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Sylva Smejkalová

Sylva Smejkalová

area: Sound Art

© Sylva Smejkalová

© Sylva Smejkalová

© Sylva Smejkalová

© Sylva Smejkalová

Key Facts

nationality

Czech Republic

area

Sound Art

residence

Prague

recommending institution

TONSPUR

time period

January 2005 - February 2005

Biography:

Sylva Smejkalova

1974  born in Ostrava, Czech Republic

1988-1994  Janacek Conservatory, Ostrava (composition and piano).

1994-2000 Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Prague (composition with Prof.Marek Kopelent and music production with Prof. Jaroslav Smolka and Jaroslav Rybár)

2001-2002 Herder scholarship at the University of Vienna.
2001-2006 Universität für Musik  und darstellende Kunst Wien
(electro acoustic composition with Dieter Kaufmann)
2002-2003 Three-month work-scholarship at KulturKontakt Austria
2003      Foundation of the civil association „early reflections“ with composer Michal
Trnka in Prague.

As a music producer she worked with Czech Radio, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (dir: M.Rotta, L.Pesek), the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (opening concerts of Prague Spring Festival 2002, conductor: K.I. Kobayashi and 2004, conductor: J.Kout), PPProduction Pavel Prantl, Virtuosi di Praga Oldrich Vlcek, BVA International.
As pianist of contemporary music, she played at the concerts of the Department
of Composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Studio N of Ivana
Loudová, "early reflections", first Tuning Metronomes.


Projects:
4/2003  Vienna, MQ, Quartier 21, showroom of KulturKontakt Austria Piroschka,
where do we begin - audio-visual project (video - Gaper Jemec)

8/2003  Ostrava, Summer Institute for Composers and Performers, August 11-31,
Public Performances of New Music, premiere of the composition
Compensations, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava

11/2003  Prague, Philharmonia concert hall, concert titled Tuning Metronomes meet
early reflections

1/2004  Vienna, Brett Theater, K.H.Mácha: Die Zigeuner, scenic music at the opportunity
of 20th jubilee of the theatres existence
4/2004  Vienna, Alte Schmiede, concert of Czech electro acoustic music
(with flautist M.Streitová)

5/2004  Moscow, Festival Alternativa, authors evening including presentation
of Czech electro acoustic music (with violinist M. Trnka)

6-11/2004  Prague, Philharmonia concert hall: 3 concerts of the association early reflections

10/2004  Berlin, Third prize for composition Humanistische Apotheose composed
for the Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands.

Projectinfo

ADELANTE... ATRAS *

Project by Derek Vertongen (subject, sound material and texts) and Sylva Smejkalová (music), Jan Kotzmann (mastering)


In  a world which no longer stops, we are becoming non-stop travellers.  As such, we are surrounded by the auditory rituals  which signal every step of the way -- from the familiar sounds of urban transport to the safety instructions on every aircraft.

“Slip the lifejacket over your head...”, the invisible voice tells us  and it always sounds the same, yet every airport, every railway, every underground  has its own sound signature.  This identity stems  of course from  language, but also from technology, acoustics  (the great railway stations of Europe have their own sound) and from traditions forged in this new era of borderless mobility.

Whenever we travel by one form of public transport or another, we are accompanied by sound markers , by hidden voices of announcers which tell us to lock our cars in the underground parking garage, or give the ‘final call’ for the departing flight to Moscow.

The proposed soundscape /installation combines  new electronic music composed  by Sylva Smejkalova, and a dense  sound fabric derived from  field recordings made by Derek Vertongen over a long period of time and in many parts of the world.

Here, messages usually relegated to the background, now move to the foreground, take on a new, obsessive meaning. The idea is not to take the listener on a simple trip through airports and railway stations, but on a far more subjective, chaotic journey without departure and without arrival.

This recurring mantra  of  mobility  (e.g.’ The next station is  ...’ or  ‘In preparation for landing , put the tray table in the upright position, etc.)  is recognized  across cultures and across language barriers.  They are markers of our life on a road which never seems to  end.  Here they become  part of a larger dream /nightmare, associated with places and machines which aim to take us away from ourselves, but often don´t.

________________________________
*  The title ‘Adelante..atras’ (forward...backward) came to me on  a long overnight bus ride through the mountains of Bolivia. The road was blocked by a broken down truck and our ancient bus got stuck in deep mud.  All night the passengers tried to push the bus out of the mud and past the obstacle,  constantly shouting  to the driver : “Adelante... atras, adelante...atras”. 
It was no use. We had to wait until morning when a big tractor pulled us out.

Documentation

Project Sylva Smejkalová:
Multi - channel composition Adelante atras.
Statement:

Thanks to my teacher, assistant at the University of Vienna and artist in one person - Andrea Sodomka - I acquired the possibility to be invited to the 2-month project within the scope of project tonspur, Quartier 21 in MQW. It was in the time of January and February 2005.

The material for my project was prepared in advance; I had to do only the final composition and mixing, in Vienna in this time. The apartment in MQ offers no audio technique what I ordinary need to work, as well as I had no opportunity to work in the space specified for this project.  As usual I took advantage of my contacts in Prague. The material was prepared in my computer, mixed in one Prague studio and than finally presented in the 8 channel-form in MQW.
Because I just finished my studies at the University of Vienna, electro-acoustic composition in the class of Dieter Kaufmann, I was very glad to spend such an intensive period in Vienna, in the centre of culture, to see and hear what the other young artists during my stay in MQW from Slovakia, Poland, Australia etc., are doing.

Not every young artist in residence had an opportunity to show his work in MQW.
The project tonspur is a good audio – installation, which makes the Avenue 21 more living.
Now I can say it was very helpful time for me. After opening evening on 6 of Feb. 2005, I could spend the rest of my Vienna-artist in residence-sojourn, working or finishing another pieces, staying in contact with many other artists, not only musicians.

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