueodde beaches are found, with their picture perfect white sand and turquoise sea. You may feel a little lost in paradise, and so you won’t be surprised to learn that the green hilly area within sight of the sea is known as Paradisbakkerne [Paradise Hills]. And there is one other interesting fact about the south of Bornholm: the Øster Sømarken settlement about 200 metres from the coast is the exact spot where the fifteenth meridian east and the fifty-fifth parallel north intersect. In contrast to the rest of Bornholm, the northern Hammeren peninsula feels very rugged – wild seas, weathered rocks and land covered in heath and dwarf pine. The peninsula offers a beautiful walking trail along which you will see two lighthouses and the remains of the fourteenth century Solomons Kapel church. At the end of the walk the majestic silhouette of the Hammershus fortress awaits. Today the largest ruin in northern Europe, Hammershus was built by king Valdemar II of Denmark and reached its glory around the year 1575. The new cultural centre set to open in 2018, some 200 metres from the fortress, will bring the medieval castle to life. North of Hammershus is the small Hammerhavn harbour, which is worth stopping in thanks to a cluster of small wooden houses designed by the architect studio Cubo. The windswept little houses offer up refreshments and hide a small museum and an office space. Further south, back towards Rønne and near a place called ► LEFT AND NEXT PAGE: Experiencing a downturn in the fishing industry, the fishing town of Hasle responded proactively and developed the Hasle Havnebad [harbour pool] in the Hasle harbour. Designed by the architect studio White, the ultra-modern havnebad includes two swimming pools, terraces offering views out to the sea and a sauna for colder weather. The interior of the Hallegaard farm shop beckons you to sit down and taste one of their specialities made from organically raised livestock.

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RIGHT: Why not open a cafe next to a workshop making beautiful timepieces? That was the question to which the jeweller and entrepreneur Sebastian Frost gave a resounding ‘yes’ when he opened a cafe under his workshop in the small port of Listed. The cafe interior blends Scandinavian design with Mexican influences. Mølgaard & Marcussen ceramics are found in the capital Rønne.


THIS SPREAD: The climate on the southern side of Bornholm is reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Tall grass-covered sand dunes are created by the cold Baltic wind as it blows over the fine white sand. The dunes offer welcome refuge from the cool breeze.


Jons Kapel, you will find one of the largest cliffs on Bornholm. After descending some hundred and fifty steps you will be rewarded by the spellbinding view of a towering rock face overlooking the stormy sea. An integral part of a visit to Bornholm is gastronomy and food in general. There are so many wonderful restaurants, cafes and food shops on the island that sometimes it feels like you are doing nothing but eating. Over the past decade Bornholm has become a true foodie island. In the traditional smokehouses, which you will find in every harbour, local smoked fish – herring, salmon, cod or other – with Danish potato salad is a must. If you find it difficult to choose from their large selection, just order a buffet and try a bit of everything. Smoked fish should be washed down with a beer, preferably a local brew from Svaneke or Penyllan. At the Penyllan brewery they also make their own tonic water, which you can try at the Underbar in the Nordlandet hotel in Sandvig. If you are to visit just one restaurant on Bornholm, then it must be Kadeau on the southern coast, which won a Michelin star in 2016. Under the watchful eye of chef and co-owner Nicolai Nørregaard, you can be served a five-course or an eight-course meal made entirely from local ingredients: from the mushrooms picked in the local forest to the meat from a local meat farmer and butcher, to the herbs from the restaurant’s own garden. And they serve one more local thing at Kadeau – an unsurpassed view of the sea! Another place with its eye on local ingredients is Gaarden, the first Danish establishment specialising in regional food and gastronomy. Located near Gudhjem, Gaarden offers cooking courses for professionals and amateurs. Gudhjem is also home to Denmark’s largest annual cooking competition and gastronomy festival – Sol over Gudhjem. In addition to fish and local beer, the festival features excellent meat and sausages from the Hallegaard meat farm, goat’s milk products from the nearby Lykkelund goat farm, St. Clemens cheeses from the Bornholm Andelsmejeri in Klemensker and sea buckthorn specialities made by Høstet. And if there is one type of food that is particularly successful on the island, it is sweets and ice cream. Toffee from Karamelleriet and ice cream from Bornholms Ismejeri in Svaneke are an absolute must, as is a visit to one of the most charming cafes and ice creameries in the world – Sandvig Is Kalas. You’ll want to sit forever on the steps that lead from the cafe down to the sea! For more information visit bornholm.info and www.destinationen.dk ■

LEFT: Designed by the architect studio Cubo, the multifunctional houses in the picturesque port of Hammerhavn were conceived in a way so as to offer views in all four directions.

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Car

LEAVE THE CITY BEHIND DISCOVER A NEW CORNER OF THE COUNTRY, EXPERIENCE SOMETHING UNEXPECTED OR SIMPLY THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND. THE NEW MINI COUNTRYMAN IS YOUR COMPANION FOR ALL KINDS OF ADVENTURE. partner for the article: MINI Czech Republic | text: Ondřej Lipár | photo: Adéla Havelková, company archives and Wikimedia Commons


NOT MANY THINGS MATCH THE SATISFACTION OF SETTING OFF FOR A LONG ROAD TRIP WITH SOMEONE WHO TRULY UNDERSTANDS YOU. GIDDY WITH ANTICIPATION OF THE MEMORIES TO COME, YOU PLAY A SOUNDTRACK MADE ESPECIALLY FOR THE JOURNEY. YOU HAVE ALL YOUR ESSENTIALS PLUS A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA, BECAUSE THIS IS MINI COUNTRYMAN – READY FOR AN EXCURSION BEYOND THE CONFINES OF NARROW CITY STREETS. GO AND CLIMB TO THE TOPS OF GREEN HILLS, DIVE DEEP UNDER WATER, COLLECT UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES. AND LET YOUR MINI WORRY ABOUT YOUR COMFORTS.

It’s not all that different to leaving your suburban home and the monotonous drone of a lawnmower and heading for rugged mountains with friends who have been with you through thick and thin. The new Mini Countryman adventurer woos you to leave the mundane behind and explore the magic of the wild. The deft four-wheeler provides for all your comforts and offers everything you might need on the road. The largest Mini made so far, it will comfortably transport not only your luggage, but all your favourite things that would otherwise be left behind. And that’s in addition to its space for five adventure seekers, including ones with long legs. Listen to a Mini playlist made for your summer journeys at www.soffamag.com/music For more information visit www.mini.cz ■

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MINI COUNTRYMAN: The Mini is kind to nature thanks to its plug-in hybrid version, available besides the standard petrol and diesel motors. Standard features include satellite navigation, digital radio and connectivity through Bluetooth and Mini Connected.


Decor

LOVE OF SOUND THE YOUNG AUDIOVISUAL STUDIO FULLSTARS UNDERSTANDS ACOUSTICS, SOUND AND AESTHETICS, AND KNOWS HOW TO UNIFY THEM PERFECTLY. THE RESULTS ARE AUDIBLY STUNNING. partner for the article: Fullstars | text: Tereza Škoulová | styling: Lenka Hlaváčová photo: Adéla Havelková

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I SIT DOWN TO WORK AND PUT ON THE LATEST ALBUM FROM MY FAVOURITE ARTIST MAC DEMARCO. I AM READING THE BLOG WRITTEN BY FULLSTARS, A STUDIO THAT KNOWS HOW TO PERFECTLY MARRY THE LOOK OF AN INTERIOR WITH ITS ACOUSTICS. DAVID HALÍK IS THE AUDIO EXPERT AND ZDENĚK BRISUDA THE ARCHITECT. ON THEIR BLOG THEY SING PRAISE OF THE ALBUM PLAYING ON MY TURNTABLE ... AND THEN OF JENS LEKMAN, BONOBO, DNÉ. YOU CAN’T BUT LOVE THEIR IMPECCABLE TASTE.

There is no other Prague studio that dedicates such care to the relationship between acoustics and aesthetics as Fullstars. It was the love of music and perfect sound that gave birth to studio Fullstars – two friends who were looking for the best quality audio system and in the end decided to establish their own studio. ‘Music is what we love the most,’ agree David and Zdeněk. ‘Design is a bonus, and the ideal design is one you can’t see.’ In spite of this professed view on design, their sophisticated aesthetic is what impresses. ‘You need to think about the relationship between an interior and its acoustics early in the process’, reflects David. For connoisseurs of both design and sound this moment arises when thinking about a new home. Perfect acoustics are not only about the placement of speakers, but also about the choice of materials and ceiling height – if you want the look of concrete, you need to counter its acoustic limitations with other materials. When speaking about the brands they represent in Czechia, the two designers exude passion. They know their field and can tell you about such futuristic products like the audio system that knows how to optimise its sound based on location. ‘It simply knows how to recalibrate sound according to space,’ says David when describing the vast potential of the Scottish audio system Linn. An added bonus is Linn’s warehouse of old components and their ability to bring even forty-year old systems to state-of-the-art specifications. Another favoured company is the Danish Vifa, whose sound quality is second to none. And now to the science of it all – to ensure that Fullstars projects are carried out to perfection, the architects need to understand not only the parameters of the materials used, but also laboratory data, the specifics of design, programming languages and more. For Fullstars the key is content. Not technology or frequency, but content. And the client’s trust. For more information visit www.fullstars.cz ■ LEFT: portable speaker Oslo, Vifa, www.fullstars.cz, 13,500 Kč


THIS PAGE AND RIGHT: speaker Series 5 530 System, Linn, price on request wireless speaker Helsinki, Vifa, 10,800 Kč headphones VK-1 Classic, Aëdle, 7,800 Kč all at www.fullstars.cz


THIS PAGE AND RIGHT: The Danish firm Vifa builds on seventy years of experience in state-of-the art sound technology. Their latest products include wireless lifestyle speakers with refined Scandinavian design. The fabric cover made by Kvadrat increases sound quality and repels water, so you can even take the speaker to the beach. turntable Sondek LP12, Linn, www.fullstars.cz, price on request


PICTURE PERFECT The perfect frame will enhance a painting or a photograph and increase its value. At frame-it.cz we know the importance of a well-chosen matt and frame. Visit us to make your art and photography picture perfect. www.frame-it.cz

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Photo Essay

SOUNDS OF NATURE YOU DON’T NEED TO VISIT THE OPERA OR A CONCERT HALL FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE MUSICAL EXPERIENCE – SIMPLY GET OUT INTO NATURE AND LISTEN! RELISH IN THE SOUNDS OF A BUZZING MEADOW, THE SWISHING SEA OR A MYSTERY-FILLED NIGHT SKY. photo: Ondřej Lipár and Wikimedia Commons

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photo: Adéla Havelková


PLANO®ART

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Culture

ROAD TO BOB DYLAN HE COMPOSES, SINGS, PAINTS, MAKES FILMS. BOB DYLAN – THE LEGEND THAT HAS BEEN LIVING AND BREATHING CREATIVITY FOR MORE THAN FIVE DECADES. text: Tereza Škoulová | images: Bob Dylan, GOAP Gallery


THIS STORY WAS NOT WRITTEN BY A DIEHARD DYLAN FAN, BUT SOMEONE WHO WENT ON A JOURNEY TO LEARN WHY BOB DYLAN HAS BECOME A CULT – A HIGHLY ACCLAIMED ARTIST WITH COUNTLESS HONOURS, THE 2016 NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE AMONG THEM. HIS SONGS TELL OF THE VARIED FACETS OF LIFE AND THE RELATIONSHIPS WE FORGE; HIS LIFE OF COURAGE AND TAKING AN UNCOMPROMISING STANCE – TOWARDS CULTURE, SOCIETY AND EVEN HIMSELF. HIS VISUAL ART ADDS TO HIS LEGENDARY STORY.

Love. It weaves through every aspect of Dylan’s music. In 1962 the young Dylan stood at the hospital bed of Woody Guthrie, his musical hero who was dying at the time, and the experience inspired his tender declaration Song To Woody. Dylan-style love also flows from the 1964 song It Ain’t Me Babe, the first anti-love song which hints at the theme of his future creative work: don’t forget the bad stuff. Love, or rather its loss, also shaped one of his greatest albums, Blood on the Tracks. He recorded it after his painful separation from his wife Sara, and to this day it remains one of the rawest, truest and most emotional records about love. And his decision to give the proceeds from the album Christmas in the Heart to efforts helping people who are homeless speaks of his love for humanity – as long as the album is played, it will continue to give. Courage. Dylan was the first songwriter to embrace unpleasant topics – he was close to people living on the fringe and was not afraid to look at life’s unpleasant side. His disarming honesty and ability to reflect on humanity’s weaknesses inspired many artists and forever changed the face of popular music. His courage did not fail even when it came to his own choice of genre – the history of rebel music will never forget his 1965 performance at the Newport Folk Festival, where he broke with festival tradition and played an electric guitar. Art. Dylan is an incredibly prolific artist straddling several mediums. So far he has released 37 studio albums and his ‘never-ending tour’, on which he has been practically his whole life, has become legendary. Unlike many other musicians he regularly updates his stage music to keep his audiences entertained. His travels inspire his visual art, which is exhibited around the world and this year is featured in Prague. The exhibition titled On the Road allows visitors a glimpse into the lesser known side of Dylan’s creativity. The versatile musician has made several films, including Renaldo and Clara, which explores the life of travelling artists, and he writes short prose. In 2016 his literary work won him – as the first musician ever – the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’. ■

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PREVIOUS PAGE AND LEFT: Nearly 50 graphic art works created by Bob Dylan between 2008–2014 are featured in the exhibition On the Road: The Unknown Side of the Famous Musician, at Prague’s Old Town Hall until 31 August 2017.


Creative People

MUSIC FOR THE SOUL THE CZECH COMPANY ACOUSTIQUE QUALITY MAKES LOUDSPEAKERS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. THEIR SOUND WILL TOUCH THE SOUL OF ANY MUSIC LOVER. partner for the article: Acoustique Quality | text: Tereza Škoulová | photo: Michaela Karásek Čejková, company archives

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THE SMALL MORAVIAN TOWN OF ČERVENKA IS NOT ONLY HOME TO A BEAUTIFUL TRAIN STATION AND STATELY VILLAS, BUT ALSO A TOP CZECH MANUFACTURER OF AUDIO COMPONENTS. THE COMPANY WAS BORN TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, WHEN TWO FRIENDS STUDYING AT THE BRNO UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY DECIDED TO CREATE THEIR OWN LOUDSPEAKERS IN A GARAGE. THEY BUILT UP A WORKSHOP IN LITOVEL, WHICH WAS DESTROYED IN A 1997 FLOOD, AND THEN MOVED TO ČERVENKA. WE VISITED THEM TO SEE HOW A LOUDSPEAKER IS MADE BY HAND, AND THE SOUND WAS AMAZING!

None of us had ever experienced such an intense sound from a loudspeaker! Walk on the Wild Side sounded as though Lou Reed himself was playing in the room, and the depth, clarity and intensity of the sound took our breath away. The loudspeaker that brought the famous rock musician and Gary Karr’s double bass into our midst was aptly named Passion. ‘It took three years to make it and it was great fun’, smiled the master of sound and the company’s co-owner, Vladimír Sapara. Vladimír Sapara and Karel Svoboda founded the company when they were students. Today they employ fifty people who work in four production halls: the assembly shop, the finishing shop, the technology space and the warehouse. Order, calm and factory smells permeate throughout. There is the ever-present scent of wood fibres and the faint odour of varnish, which is applied to the loudspeakers with special technology that prevents it from being dispersed in the air. Employees wear headphones while they work so they can listen to music, the impetus for Vladimír and Karel’s focus on sound technology. Testimony of the high quality of their hand-glued loudspeakers lies in the story of the woodworking shop they wanted to use for assembly. When they could not find an external woodworker who would meet their high standards, they decided to set up their own woodworking shop – with precision equipment and the indispensable hand finishing. The founders believe firmly in handmade production and in keeping both product development and manufacturing in the Czech Republic. Their customers value their commitment to quality and local production. For more information visit www.aq.cz or go to the Prague store Audiobest. To experience the production atmosphere, head to Červenka on 14 October for AQ’s Open Day. ■ LEFT: AQ also works on enhancing spatial acoustics – the acoustic panel shown here was designed by the American company Wellrounded Sound. The gorgeous turntable was made by Pro-Ject in Litovel. The unusual shape of the loudspeaker Orca was driven by the need for quality sound.

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THIS SPREAD: The workshop offers a fascinating glimpse of the various product components, including little metal feet and boxes with old parts. ‘Thanks to these we can repair loudspeakers we made decades ago,’ explains Vladimír Sapara (pictured on the right).


THIS SPREAD: During its twenty-five year history AQ has created more than 150 models of loudspeakers. Next to sound, AQ also focuses on quality materials and variety of design. The finish on wood veneer speakers is unique to each piece, so every loudspeaker is an original! AQ also supplies turntables, audio cables, headphones and other audio equipment.


Editor’s Choice

PURE LISTENING PLEASURE YOUR FAVOURITE RECORDINGS DESERVE STATE-OF-THE-ART SOUND EQUIPMENT AND FLAWLESS ACOUSTICS. OUR SELECTION WILL NOT DISAPPOINT!

styling: Helena Novotná and Adéla Kudrnová | photo: company archives


Earbud Gold Happy Plugs Headphones, happyplugs.com, $25 | Global Local Wall Absorbents, www.glimakra.com, price upon request | Beoplay P2 Speaker, www.beoplay.com, 4,315 Kč | OP-1 Portable Synthesizer, teenage.engineering, €949 | AQ Passion Loudspeaker, www.aqaudio.cz, €17,980 | SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II, www.bose.com, $130 | Luciano Ceramic Bluetooth Speaker, design by Paolo Cappello, www.newblack.it, €590 | Plattan 2 Headphones, www.urbanears.com, €49 | G6 Turntable, www.440audio.eu, price upon request | BeoSound Shape Wall-Mounted Speaker System, www.bang-olufsen.com, from €4,000


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Fashion

IN STEP WITH COLOUR SNEAKERS CAN BE A SYMBOL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, A STRONG PERSONALITY, ARTISTIC EXPRESSION OR A SPECIAL MEMORY. SUBMIT TO THE RHYTHM AND JOIN FOOTSHOP – THE LARGEST CZECH ONLINE RETAILER OF SHOES AND FASHION – ON THE DANCE FLOOR! partner for the article: Footshop | styling: Patrik Florián | dancers: Kateřina Kašpárková and Laura Petriláková photo: Adéla Havelková


Adidas Osaka sweatshirt, 1,990 Kč; The Weeknd Stargirl women’s bomber, 7,990 Kč; Adidas skirt, 2,290 Kč; all at www.footshop.cz

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Travel

THE RHYTHM OF REGGAE WHERE ELSE TO GO IN SEARCH OF THE SWAYING RHYTHM OF REGGAE THAN JAMAICA? SNEAK A PEEK AT BOB MARLEY’S ROOM AND SOAK IN THE POSITIVE ENERGY THIS LITTLE ISLAND TRANSMITS TO THE WORLD. text and photo: Kristína Víšková

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AS YOU LEAVE EUROPE BEHIND AND APPROACH THE CARIBBEAN, YOU CAN FEEL THE PACE OF LIFE SLOWING DOWN TO A PLEASANT LILT. XAYMACA, THE NAME GIVEN TO THE ISLAND BY ITS INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, MEANS THE LAND OF WOOD AND WATER. ALTHOUGH THE ISLAND IS SURROUNDED BY THE SEA, THE INTERIOR OFFERS MORE WATER STILL – STUNNING WATERFALLS, RIVERS AND LAKES ENVELOPED BY DEEP GREEN FORESTS. THANKS TO BOB MARLEY AND REGGAE, JAMAICA IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE ISLAND OF MUSIC.

Reggae evolved in Jamaica during the late 1960s from several music styles, and its roots are intertwined with the Rastafari religion. Reggae lyrics tell of difficult times and of redemption with the help of Haile Selassie, whom Rastafarians regard as the messiah. They also speak about fighting for equality and social justice, and about peace and unity. The ideals of social justice were promoted by Bob Marley, who captivated fans with songs of love, hope and brotherhood. ‘My life nah important to me’, he once proclaimed, ‘my life is only important if me can help plenty people’. His visionary outlook inspired the world and the boyish musician with dreadlocks became one of the most loved singers of the twentieth century. But his beginnings were not easy. Bob Marley’s father was an officer in the British Army and left the family soon after Bob’s birth in 1945. Bob inherited lighter skin from his father and was teased in Kingston’s Trenchtown ghetto for being a ‘whitey’. Trenchtown is where Bob’s early music career began. In a courtyard in Trenchtown he played with his future band The Wailing Wailers, and their first single Simmer Down paints the atmosphere of the time. It is an outburst of youthful energy intended as a message for the bad boys of the ghetto, whom the Wailers challenged to renounce violence. The band became famous in the 1970s and played with Marley in various constellations until his early death. Marley’s solo career took off in 1974 with the I Threes as his back-up singers, who included Bob’s wife Rita as well as Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths. Judy later recorded the acclaimed album Black Woman and worked on the release of Marley’s last recordings. Although the life of the reggae genius was cut short in 1981 by cancer, reggae lives on thanks to the music’s powerful message, Marley’s children who continue his musical legacy, and the countless musicians who have been inspired by him and by reggae and have formed new musical streams such as dancehall, hip hop, house, electro, techno or dubstep. On Sundays the famous Dub Club in Kingston fills up with fans of all types of music and the party goes on. ■

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IMAGES OF PETER TOSH AND BUNNY LIVINGSTONE WAILER, MARLEY’S BAND MATES, GRACE THE WALLS OF TRENCHTOWN. THE JAMAICAN TOWN OF BELMONT HAS A MONUMENT TO PETER TOSH AND A NEW MUSEUM DEDICATED TO REGGAE HAS OPENED IN KINGSTON. IN 2015 BUNNY WAS ONE OF THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS AT THE UPRISING REGGAE FESTIVAL IN SLOVAKIA.


BOB MARLEY REMAINS ‘SOUL REBEL’, JUST AS THE TITLE OF ONE OF HIS SONGS PROCLAIMS. FOUR DECADES LATER, HIS POWERFUL REVOLUTIONARY MESSAGE ECHOES WITH THE BOUNDLESS LOVE HE PROMOTED AMONG ALL NATIONS, REGARDLESS OF RACE, RELIGION OR ETHNICITY. MARLEY’S MESSAGE IS MOST ELOQUENTLY CAPTURED IN HIS REDEMPTION SONG: ‘EMANCIPATE YOURSELVES FROM MENTAL SLAVERY. NONE BUT OURSELVES CAN FREE OUR MINDS.’

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Listen to a playlist made especially for this story at www.soffamag.com/music


Decor

SITTING PRETTY

PUBLIC SPACE DESIGN IS BEGINNING TO RECEIVE MUCH MORE ATTENTION, AND WITH IT THE DESIGN OF STREET FURNITURE. MMCITÉ’S STREET FURNITURE IS FUNCTIONAL, PRETTY AND NOW ALSO SMART! partner for the article: mmcité | text: Helena Novotná | styling: Lenka Hlaváčová | photo: Adéla Havelková


WHETHER YOU ARE WAITING FOR A TRAIN IN A METRO STATION IN SPANISH MÁLAGA OR RESTING ON A PARK BENCH IN LONDON, YOU MIGHT WELL BE SITTING ON A BENCH MADE IN BÍLOVICE IN THE EAST OF CZECHIA. STREET FURNITURE MADE BY THE COMPANY MMCITÉ IS SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, FROM NEW YORK TO PARIS TO ABU DHABI. BUT THE SMART PRODUCTS FROM THEIR NEW SMARTCITÉ LINE CAN SO FAR ONLY BE SEEN IN THE SMALL MORAVIAN TOWN WHERE THE COMPANY IS BASED. SO FAR, BECAUSE DURING OUR VISIT THE FIRST ORDERS WERE ALREADY POURING IN.

Smartcité is a natural response to the growing trend of smart cities, which aims to improve the life of city residents through modern technologies. ‘It’s a trend driven by the demands of modern society’, elaborates David Karásek, one of the co-founders and the chief designer at mmcité. In some ways this trend may lead to a deceptive mindset that ‘smart’ is always better. Aware of this potential pitfall, the team at mmcité tries to focus on those features that make time spent in a public space more comfortable. ‘We don’t want it to be all about technology … we want street furniture to be integrated into an aesthetic whole and to connect with our other products’, explains Karásek. As a result ‘smart’ does not have to equal ‘high-tech’ – rather, ‘smart’ is about enriching a space with practical functions. How did mmcité elevate common street furniture to ‘smart’ status? The transformation involved their successful product line: the Woody, Blocq and Radium benches and the Rivage deck chair. One of the key new functions added is an integrated USB charging station for mobile phones and tablets. Another is LED lighting installed beneath the benches, which creates a distinctive ‘atmosphere’ and enhances safety at night. The third innovation involves small steel tables in contrasting colours that are both practical and charming to look at. And finally the two-tone paint finish, an artistic touch that will liven up any public space. Making street furniture that is useful and beautiful is key for mmcité. ‘We always wanted our designs to have a practical application within a city scape, rather than simply looking good on paper or as a prototype,’ adds Karásek. For more information visit www.mmcite.cz ■ PREVIOUS SPREAD: Even products outside the Smartcité line have been improved for smart city living. Their new model of the Blocq bench has six lockers with power ports for recharging electric bikes as well as USB ports for charging mobiles and tablets. This upgraded model is called E-blocq.

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THIS PAGE AND NEXT SPREAD: David Karásek founded mmcité in the early 1990s with his classmate Radek Hegmon. Together they have designed most of mmcité’s products, including the Blocq and Radium benches and the Rivage deck chair featured here. Their portfolio includes collaborations with other Czech designers, such as the Vltau collection designed by the Herrmann & Coufal studio, which includes the striking park bench/chair on one leg.


LIVING CZECH DESIGN Building on the Czech tradition of fine craftsmanship, Deelive seamlessly combines tradition with the talents and innovative ideas of current Czech designers. Visit Deelive’s largest sales gallery of Czech design on Smetanovo nábřeží in Prague to see their exquisite products, or browse on line at www.deelive.cz. Deelive Design Store, Smetanovo nábřeží 334/4, Praha 1 | daily 10am – 8pm


Creative People

MUSIC THERAPY WANT TO EXPERIENCE AN AMAZING CONCERT IN YOUR OWN LIVING ROOM? WE MET WITH TOMÁŠ JIRÁČEK JR., CO-FOUNDER OF 440 AUDIO, TO LEARN HOW. partner for the article: 400 Audio | text: Patrik Florián | styling: Lenka Hlaváčová | photo: Lina Németh

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IF YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO RECORDED MUSIC, THEN LISTEN TO THE REAL THING. VINYL RECORDS ARE EXPERIENCING A RENAISSANCE AND CZECHIA ALREADY HAS A LONG TRADITION OF SAVOURING QUALITY SOUND. ZEROES AND ONES WILL DO FOR THE ROAD, BUT THEY WILL NEVER REPRODUCE THE SOUND QUALITY OF A LIVE CONCERT LIKE VINYL CAN. JIRÁČEK’S 440 AUDIO CREATES STATE-OF-THE-ART TURNTABLES THAT ARE GORGEOUS TO BEHOLD. GET READY FOR A STUNNING FRONT ROW EXPERIENCE.

Although 440 Audio officially debuted their turntables only three years ago, the company’s founder – Tomáš Jiráček Sr. – has been making audio systems for more than 25 years. Today he leads 440 Audio together with other family members who all grew up around audio technology. The family company focuses on creating beautiful turntables that resemble art objects, and they also provide a full range of audio consulting services, re-fit older equipment and partake in unusual audio-visual projects. The body of a turntable is key to its longevity. Everything else will wear in time and can be replaced – but not the body. The iconic shape of the company’s turntable was driven by functionality. Form followed function and today 440 Audio creates its exquisite turntables in collaboration with foremost Czech designers and artists. Each finely crafted form plays an important role in the symphony of quality sound – the simple geometric lines, the pointed feet that limit vibration and the material of the body – all must work in unison to achieve the highest sound quality. Do you prefer your turntable in uranium glass, Italian marble, Biedermeier style wood or reclaimed oak from a mill wheel? Each material offers a slightly different listening experience. For the Jiráček family music is therapy. There is nothing better than to pause with a cup of good coffee and listen to a record from start to finish – just as the musician intended. And what is Tomáš Jiráček Jr.’s favourite record? The darkest album of the year, Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker, and for something a bit more cheery, Belafonte Sings the Blues. For more information visit www.440audio.cz Listen to a playlist made especially for this story at www.soffamag.com/music ■ LEFT: Tomáš Jiráček Jr. has grown up in the world of music. His father taught him the essentials – knowledge of music technology and the love of timeless classics. Today he looks after 440 Audio’s marketing and management, and helps to choose the music for workplace listening.

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RIGHT: The ‘stiletto’ feet design builds on years of experience and has a functional role of balancing the record player and minimising vibrations. It has also become the trademark look of 440 Audio turntables, which are exported worldwide. The green turntable made from uranium glass is the result of a collaboration with the sculptor and glass artist Kryštof Rybák.


LEFT: The body is the heart and soul of a turntable. On it sits the platter, attached by precision bearings and rotated at just the right speed with the help of a small motor. From the body stretches the tone arm, which holds a cartridge with a diamond tip stylus that caresses the record and carries sound to the amplifying system and ultimately to the speakers.


Dvořákova Praha

ORATORIO TO YOUTH FOUR UNUSUALLY SUCCESSFUL YOUNG MUSICIANS, THE BEST CZECH PIANIST AND A FESTIVAL HONOURING THE MUSICAL GENIUS OF ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK. partner for the article: Dvořákova Praha [The Dvořák Prague Festival] | text: Patrik Florián make-up and hair: Aleksa Sidorina | photo: Adéla Havelková | illustration: Lucie Tomišková

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THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER PRAGUE WILL ONCE AGAIN HUM WITH THE MUSIC OF THE INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED FESTIVAL DVOŘÁKOVA PRAHA. THE FESTIVAL HAS BECOME RENOWNED NOT ONLY FOR ITS MASTERFUL PERFORMANCES, BUT ALSO FOR THE SUPPORT IT OFFERS TO YOUNG CZECH MUSICIANS, AS WELL AS THOSE WHO ARE MORE ESTABLISHED. MOREOVER, THE CONCERT STAGE FEATURES ONLY THE BEST ENSEMBLES, CONDUCTORS AND SOLOISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. MUSIC LOVERS CAN THUS SAVOUR ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK’S BEST KNOWN WORKS, DISCOVER HIS EARLY AND LESSER-KNOWN COMPOSITIONS, AND RELISH IN THE WORK OF OTHER MUSICAL GREATS.

Although the musical event of the season is centred around a world-famous personality from the nineteenth century, its nostalgia is balanced with the festival’s desire to feature and support young musicians under the age of thirty. During its first nine years the festival has introduced such talented virtuosos as the violinist Jan Mráček, mezzo-soprano Daniela Baňasová and tenor Pavel Černoch, among others. This year the spotlight on talented young musicians will shine at the Debut Day on 22 September. The debut event will feature four successful Czech musicians who have been proudly representing the domestic music scene while earning prestigious awards around the world. Some of them will perform at the festival for the first time, while others have participated previously in orchestras. The young musicians will perform a rich repertoire that commences in the Baroque period and finishes in the twentieth century. They will also introduce Dvořák’s lesser-known compositions, which will hark back to the composer’s own graduate performance in 1859. The four debutants – Petr Nekoranec, Olga Šroubková, Pavel Svoboda and Kateřina Javůrková – are presented on the following pages together with the pianist Ivo Kahánek, a former debutant and one-season curator of the Chamber Series component of the festival. The five talented musicians reflect on their relationship to the festival, the revered composer and music in general. The programme focus at this year’s festival will be Dvořák’s vocal-instrumental work. Next to the debutants the festival will feature Czech musicians who have found success abroad, just as Dvořák himself had done. An example is Radek Baborák, the festival’s curator, French horn player and conductor, who is also the curator of the festival’s Chamber Series. As every year, the festival will award the Antonín Dvořák Prize for extraordinary contribution to the propagation and popularisation of Czech classical music in the Czech Republic and abroad. The aim of the festival is to introduce Czech culture to the broader world through Antonín Dvořák’s body of work. Marek Vrabec has been working towards this aim since 2013, when he became the festival’s Artistic Director. He has done this with the support of the investment group KKCG, which co-founded the festival and has been a long-term supporting partner. The festival will fill the Dvořák Hall of Prague’s Rudolfinum and St. Agnes’ Convent from 7 to 23 September. Two concerts will take place in Kroměříž. ►


PETR NEKORANEC | TENOR ALTHOUGH PETR WAS NOT BORN INTO A MUSICAL FAMILY, HE COULD BE HEARD EVERYWHERE FROM A YOUNG AGE. HIS VOICE HAS EARNED HIM A NUMBER OF PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS AND MADE HIM THE FIRST YOUNG CZECH TO PERFORM AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA IN NEW YORK. PETR’S VOICE HAS ESTABLISHED THE YOUNG TENOR AS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL VOCAL TALENTS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, AND IT IS ALLOWING HIM TO LIVE HIS DREAM – CURRENTLY IN MANHATTAN.

Petr was born in a little village called Nové Dvory u Polné. As a child he started to learn the piano and it quickly became clear that what his fingers could not manage his voice could easily accomplish. Until eighteen he focused mostly on jazz and musicals, but after his study at the Conservatory of Pardubice he discovered his passion for opera. He has won many vocal competitions, including the top prize at the prestigious Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition in Barcelona, first prize at the Ljuba Welitsch Singing Competition, second prize in the Concours International de Chant in Toulouse, and other prizes at the Antonín Dvořák’s Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. The young tenor considers his voice to be a gift that must be nurtured and passed on, and he works on its development with the Italian maestro Antonio Carangelo. In 2014 he joined the Bavarian State Opera in Munich for two years, and since September 2016 he has been the first Czech participant of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Petr says that musician’s luck is behind his success, but he does not underestimate the importance of good preparation. Every concert is important – from a minor concert in the school canteen of a small Bavarian town to a performance for the Queen of Norway. You never know who is sitting in the audience! One thing Petr is confident about is his participation at this year’s Dvořákova Praha. It will be a wonderful evening where he will get to play with his friends. And although he is not an ardent patriot, there is nothing better than Dvořák’s music to ignite his love for his country. Petr also considers Dvořák’s work to be the greatest challenge for vocal creativity. To Petr the oratorios that will lead this year’s festival are like a singer’s cleansing ritual – the beautiful music full of drama, in which the singer can count on no one but himself in responding to the musical challenge of each individual note. And what is Petr’s relaxation ritual? Listening to jazz, cooking Italian food, and enjoying it all with a glass of good wine. ►

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OLGA ŠROUBKOVÁ | VIOLIN DID YOU KNOW THAT THE OLDER THE VIOLIN, THE BETTER IT PLAYS? TO SOME EXTENT THE SAME CAN BE SAID ABOUT MUSICIANS, BUT TALENTED YOUNG PERFORMERS ARE THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE. OLGA CARRIES THE LEGACY OF SEVERAL GENERATIONS OF VIOLINISTS, AND PLAYING THE VIOLIN MEANS THE WORLD TO HER. SHE TAKES HER INSTRUMENT EVERYWHERE, EVEN TO THE MOUNTAINS, AND WHEN SHE IS NOT PLAYING, SHE SPENDS TIME WITH HER FAMILY AND PETS. SHE IS NO EARLY RISER AND THIS NIGHT OWL HAS BEEN KNOWN TO WAKE UP MANY A NEIGHBOUR.

Olga started to play with a violin when she was three. Her mother and father were violinists, her grandmother a soloist at the National Theatre, and her grandfather a concert master at the Czech Philharmonic. One could say that her ideal profession was clear from the start. No one forced her to play, however, and when as a teenager she decided to quit, she returned to it all by herself – a day later. When studying at the Gymnasium [secondary school] of Jan Neruda she also tried the transverse flute, which opened up new possibilities, but the violin has remained her favourite. Since she was a little girl Olga has felt that she should use her talent to spread the beauty of music and make people happy. Today she is lucky to earn a living at what she loves doing. But it also means that she cannot allow herself even one day without practice, and that is why she takes her violin even to the mountains or to nature, where she prefers to spend her time. She likes to sleep in, but she can work late into the night. This aspect of her lifestyle is helpful for her studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, where she can practice long evenings without interruption. Olga loves animals and her pets include Rudolfína the rat, which she got from her mother for good luck, and Juliána the guinea pig. Olga has played in all corners of the globe and has won prizes at the Prague Spring and the Belgian BRAVO! competitions, as well as the prestigious Rodolfo Lipizer Prize. She also had the opportunity to try her hand at being a concert master at the Czech Philharmonic. International competitions are more anonymous than local competitions, where she feels more nervous. What does she expect of her solo debut at the Dvořákova Praha festival? ‘It will be no small feat. Just me, in the middle of the Dvořák Hall, playing a sonata that is not easy, and around me an audience of family, friends, acquaintances and important music critics. But I love that sonata, and I can’t wait!’ ►

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PAVEL SVOBODA | ORGAN WHEN PAVEL WAS LITTLE, HE LIKED TWO SOUNDS – THE WAIL OF AN AMBULANCE SIREN AND THE MAJESTIC RESONANCE OF THE CHURCH ORGAN. IN THE END THE ORGAN HELD GREATER SWAY. AS HE SAT IN A CHURCH PEW AT MIDNIGHT MASS, FOCUSING ON THE MELODY OF THE SLENDER PIPES, HE FELT SHIVERS RUNNING DOWN HIS SPINE. TODAY PAVEL TEACHES YOUNG PLAYERS AND IS ALSO THE FOUNDER OF A FESTIVAL THAT BRINGS MUSIC TO SMALL TOWNS AND VILLAGES. IN ADDITION, HE CHAIRS A SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF ORGANS, WHICH AIMS TO PROTECT HISTORICAL GIANTS OF MUSIC.

Pavel comes from a village in Orlické hory [Eagle Mountains] and when he was little his grandmother and grandfather took him to church, where he attentively and excitedly watched the hands and feet of the local organist. Pavel has been playing the organ since the age of fifteen, and he also plays the harpsichord. Playing the organ is more challenging, however, because you have to master playing not only with hands but also with feet. As an instrument the organ is quite unique. Other instruments can travel with the musician, but the organist always has to travel to the organ. Pavel studied at the Conservatory of Pardubice and later at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under the tutelage of the eminent organist and teacher Jaroslav Tůma. He also furthered his knowledge and technique during an internship in Holland, where he studied with Leo van Doeselaar. He performs regularly as a soloist and with orchestras and is the Artistic Director of the International Music Festival of F.L. Věk in Dobruška. Pavel has received awards in the Prague Spring competition and the Bach-Wettbewerb competition in Leipzig. He was also awarded the performance prize by Nadace Český hudební fond [Czech Music Fund] and the first prize at an international performance competition in Brno. His most favourite compositions to play are the fugues written by Johann Sebastian Bach. How does he relax? He doesn’t need to run away from his work, except perhaps to his second love – his family. He considers the work of Antonín Dvořák to be the ultimate pinnacle of Czech music and culture, but he regrets that the great composer did not write any music for the organ. He cannot wait to play the same music the composer himself played 150 years ago, and in Prague’s Rudolfinum to boot. ‘I am grateful that Dvořákova Praha is opening the doors to the culture of the majestic organ and that it has decided to use it as a full-fledged concert instrument. It will be an exceptional day.’ ►

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KATEŘINA JAVŮRKOVÁ | FRENCH HORN PLAYING THE FRENCH HORN IS NO LONGER A MAN’S DOMAIN. KATEŘINA IS ALSO PROOF THAT MUSIC IS NOT ONLY GOOD FOR THE SOUL, BUT ALSO FOR SATISFYING A SWEET TOOTH. HER TWO GREATEST PASSIONS ARE PLAYING THE FRENCH HORN AND MAKING PASTRIES, AND THEY BALANCE EACH OTHER PERFECTLY. HOW? MUSICIANS ARE KNOWN TO LIKE THEIR SWEETS AND TIME SPENT WAITING FOR THE BISCUITS TO BAKE IS PERFECT FOR PRACTICING THE FRENCH HORN. IN THE END, THOUGH, MUSIC COMES OUT ON TOP. AT THE DEBUT DAY KATEŘINA WILL PLAY HER FIRST SOLO.

As a little girl Kateřina started with the flute, the right place to start for anyone who wants to play a wind instrument, and picked up the French horn when she was eight – much to the delight of her father, a passionate amateur trumpeter. While today female French horn players are as common as female lorry drivers or nuclear physicists, the sight of a little girl with a four-kilo instrument was not very common back then. She fell in love with the instrument while studying at the conservatory under the tutelage of Bedřich Tylšar and continued at Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts. She also honed her music skills in Paris, together with her pastry making. And how did she start out as a pastry chef? Kateřina had a sweet tooth already as a little girl, and when she realised that she could make cakes and pastries herself, she started to bake at any opportunity. In time she learnt that her two greatest passions complemented each other perfectly. Waiting for a cake to come out of the oven is the perfect time for practicing, and musicians are her most grateful customers and tasters. The only downside is that she has to check at the start of every concert that her instrument is not covered in sticky marmalade! Kateřina makes her pastries under the label Cukrárna za rohem [The Pastry Shop Around the Corner] and her big dream is to open a small pastry shop outside the bustling capital. To stay in form she practices music and bakes every day, and when she has the time, she likes to go running. Kateřina loves the fact that music allows her to travel and explore the world, and that its melodies help her to tell elaborate stories. Antonín Dvořák’s symphonic poems – The Water Goblin, The Noon Witch and The Golden Spinning Wheel – are beautiful examples. As a member of the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonia she has played at Dvořákova Praha several times, but this year will be her first solo. It will be eagerly awaited not only by the audience, but also behind the curtain – that is if she has time to make her renowned cheesecake or her ‘killer’ macarons. ►

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IVO KAHÁNEK | PIANO IVO IS ONE OF CZECHIA’S BEST CONTEMPORARY PERFORMERS. HIS DEBUT AT THE DVOŘÁKOVA PRAHA FESTIVAL IS LONG BEHIND HIM, BUT HE HAS A SPECIAL BOND WITH ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK AND THE FESTIVAL THAT CARRIES HIS NAME. TWO YEARS AGO IVO TRIED HIS HAND AT CURATING THE FESTIVAL’S CHAMBER SERIES, AND HE HOPES TO USE HIS PERFORMANCES TO POPULARISE DVOŘÁK’S LESSER-KNOWN GEMS. TO OVERCOME STAGE FRIGHT A MUSICIAN NEEDS THE STRENGTH OF A BEAR, SOMETHING IVO HAS IN LARGE SUPPLY. WHEN HE NEEDS TO RECHARGE HIS BATTERIES, HE HEADS FOR THE WILDERNESS.

Ivo comes from a family of teachers and his mother and grandmother played the piano. Excited about the prospect of little Ivo playing music, the two women discussed whether he would reach a full octave while he was still in his pram. His musical talents were clearly evident from his drumming on a shoe box, and by the age of four he had started to learn the piano. After completing his studies at the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava he continued at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he teaches today. He enjoys teaching, partly because he still feels a bit like a student, and partly because he loves the feeling of helping students push their own boundaries. Teaching has also been helpful for Ivo’s performance on stage. Once petrified by stage fright, Ivo has learnt how to make adrenaline work for him. ‘A musician’s enemy is mainly ego’, says Ivo. ‘On stage a musician should become the conduit for music, not just a generator of tones. Stage fright is a double-edge sword. You shouldn’t succumb to it, because it can open up possibilities you didn’t know were there.’ For Ivo music is a language capable of expressing that for which words fail. It is also a medium in which one must be completely honest. Ivo will not play at this year’s Dvořákova Praha festival, but he is looking forward to hearing the hum of Dvořák’s music through much of September. ‘Within a fairly short timeframe the festival has reached international renown, mainly due to its programming, which offers up top-notch performances for music connoisseurs and also events for families with children, who are more interested in the classics’, explains Ivo. ‘In my case the festival has brought many interesting contacts and opened up new opportunities.’ The pianist gained a completely different view of the festival two years ago, when he was awarded the role of curator for the chamber music series. ‘Playing the role of the organiser was an experience that brought me many new friends, and I learnt all that has to happen before a musician steps on stage’, muses Ivo. ‘You are responsible to the audience, but also to the musicians. And that makes the experience of a successful concert that much more intense.’ ■

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Interior

OF BIKES AND MEN TAKE A PEEK INSIDE A PURELY MASCULINE INTERIOR. MORE THAN A SHED DEFINED BY TOOLS, BIKES AND THE SMELL OF MOTOR OIL, THIS GARAGE IS A PLACE YOU WILL WANT TO CALL HOME! text: Helena Novotná | photo: Adéla Havelková


INSPIRATION, A WORD THE SOFFA TEAM EXPLORES EACH AND EVERY DAY. WE BELIEVE THAT INSPIRATION IS SOFFA MAGAZINE’S MAIN CALLING, AND WE FEEL GREAT SATISFACTION WHEN WE SEE IT PLAY OUT IN REAL LIFE. DO YOU REMEMBER THE SOFFA 16 ARTICLE ABOUT HOOKIE, THE DRESDEN-BASED ENTHUSIASTS WHO BROUGHT THEIR PASSION FOR OLD MOTORCYCLES TO A BEAUTIFUL INDUSTRIAL INTERIOR? NOW AN EQUALLY OFFBEAT INTERIOR HAS EMERGED IN CZECHIA. IT’S CALLED GARAGE 609 – A MAN’S DREAM COME TRUE.

Fifty years ago the local sports club parked its bus in the Litomyšl garage. After that it served for a while as the base for the local tinsmiths, but eventually the garage fell into disrepair. It took a few years before it got into the right pair of hands, but it was worth the wait. Honza and Leoš are the two gentlemen behind the idea to convert a ramshackle space into a garage and a private men’s club. Unassuming on the outside, the building is divided into two large rooms on the inside. One is used as a workshop – during our visit an old Tatra 603 and a Škoda Felicie 994 were being restored to their former glory – while the second room is set up as a living space with décor that honours the workshop next door. A black Dněpr and a red Jawa stand along the wall opposite a leather Donate sofa, in the same place one might expect to find a television. But in the garage they have other priorities than TV, and polished motorcycles are far more interesting to look at! Wood, metal and leather. Brown, grey, black. The one colour anomaly is Leoš’ red motorcycle, but that’s an approved exception. One of the few elements retained from the original interior is the beautiful wooden ceiling, which now sports massive grey metal lights from an old factory, bought second hand. Almost everything in Garage 609 is either second hand, custom-made by friends, or built by Honza and Leoš themselves. What is new is the poured concrete floor, grey of course, matching perfectly with the walls. The walls feature many shades of grey, an effect achieved by pouring a bit of black paint into a bucket of white and mixing it only partially. The living space offers a sleeping loft far more luxurious than you might expect from a men’s club. The loft is above the kitchen and is accessed by a ladder with a railing made of old heating pipes. But nights are long at the garage. A speaker near the window is connected to lights that change with the rhythm of the music, and the kitchen is well stocked with whiskey and other spirits. All that remains is to turn on the disco ball hanging from the ceiling and a night at Garage 609 can begin … For more information mail to jan.gloser@hrg.cz ■

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THIS SPREAD: The metal cabinet remembers the days of the sporting club, while the stairs were made to order from old heating pipes. Even the chairs and table have their story – relics from old tractors, the seats have been assembled around a wooden horse from an old school gymnasium. The tachometer collection is Honza’s personal pride.


THIS SPREAD: The garage is not only for motorcycles; old cars are repaired and restored here as well. The workshop part comprises a full room with a newly poured concrete floor and large windows that let in lots of natural light. The interior of the workshop is sparse so that at least two cars can easily fit. During our visit two ‘oldies’ were being worked on – a Tatra 603 and a Škoda Felicia 994.


THIS PAGE: The garage has everything you need, including a bathroom hidden behind the grey door next to the kitchen. The bathroom interior features the same grey colour palette as the rest of the garage, and even here the fit-out is unique: there is the mirror sourced from the local dump, an old metal lamp and a wooden writing desk fitted with a wash basin.


Creative People

VINYL FEVER LISTENING TO MUSIC ON VINYL RECORDS IS A RITUAL MUSIC CONNOISSEURS CHERISH. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WOULD SEE THE RENAISSANCE OF THE LP? text: Helena Novotná | photo: Adéla Kudrnová

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FOR MANY YEARS IT SEEMED THAT THE FUTURE OF MUSIC LISTENING LAY IN THE HANDS OF EVER SMALLER MUSIC CARRIERS – FIRST THE AUDIO CASSETTE, THEN THE COMPACT DISC, MINI DISC AND FINALLY NOTHING MORE THAN AN MP3 FILE. THE PRODUCTION OF RECORDS AND RECORD PLAYERS HAD BEEN SCALED BACK AND IN SOME PLACES STOPPED COMPLETELY. FEW WERE PREPARED FOR THE RETURN OF VINYL, BUT NOT THE CZECH COMPANY GZ MEDIA, WHERE THEY HAVE NEVER STOPPED MAKING RECORDS!

The base of GZ Media is in Loděnice near Prague, where they made their first music record in 1951 and they have not stopped since. They first produced shellac records, and the company was then called Gramofonové závody [Gramophone record factory], the inspiration for today’s name GZ. Years later the owner of GZ Media, Zdeněk Pelcl, showed great courage and foresight when he insisted on continuing the production of vinyl records at a time when the rest of the world wanted only CDs and DVDs, which GZ Media makes as well. The complex machines required for record production never left Loděnice, so when the vinyl trend returned in full force some years ago, GZ Media was ready for the sudden jump in demand. Today their machines stop only at Christmas, running 24/7 for the rest of the year. That is the only way to manage pressing the 24 million records they distribute worldwide each year. Whose albums do they press in Loděnice? The likes of U2, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and many, many others. Everything happens in one place – from record production to sleeve printing and final distribution. GZ Media receives the music in digital format, and the first step is to cut the sound grooves into a copper plate with the use of a diamond knife. This results in the creation of the master record. The master is immersed in an electroforming bath and in about an hour is coated in a nickel deposit – thus creating the record’s stamper. A hydraulic press is fitted with the stamper, and together with the labels for both sides of the record and pre-heated vinyl matter, the machine literally stamps out a record. The vinyl matter is transparent, not black as one might expect. GZ Media can make records in any colour by adding colouring, and why be limited by a single colour? A marble effect, coloured stripes, splashes of colour or a full picture image across the record – twenty-first century vinyl knows no bounds! For more information visit www.gzmedia.com ■ LEFT: Beginning as weightless digital data, music is transformed into timeless vinyl through engraving into a copper plate, immersion in a nickel bath and subsequent pressing. Each year GZ Media makes 24 million records in Loděnice. To keep up with demand, the company is expanding production with offices in Canada and the USA.

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THIS SPREAD: Once pressed, the records must rest for eight to ten hours before they are inserted into sleeves and prepared for distribution. GZ Media has a printing house where record sleeves and labels are created – employees themselves call it ‘a printing service with added value’.


THIS SPREAD: A vinyl record need not be round and black. A ‘picture disc’ is created in a similar way to a conventional record, but instead of a small sticker around the centre, a large sticker is attached over the whole face. This is covered by a sheet of transparent foil, and only then comes the pressing of the sound grooves.


Fashion

SUMMER INTERLUDE NIKE’S ICONIC SNEAKERS HAVE WALTZED ONTO THE DANCE FLOOR IN STARK WHITE, MAKING URBAN FASHION SPORTIER AND BRIGHTER. partner for the article: Nike | text: Alice Muziková | styling: Patrik Florián | models: Jakub Strach and Veronika Strapková | make-up and hair: Aleksa Sidorina | photo: Ladislav Babuščák


PREVIOUS PAGE AND THIS SPREAD: pants, Lukas Lindner Atelier | t-shirt, City Folklore, Signature store & café | coat, the stylist’s own | sneakers Nike Air Huarache jacket and shorts, Lukas Lindner Atelier | t-shirt, City Folklore, Signature store & café | t-shirt, leggings and sneakers Nike Air Force 1 ‘07, all from Nike


WRITING A BEAUTIFUL SONG CAPABLE OF STIRRING A LISTENER’S SOUL IS AN ART EQUAL TO DESIGNING AN ICONIC SHOE THAT WILL ENTER FASHION HISTORY. NIKE HAS DRESSED ITS CLASSIC AND NEW SNEAKERS IN STARK WHITE, MAKING THEIR ICONIC SHAPES STAND OUT – SHAPES THAT HAVE BECOME THE CALLING CARD OF FAMOUS PERSONALITIES AND MUSIC STYLES. OUR TWO YOUNG, TALENTED SINGERS TOOK TO THEM LIKE BEES TO HONEY.

The former Church of St. Mary Magdalene is today the seat of the Czech Museum of Music. Built in the seventeenth century, the church stopped serving its spiritual purpose not long after. Over the centuries it was used as a warehouse, a post office, a police barracks and an archive. Today the Baroque building houses many treasures of music history, including a library and the permanent exhibition Man – Instrument – Music, which features four hundred instruments. Two particularly prized pieces of the exhibition are the fortepiano on which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played during his first visit to Prague and a violin made by the world-famous luthier Nicola Amati. And it was on these hallowed grounds of music that we arranged to meet two talented musicians. Electro, Berlin, fashion, sneakers and the sound of singing crickets. For many people these terms will conjure the artist, DJ and producer Jakub Strach. Together with Václav Rouček they are VR/Nobody, a group that came together in 2013 and performed at first only in English, not in their native Czech. English is not only more melodic, but it makes the possibility of international success more likely – a strategy that has paid off for VR/Nobody, who have toured abroad. But on their latest album they wanted to reach out to Czech audiences: ‘Not everyone knows English well, even among the young, so they tend to listen to music in the background. We wanted to bring it a little closer to them, and to penetrate the Czech music scene with a new sound.’ Music competitions sometimes bring exciting new talent to the scene. One of these is the singer and actor Veronika Strapková. The film Čára [The Line], in which she had a role, won a prize at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The Slovak actress found the courage to sing thanks to the support she received during a study term in the UK. She returned home with two studio-recorded songs and soon followed an invitation to enter Hlas Československa [The Voice of Czechoslovakia], where she met with great success. Today her portfolio includes the critically acclaimed album Puzzle. For more information visit www.nm.cz/Ceske-muzeum-hudby/, www.nobodylisten. com, www.facebook.com/veronikastrapkovaslovakia/ and www.nike.com ■


THIS SPREAD: dress, Elizabeth & James, Space Prague | sports bra and sneakers Nike Air Force 1 ’07, sneaker footprint Nike Air Max 97, all from Nike


THIS SPREAD: dress, Elizabeth & James, Space Prague | sports bra and sneakers Nike Air Force 1 ’07, both from Nike pants, Lukas Lindner Atelier | bra, Zuzana Kubíčková | handbag and scarf, both from Hermès | sneakers Nike Classic Cortez skirt, Jakub Polanka, La Gallery Novesta | shorts and sneakers Nike Classic Cortez, both from Nike


THIS PAGE: pants, Lukas Lindner Atelier | t-shirt, City Folklore, Signature store & café | coat, stylist’s own | watch, model’s own | sneakers Nike Air Huarache


Utterly Czech

OUR LIDUŠKA A YOUNG GIRL WITH A VIOLIN CASE ON HER BACK, SKIPPING ALONG TO A PLACE WITH A SPECIAL KIND OF MAGIC. OPEN THE DOORS TO LIDUŠKA – HER LOCAL ART SCHOOL. text: Helena Stiessová | photo: Lina Németh

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THE LOCAL PUBLIC ART SCHOOL – COLLOQUIALLY CALLED LIDUŠKA – IS A QUINTESSENTIAL PART OF CZECH EDUCATION FROM PRESCHOOL AGE TO ADULTHOOD, AND MAKES UP CZECHIA’S CULTURAL PETRI DISH FROM WHICH THE NATION’S CULTURED INDIVIDUALS AND ARTISTS EMERGE. THERE ARE ALMOST FIVE HUNDRED PUBLIC ART SCHOOLS SCATTERED ACROSS OUR SMALL NATION, AND IN THEIR HALLS MORE THAN 11,000 ART TEACHERS INSTIL THE LOVE OF THE ARTS INTO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SPIRITED MINDS. LIDUŠKA IS WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF THE ARTS AND WHERE THEY LEARN HOW IT FEELS TO BE BITTEN BY THE CREATIVE BUG.

Some might say they never felt this kind of exultation during their tedious hours of piano practice. Where is the excitement in practicing for hours on end while sitting on an uncomfortable stool? As many a strict teacher would say, the road to success is a thorny one. But the goal of public art schools is not to push for success. Rather, it is to show that art can enrich, engage and bring immense joy. Not every student will turn into a virtuoso, but each should find in music a companion for life. This is no small feat to achieve and teachers in public art schools deserve our admiration. The endearing colloquial term liduška – derived from the original ‘people’s art school’ – attests to the respect that Czechs hold for the schools and their teachers. Public music education has a long history in Czechia, with roots reaching to the sixteenth century, long before the establishment of compulsory education. Perhaps this is why Czechia became known as a powerhouse of talented musicians and inspired the wonderful old saying ‘every Czech is a musician’. Music continues to be the mainstay of the liduška education programme, but students also study visual arts, dance and theatre. It is profoundly telling of the nation’s love for the arts that public art schools have managed to survive and thrive through the years. In many towns the unassuming liduška serves as the local cultural centre and contributes to the cultural milieu, wielding a great deal of artistic power. And what happens when all public art schools connect across Czechia? Last May the mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená organised an incredible gathering that transformed the map of Czechia into a beautiful garden of music, visual arts and most of all, joy – the kind that connects people from all backgrounds. Next year’s event is already being planned so get your instruments tuned and please, memorise your notes! For more information go to www.zusopen.cz. ■


Songbook

TRIO OF TRADITION TRADITIONAL FOLK MUSIC IS RETURNING TO POPULAR CONSCIOUSNESS. IT IS A TREASURED PART OF OUR CULTURE AND IT COMES DRESSED IN BEAUTIFUL NATIONAL COSTUMES. text and notes: Kristína Koščíková | photo: Adéla Havelková and Adéla Kudrnová


TRADITIONAL MUSIC IS AN INSEPARABLE PART OF OUR CULTURAL IDENTITY. PAINTERS LEAVE BEHIND PAINTINGS, ARCHITECTS BUILDINGS, BUT WHAT IS THE LEGACY OF MUSICIANS LONG GONE? MUSICAL NOTES AND SCORES CREATED BY COLLECTORS OF FOLK MUSIC ARE BUT AN APPROXIMATION – MUSICIANS OFTEN IMPROVISED, SO EACH NEW INTERPRETATION OF A SONG RESULTED IN A UNIQUE VERSION. THE TRADITIONAL SONGS WE SING TODAY ARE OLDER THAN THE FIRST SOUND RECORDINGS. HOW DID THEY SOUND IN THE PAST? IN THIS FEATURE WE EXPLORE THE MUSICAL TRADITIONS OF THREE REGIONS: CHODSKO, UHERSKOHRADIŠŤSKO AND HORŇÁCKO. If there is one instrument that defines traditional folk music from the Chodsko region, it is the bagpipe. Historically bagpipes were popular in the whole of Czechia, but today they are the defining instrument only in the south, particularly in Chodsko. In the early nineteenth century bagpipes were often accompanied by the violin, and this combination was sufficient for playing in pubs, at christenings or even at weddings. Later the E-flat clarinet became popular, and bagpipes started to tune in its key. The main melody was carried by the clarinet and the bagpipes, with the bagpipes playing an octave lower, while the violin played the background part. Today we can find two or even three bagpipes playing in the same folkloric ensemble. This combination has led – apparently deservedly – to many jokes, including: ‘Q: How do you get three bagpipers to play in tune? A: You shoot two of them!’ The cimbalom plays the same role in the traditional music of Uherskohradišťsko and Horňácko as the bagpipes in Chodsko. Violins form the basis of every cimbalom group – they are the melodic leads, accompanied in harmony by the viola, which plays a countering role. The viola and the double bass give Moravian music its typical rhythm and colour. A typical cimbalom group includes the first and second violins, the cimbalom and the clarinet, and for accompaniment the viola, the third violin and the double bass. The group leader plays the main melody on the first violin and enriches it with melodic embellishments. These endow the music its colour, and result in a sound that is not only unique to a specific region, but also to a specific cimbalom group. The group leader is the group’s conductor – s/he chooses the repertoire and reigns in exuberant singers. Folk music is after all pure energy. For their help with the preparation of this article we thank Lubomír Pitter from the folkloric troupe Mrákov (www.mrakovskysoubor.cz), Jana Trubačíková from the folkloric troupe Míkovjan (www.fsmikovjan.cz) and Petra Hrbáčová from the Living Museum in Strážnice (www.skanzenstraznice.cz). ■


WOMEN’S COSTUME FROM UHERSKOHRADIŠŤSKO The foundation piece of the women’s costume is the petticoat, called rubášek in the Kunovice region. The petticoat is longer than the back skirt [šorec] and the front skirt [fěrtuška]. The top is called rukávce and for festive occasions it has light blue sleeves; in the Kunovice region the sleeves are decorated with red and black embroidery. The vest is called kordulka, and the winter costume includes a little jacket – lajbl. The typical regional colour for the back skirt is yellow, and other shades are added together with an embroidered waistband. Embroidered leather boots complete the costume.


AT THE PUB IN ČÁSTKOV SONG FROM UHERSKOHRADIŠŤSKO THE REGION OF UHERSKÉ HRADIŠTĚ EMBRACES ITS FOLK TRADITIONS TO THIS DAY. IN THE YEARLY CULTURAL CALENDAR ARE FOLKLORIC FESTIVALS AND HARVEST CELEBRATIONS AND FEASTS. THE LATTER ARE OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY, NOT JUST MEMBERS OF FOLKLORIC TROUPES, AND PEOPLE ENJOY THE OPPORTUNITY TO DRESS UP IN THE COLOURFUL REGIONAL COSTUME. THE FEATURED SONG IS A LOVE SONG SET IN ČÁSTKOV, A VILLAGE NEAR UHERSKÉ HRADIŠTĚ.

V častkovskej hospodě # #2 & # 4 œj œ

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Na čas - tkov -skej vě - ži

dva - náct

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ta mo-

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Ši -je

ju, ši-je

ju,

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35

ným hed - vá - bem,

by - la

tys fra -já - rkú, by- la

tys fra - jár - kú, a - le

už ne - bu - deš.

Co to, milá, co to máš, co fěrtúškem přikrýváš? Pěknú modrú leluju, přiď, synečku, dám ti ju. Velehrad je pěkné mesto, má panenko, nepověz to, Velehrad je pěkné mesto,

Nač bych já to povídala, dyž bych sama vydržala, nač bych já to povídala, dyž bych sama vydržala,


SEVEN YEARS NOT SEEN SONG FROM CHODSKO ACROSS CHODSKO YOU WILL HEAR SONGS ABOUT YOUNG LOVE, ABOUT LOVE OF BEER … AND EVEN SOME ABOUT LOVE OF WORK. THIS SONG IS ABOUT A MAN WHO RETURNS FROM A PUB AND HIS WIFE SENDS HIM TO SLEEP IN THE BARN. FEELING REJECTED HE DECIDES TO GO BACK TO THE PUB, BUT THERE HE FEELS LONELY. THE ANNUAL CHODSKO FESTIVAL IN DOMAŽLICE IS THE GREATEST FOLKLORIC EVENT OF THE REGION, FEATURING SONGS, DANCES, STORYTELLING AND HANDICRAFTS.

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let sem při - šel

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při - šla že - na

pro mňe mi de

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Při - šla Že - na

pro mňe mi de

j j œœœ œœœ œœœ

j j œœœ œœœ œœ œ

ne - vi - díl, z hos - po - dy,

j j œœœ œœœ œœ œ

že - na má: vo - re - vřít

j j œœœ œœœ œœ œ

že - na má: vo - re - vřít

j œœ œœj œœ œ œ œ

ne - sly - šíl za - kle - pám

mu - zi - ku, na dve - ře,

j j j œœ œœ œœ œœj œ œ œ œ

j j œœ œœœ œœœ œ

"Pojď ha

do - mů, kar - ba - ní - ku!" za vla - sy mě be - ře.

j j j œœ œœ œœ œœj œ œ œ œ

"Pojď ha

j œœ œœj œ œ œ œœ

do - mů, kar - ba - ní - ku!" za vla - sy mě be - ře.


MEN’S COSTUME FROM LOWER CHODSKO The pants, called žluťáky [yellow pants], were made from leather in the past; today they are made from yellow fabric. Underneath them men wear long stockings held with elastics. Today’s shirts feature heirloom embroidery passed on from old shirts, a long-standing custom of preserving handiwork. The vest is an important element of the costume, as its richness tells of the prosperity of the region. The head covering was made from otter skin in the past and for this reason is called vydrovka [vydra is otter in Czech]. As the Chod people guarded the border, an important element of the men’s costume is the defence axe known as čakana.


WOMEN’S COSTUME FROM HORŇÁCKO This costume belongs to a group of simpler and less decorated costumes from the mountain regions. The undergarment [rubáš] consists of a skirt sewn together with the top part, opléček, which is adorned with a weaving visible between the vest [kordulka] and the skirt. Called činovať, its red and black design is characteristic of the region. The collar of the blouse is decorated with an embroidery technique called the ‘counted thread’. There are several colour variants, each suitable for a different age or occasion. The pattern on the blouse matches the pattern on the cap and the scarf. The white apron with a flower motif is called kartulka.


WHOSE FELLA ARE YOU? SONG FROM HORŇÁCKO HORŇÁCKO – A MICRO-REGION COMPRISING TEN VILLAGES – IS VERY PROUD OF ITS TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS. TRADITIONAL MUSIC IS VERY POPULAR AND THE ANNUAL HORŇÁCKO FESTIVAL DRAWS ABOUT 10,000 PEOPLE. THE FESTIVAL TRIES TO PRESERVE THE AUTHENTICITY OF MUSICAL EXPRESSION BY ALLOWING SPONTANEOUS CHANGES TO SONGS DURING PERFORMANCES. THANKS TO THIS MUCH-LOVED IMPROVISATION, FOLK MUSIC CONTINUES TO EVOLVE WITH EVERY PERFORMANCE.

Šohajičku, čí si #2 & #4

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EDITORIAL STAFF

CONTRIBUTORS

Adéla Kudrnová I editor in chief adela@soffamag.com Lenka Hlaváčová I art director & designer lenka@soffamag.com

Kristína Koščíková | writer Alice Muziková | writer Tereza Škoulová | writer Hana Švolbová | writer Karel Veselý | writer Kristína Víšková | writer Ondřej Lipár | writer & photographer Ladislav Babuščák | photographer Michaela Karásek Čejková | photographer Lucie Tomišková | illustrator

Lina Németh I photographer lina@soffamag.com Adéla Havelková I photographer & graphic designer adela.h@soffamag.com Róbert Kováč I graphic designer robert@soffamag.com Yasmin Keshmiri Hejduk I creative editor yasmin@soffamag.com Helena Stiessová I managing editor editor@soffamag.com Helena Novotná I editor & editorial office assistant helena@soffamag.com Patrik Florián I editor & fashion stylist patrik@soffamag.com Aleksandra Sidorina I production manager & make-up artist aleksa@soffamag.com Max Smrčka I production manager max@soffamag.com Terézia Bělčáková I sales manager terezia@soffamag.com Petr Novák I sales manager petr@soffamag.com Ingrid Martonova I English translation Peter Stannard I English revision & proofreading

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HIGHLIGHT: Oratorio to Youth ESSAY: To Your Own Tune CREATIVE PEOPLE: Instruments of Music ARCHITECTURE: Remarkable Concert Halls TRAVEL: Bornholm and Jamaica SONGBOOK: Trio of Tradition

ISSUE THEME: MUSIC Most people cannot imagine life without music. In this issue we reflect on the past and the future of music and on the feelings it evokes in us all. Tune in!

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SOFFA 22 / MUSIC, English edition  

ISSUE 22: MUSIC | Most people cannot imagine life without music. In this issue we reflect on the past and the future of Music and on the fee...

SOFFA 22 / MUSIC, English edition  

ISSUE 22: MUSIC | Most people cannot imagine life without music. In this issue we reflect on the past and the future of Music and on the fee...