New directions in my musical journey

Hello, my readers! This is going to be rather descriptive (kind of autho-biographical), boring contribution without any stylish pictures that could give it the right athmosphere. I write here about the development, progress of things in my artistic life and what are my plans for the future!

I have been creating my own music around ten years (eight years I perform it). I must confess that at least two last years I gradually started to feel uncomfortable on stage and organizing concerts. To this point I have got from the main reasons: 1. I started beeing bored by my own compositions. Maybe I also have lost the need to tell people something internal through my music, or I have lost the internal thing in me so I didn’t have the message for audience anymore; 2. It became slightly emotionally exhausting to make an effort to impress the organizers or owners of places where I wanted/planned to perform. Since the beginning I heard from different people that my music is weird, too sad, too pathetic, they said the style of my songs is not so homogenic and it cannot be categorized by the standard genre names, that it should be sung in this or that language and shouldn’t be sung in another, that I shouldn’t write my own because it is horrible, and so on. It was never anything objective like “you are over pitched ofter” or “you should practise more piano playing” – which I personally think I should have been doing as my piano playing wasn’t the best during performances, but some people had always only subjective and biased criticism as it didn’t fit to their music taste (which is alright, but again, I god fed up by it). I didn’t gave up on my own specific style, it’s rather that this “making an effort” turned into a begging for some deserved attention, which is terribly degrading feeling.

With my new way of life after I left the academic studies opened wonderful possibilities to dive into different kinds of music (as I alsways wished to do, but you know, now it is part of my professional self-development, but back then it was more like procrastination). So I jumped into amazing courses and workshops and started preparing for what I dream about already longer time (which is to merge a non-tempered musical system together with Czech lyrics). I finally began studying theory of makam (or maqam) music, the music which I listened to very often and could improvise a melodies in it, but completely unaware of what (which makam or rhythm) I am singing and unable to recognize different makams in various compositions. To these days, the best school for me was course of Ross Daly (who established musical workshops called “Labyrinth”, focused on modal music), including contact with a whole community around Labyrinth. Also we discussed cultural propriety in music and when adopting/borrowing different music styles (and very often we have such conversations with friends who are doing arts from foreing cultures), which is another topic worthy to talk about in separate post, and probably I will write something on it as it exactly relates to what I do. In the summer, I spent a breathtaking (also literally, due to the hot humid air) month in India in the school of Gundecha brothers (it was actually few months before of the gurujis, master of exceptional personality, Ramakant Gundecha died, which broke heart of us all who knew him). My “Indian experience” is a story for another long chapter itself, but I just need to say, that, beside the cultural and personal enrichment I gave to me, I definitely stay influenced by it, because it touched me as on very philosophical level as on specific form of music composition.

Beside working on the makam fusions another project quite unexpectedly arised. At the end of 2018, I met the guitarist Zdeněk Martínek (his page) who plays flamenco and together we arranged some rehearsing since the beginning of 2019, where I tried to understand basic elements of flamenco music. I feel very happy that I had the oportunity to learn this, although it was preceded by tragical death of the locally known great singer Eva Králová (whom I didn’t know personally) who sang flamenco with Zdeněk before. I already listened to flamenco occasionally, but I have never listened to it analytically in purpose to learn the rhythms or phrasing. But despite the difficulty of this specific genre I absolutely love its temper and it feels that I found something where I can be completely free in my emotional expression. Also I still feel that my own music (i. e. songs I composed for piano and voice until nowadays) are somewhat with similar spirit as flamenco songs, regardless their absolutely different forms. It can be said that after I practise flamenco singing and performance, it gave me an inspiration and courage to give more power and emotions to perfomance of my own songs sung in another languages than Spanish. It shows me than I don’t have to be so restrained from it.

So to sum it all up, my long-term(or life-long?) musical projects are singing flamenco, and setting Czech lyrics into a makam music. To the first mentioned, I have nothing more to say right now because all I have to do is studying, listening and practising as hell. because it is the most difficult of everything I have ever learned in music. To the second project mentioned, it counts the same for what I said about the first one, but with the difference that the Czech makam is fully creative, whereas in flamenco it is more about making covers. I study hard makams and I am trying to develope phrasing of Czech lyrics in makam ornamental melodies (and for sure I want to involve some special rhythms like samai, curcuna or various 9/8 rhythms). A first try is my song “Sloky” which has already two versions and is in the list of audios here on this website.

Well, this doesn’t mean that I will bury my old songs and style forever, I actually would like to find some money for recording it at least in three albums. That is project maybe more complicated than flamenco and makam together. Anyway, I still can continue composing as I did until now, but there was feel for some change..and for which “an enrichment” is maybe better word than just “change”.

 

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