Brno Marathon of Music: DJ Jon Hopkins, Cirk La putyka, busking and opera in a swimming pool

Brno Marathon of Music: DJ Jon Hopkins, Cirk La putyka, busking and opera in a swimming pool

The multi-genre festival held under the title of Brno Marathon of Music has published a part of its main programme today. During the four days of the festival, traditional "streetless busking", a meeting of organ players, an event called "Endless Organ" at the Jesuit Church and another one named Pianoštafeta [Piano Relay Race] in the Alfa Mall will take place in the city centre. Performers  such as  DJ Jon Hopkins from Britain, the dance circus group Motionhouse and NoFit State or Cirk La Putyka will come to perform in Brno. The local scene will be represented by the ensemble Hausopera with their show entitled The Last Polo, which will take place directly in the swimming pool of a spa.

Since its successful entry into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Brno has boasted the title of "City of Music". The aim of the Brno Marathon of Music festival, which is entering its fourth season this year, is to turn the city centre into one big music scene for four days each year. There will be a large stage on the Dominikánské náměstí square, with a mix of genres, from alternative and film music to rock and pop. Children and adults will enjoy their time here. A chill-out zone with an information kiosk of the festival will be placed in the courtyard of the Old Town Hall. The already traditional "street-free busking" of Kateřina Šedá will be set up this year by means of special “rooms” for street musicians in the streets of Brno. In addition to busking, the programme will also feature roller organists at the Jesuit Church and pianists in the Alfa Mall. Folklore will not be missing either. This year's novelty is a folk and alternative stage.

The Cirk La Putyka  new circus ensemble will bring its production Isole to Brno; it is based on the Italian term for "islands" and at the same time it refers to the poem No Man Is an Island by John Donne. The Brno premiere of this performance will be held under the auspices of the Prague Letní Letná Festival. This time, the spa in Rašínova Street will be an unusual venue for a cultural experience. The site-specific opera Poslední pólo [The Last Polo]  has been staged to the measure of the pool in which it will take place. The music of Marek Ivanović will mingle here with graceful movements of a synchronised swimming team; the nostalgic libretto by Josef Škarka, performed by opera singers dressed in swimsuits, will confirm that the first love is never to be forgotten. Behind this one-act opera stands an association of enthusiasts – professionals named Hausopera.

Electronic producer and DJ Jon Hopkins, also known for his collaboration with the band Coldplay, is coming to Brno from the UK. The synonym of Hopkins' own work is a dazzling organic sound and refined sense of composing multilayered compositions. His production is a showcase of a sophisticated visionary mentality full of contagious sensuality, which finds it  fans across multiple genres.

A show entitled BLOCK will demonstrate what emerges from a combination of dance and circus, as it shifts the boundaries of both forms of art. Artists from the ensembles Motionhouse and   NoFit State will gradually put together twenty voluminous  blocks into an endless variety of shapes and configurations, where they play their show about life in the city, including all its contradictions and challenges. This performance is brought to you by the Marathon festival in cooperation with the "Na prknech, dlažbě a trávě" [On Planks, Pavement and Grass] festival. Admission is free of charge.

Isole - Cirk La Putyka / photo from archive of the ensemble 



No comment added yet..

For the opening concert of the 20th anniversary season of the Špilberk Festival yesterday, the Brno Philharmonic chose a dramaturgy consisting of proven as well as lesser-known pieces. The subtitle Romantic Carnival immersed all evening in the carnival spirit associated with celebrations before the carnival opening. The aim of the programme was to characterize the period of merriment, celebrations and masks by compositions that tell with their mood about this period of the year. The almost full-up castle courtyard had the opportunity to enjoy an unpretentious and appealing programme, which also with its lower temperature more easily approached that cold carnival period.       more

As a UNESCO-listed city of music, Brno has had four festival days full of music and dance. Tens of concerts and performances with hundreds of performers took place at twenty-two music venues. Music in the streets sounded on every corner, but most attention this year was attracted by four rooms by the artist Kateřina Šedá, in which artists of different genres and nationalities took turns. Another attraction was the performances of the British Motionhouse and No Fit State Circus, who repeatedly enchanted the Náměstí Svobody Square with their acrobatic pieces and breathtaking performances. Two large stages were also set up – Dominik Stage on Dominikánské Square and Django Stage on Malinovského Square, on which appeared artists such as Jana Kirschner, Monika Bagárová, minus123minutes or Jan P. Muchow & The Antagonists. Traditionally, the festival was accompanied by the sound of barrel organs whose players met in Brno as part of their 10th international meeting. This year, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tinatin Tsereteli (Hannover) and violinist Nicola Manzan (Bologna) as artists from UNESCO partner cities of music also premiered at the Brno Music Marathon. The atmosphere of the festival is captured in the video below.  more

Folkové prázdniny [Folk Holidays] in Náměšť nad Oslavou is a festival standing out with its dramaturgy, structure and atmosphere. Every season has its own theme, every evening has its own theme, and even some individual performances have their own themes. The long-time programme director Michal Schmidt managed this year to excellently balance Czech premiéres and truly extraordinary projects with reappearances and sure bets. This year's theme of Folkové prázdniny was About the Soul; however, this week-long event has its soul every year.  more

The group Nebeztebe (a pun containing both "Not without You" and "Heaven from You) literally shone in the Brno scene a few years ago. The five-member line-up, with its marked rhythms, seemingly above styles, celebrated victory at Porta and headed for the giant multi-genre festivals. Under bandleader Štěpán Hulc seemingly the band went to sleep and only returned this year with a brand new, three-member line-up. The new Nebeztebe is made up of guitar, violin and mandolin and has not given up on taking a multi-genre approach. Once more they are giving concerts and are coming out with the concept album Zásobování duše (which might be translated as Supplying the Soul).  more

One of the musicians who will appear at Folkové prázdniny [Folk Holidays] in Náměšť nad Oslavou as part of a special programme called Harfy nad Oslavou [Harps upon Oslava], is the Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda. In Náměšť, he will also give a solo recital as part of an evening called O duši s lehkostí i naléhavostí [About Soul with Lightness and Urgency]. In our telephone conversation – we called him to New York where he lives – we talked to Edmar Castañeda, for example, about a harp specially constructed according to his requirements, or about his cooperation with the Czech singer Marta Töpferová.  more