So I finished working and I had a chance to play a little concert with some of my friends as a sort of goodbye Brno gesture. It was a pleasant lofi affair in the open air with deck chairs, good beer, and a laid back atmosphere.
Gerald Taylor (Canada) played fretless bass guitar and flute.
Museum Night. Every museum in the city was open to the public for free. Would this work back in Northern Ireland I wonder? Would people be interested? Would there be enough of a turnout of people to justify the staff working late into the evening? Would it only work if there was free alcohol to entice them? maybe if there was some 'nice house music' to make it appear trendy? I wonder how it would pan out...
In Brno all the galleries were packed with people of all ages. Some slightly less charitable types speculated this might be because Czech people can't say no to a freebie, I'd like to believe that it's because they enjoy culture. I'm naive and hopeful that way though.
These videos were taken at the museum of Romany culture. A one-of-a-kind exhibition space. It's apparantly having problems securing funding and may become a thing of the past. Sad news.
The whole evening was very close to an overload, but as an experiment to find how many houses of culture I could take in in one evening it was worth testing myself - apparantly I have more of hunger than some of my friends...
It's been quite a busy time of late. Lots of fun things to do, lots of work and no time to make posts about any of it. So I'll go back in time a little and mention some of the events I think are of note.
Break 4 Beats Open Air Party at Riviera Brno. 16/05/08 Skateshop.cz stage 20.00 - Gabanna
I worked throughout all the above with occassional short breaks to fetch drinks. Second End/Eagleheart/Svatý Pluk - Faval 22/05/08 Heavy metal night. I was joined by Adam to go and se one of my students bands. It's been quite a while since i've been to see a full on rock act. This was a welcome reminder of what i had been missing, with the addition of a rather curious choir type ensemble as an opening act: Eagleheart
Apparantly the guys over at BBC Northern Ireland, specifically on the ATL (Across The Line) show found my ep online and gave it a listen and decided to play it over the air - good news.
I think it's encouraging to find that they're out there sifting through the rather head-swimmingly huge amount of music on the net and giving it a try, and not just playing the promos that come to their desk...these guys work!
If you want to hear which on they chose, follow the link to their podcast:
"Made on a laptop. Extra instruments: trombone, melodica, clarinet, french horn, fretless bass, plate, crisp packets, table, clay bells, radio, kaoss pad, field recordings.
Special thanks to: Mark for playing trombone on Gwan dub, Sandra for lending me her melodica, Gerald for lending me his bass, Phil for some drum machine samples, Sophie for her patience and artwork, and whoever left a pair of old radios in a bin for me." Barry C
1. Word Up Dub 2. Gwan Dub 180 (feat. Mark Knight) 3. Audiobulb Dub 4. Glock Dub 5. Gwan Dub 150 tech
All week across various cities in central Europe there have been a range of interesting cultural happenings taking place showing off the range of cutting edge artistic practice in this part of the continent.
Details of the cities involved this year are available on the Multiplace website. It's full of information on the venues and the artsts taking part. Here in Brno there have been educational workshops, and performances/gigs/concerts in several venues that range from cafes to nightclubs. It's a great feeling to be in a place that has so much to contribute. The number of world-class creative types is quite humbling to see, it is also more importantly very inspiring.
Conversation often drifts back to such things, critiques abound. I spent a little time at Kavarna Trojka yesterday, lurking outside the PD (Pure Data) workshops and peeping through the windows before I had to go to work then returning to see and hear some people using the software to mess with audio and video information later that evening.
As you can see from the photo of the programme for the evening there were three acts scheduled. I saw all of them but only heard two, I spent some time in the drinking/smoking zone watching the video feed with friends - sadly there was no audio to accompany the images.
First up was Catophone a three piece laptop (Macbook) ensemble with three data projectors and three screens side-by-side. The images were stuttering cat videos the audio was glitched up from the same source. If you like glitch have a little watch of this clip:
Next up was Cabowitz and P.O.P Corp, I was a little bummed to miss the audio, but the video was superb, examples of the Corp's video work can be seen in my report of Heavy Mental 7#
Next up was Mytoken who looked as if they could be very interesting indeed. Electric guitar played with a slide, sitar, acoustic guitar and laptop audio with desktop video processing. It was good in parts but at other times it seemed a little like the kind of jamming that makes my toes curl. Aimless noodling or hot spiraling psychedelia. It was a rather hit-and-miss affair, but it got a bit more peppy when a piano player got up from th crowd and joined in. A clip can be seen here:
ČANKIŠOU (prounounced like chunky-show) are the type of band that would usually scar me off giving them a proper chance. I heard about them from several work colleagues who were enthusiastic to go to their album launvh party in Brno, and I took their enthusiasm as a positive for the band. I'm glad I didn't bother looking at their myspace nor read their English presskit as I probably would have been scared off by the inclusion of terms like 'world music'.
So I went to the show delightfully ignorant about the band. I heard an array of instruments, and saw a large band of people who could play their instruments really well. There was a number of video cameras feeding into the visuals and dancers and UV lights to highlight the dancers costumes.
Altogether it was quite an impressive show, I was happy I made the effort to go and see them, but I had the feeling that I wouldn't listen to this music at home, th lead vocalist having a tendency to warble in a way that veers close mystical chanting that doesn't do much for me (this says more about my lack of understanding of this particular style of singing and it's history than it does abot his ability to sing in this style).