festival rescheduled from
April 23 –25, 2020 to
October 16 – 17 & 28, 2020 online
REGISTRATION TO ACCESS ONLINE RECORDINGS STILL OPEN!
MicroFest Prague 2020
Was successfully held online between October 16 – 28, 2020.
We thank you for your participation and interest!
Two days for conference discussion, recorded concerts and presentations
Recordings available online to registered participants
Registration was opened October 1, please use this form.
Our closing activity will be a microtonal listening test held on November 27, 2020 at 10:30 AM Prague time online with free online admission. You can also take the test on your own starting November 16, 2020. Instructions for taking the listening test here. Details in the poster below:
Click on the names for information on participants and their contributions! The presentations and performances of music as well as discussions will be given online only and are accessible by a link after registration.
The conference presenters
Marc Sabat: keynote presentation A Compact Enharmonically Viable Subset of Harmonic Space. The Stern-Brocot Tree and Some Thoughts About Lattices and Spirals
Materials for this keynote have been prepared in by August 2020 by Thomas Nicholson and Marc Sabat and include a text by Catherine Lamb. The keynote is a conversation between Marc Sabat and Thomas Nicholson about the article and some open questions about finite sets tuned in extended JI.
Tenney Harmonic Space is a representation of rational intonation extending Euler’s lattice to potentially infinite dimensions. There are two embedded measures: the usual pitch-height distance, proportional to the logarithm of the ratio of two frequencies, and harmonic distance, measuring along the prime axes of harmonic space, determined by the absolute value exponents of the ratio’s prime factorisation. Since no ratios other than powers of 2 (unisons, octaves) multiply to produce another power of 2, no finite JI pitch set can replicate the same non-2 interval at every note. However, acoustic instruments and human hearing do allow a certain tolerance. The potential accuracy of pitch-height differentiation suggests that acoustic instruments ought to be able to tune notes to within about a schisma (2c) in critical harmonic contexts meant to be perceived as extended JI. Thus, some finite subsets of harmonic space may function as tolerably “complete” approximations of harmonic auditory cognition. In such cases, when combining intervals it is desirable to maintain “consistency”: ratios represented by best-case mistunings ought to combine to match best-case representations. Also, it is generally desirable to minimise the retuning of held notes in common-tone chord changes. These requirements cause adherents of adaptive JI and quasi-JI equal tempered divisions to investigate sets of pitches with extremely fine grain. This article proposes a different approach, one which, at least conceptually, offers a potential to be tuneable by ear, while opening a door to the viability of enharmonic exchange, allowing a continuous traversal of the space. By generating lowest terms rational numbers using the Stern-Brocot Tree up to order 9, transposing these ratios to each of the ratios of the Pythagorean pentatonic, merging, normalising and eliminating duplicates, a set of 933 pitches is proposed which brings together the various advantages of adaptive JI, fine-grain equal temperaments, and the unmediated sonic clarity and playability of rational intonation.
Canadian composer of Ukrainian descent Marc Sabat (*1965) has been based in Berlin since 1999. He makes pieces for concert and installation settings, drawing inspiration from ongoing research about the sounding and perception of Just Intonation. He relates his practice to various music forms — folk, experimental and classical. In collaborations with other musicians and artists he is seeking points of shared exploration and dialogue between different modes of experience and cultural traditions.
Largely self-taught as a composer, Sabat studied violin at the University of Toronto, at the Juilliard School in New York, and computer music at McGill University, as well as working privately with Malcolm Goldstein, James Tenney and Walter Zimmermann, among others. With Wolfgang von Schweinitz he has developed the Extended Helmholtz-Ellis JI Pitch Notation and is a pioneer of music written and performed in microtonal Just Intonation. In 2000, he co-founded the Plainsound Music Edition website, conceived as a curated, interdisciplinary virtual artists’ edition.
Sabat’s work is played internationally. He teaches composition and the theory and practice of intonation at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Together with colleagues Catherine Lamb and Rebecca Lane he formed the Harmonic Space Orchestra in 2019.
Klaus Lang: Keynote presentation dettifoss. birds.
Prof. Klaus Lang tells about the keynote subject as follows: “I will talk about how historic tuning systems mirror interpretations of the world and led to specific aesthetic programs that are combining systems of tuning and music theory and compositional practice and how i draw conclusions from this for my own work as composer who uses the choice of a specific tuningsystem as one musical parameter that can be used as a means of composition.”
Klaus Lang (*1971 Graz / Austria) lives in Steirisch Lassnitz (Austria). He studied composition and theory of music (with H.M. Preßl, B. Furrer and Y. Pagh-Paan) and organ. Klaus Lang loves tea and dislikes lawnmowers and Richard Wagner. Klaus Lang’s music is not a means to convey extramusical contents, such as emotions, philosophical or religious ideas, political propaganda, advertisement etc… His music is no language used to communicate non-musical content. Music is seen as a free and selfstanding acoustical object. In his work he is not using sound, sound is explored and given the opportunity to unfold its inherent rich beauties. Only when sound is just sound it is percievable as that what it really is: a temporal phenomenon – audible time. Klaus Lang sees time as the genuine material of a composer and at the same time also the fundamental content of music. In his view musical material is time perceived through sound, the object of music is the experience of time through listening. Music is time made audible.
Robert Hasegawa: ”Composing with hybrid microtonalties”The history of microtonal music has largely been defined by the creation of closed and self-sufficient musical languages based on systematic derivations from axiomatic principles: for example, Harry Partch’s extended just intonation or Ivan Wyschnegradsky’s cyclical approach to microtonal equal temperaments. However, contemporary microtonal composers such as Manfred Stahnke and Georg Friedrich Haas often create hybrid microtonalities that combine apparently incompatible theories within a single musical work. Various strains of hybrid microtonality are explored through short analytical studies of the author’s own compositions, focused principally on the combination of principles of extended just intonation with various equal temperaments splitting the octave into twelve, nineteen, or twenty-four steps.
CV: ROBERT HASEGAWA is a composer and music theorist based in Montreal. His music explores a variety of microtonal concepts and techniques including just intonation, equal temperaments, hybrid systems, and frequency-based harmonies. Central topics of his research are spectral music, music perception and cognition, and the analysis of timbre and orchestration. He has been a faculty member at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal since 2012.
personal website: www.roberthasegawa.com
More information on this page soon!
Microtonal Projects: ‘The 19-division trumpet: exploring harmony ’
Microtonal Projects: Donald Bousted (Composer), Stephen Altoft (Trumpeter)
Stephen Altoft (19-div trumpet) (UK/DE) and Donald Bousted (composer) (UK) are joint Artistic Directors of Microtonal Projects which organised four UKMicroFests in London, and then established EUROMicroFest in 2013. As part of their project “The Microtonal Trumpet” they created affordable trumpet mechanisms which allow the temporary conversion of a standard trumpet into a microtonal instrument. They first discovered a practical solution for quarter-tones, then later for 19-divisions of the octave. This presentation charts the use of harmony in 19- division solo trumpet repertoire. You can find out more about “The Microtonal Trumpet” at http://www.microtonalprojects.com.
Stephen Altoft is dedicated to the creation of new repertoire for the trumpet. As a solo artist, and with percussionist Lee Ferguson as duo Contour, he has given concerts throughout Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada. He has appeared at the American Festival of Microtonal Music (New York), the New England Conservatory for the Boston Microtonal Society, the Daegu International Contemporary Music Festival (South Korea), “Mikrotöne: Small is beautiful” Symposium (Mozarteum, Salzburg), and EUROMicroFest (Freiburg, Germany). www.stephenaltoft.com
Donald has a PhD in musical composition from the University of Huddersfield where he worked for 8 years as a lecturer in composition (1992-2000). He was a Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the London Metropolitan University in 2000-1 and has also worked as a part-time lecturer at Kingston University. He has presented his music and projects at many UK university music departments including the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, in America at LA MicroFest, in South Korea, in Austria at ‘Mikrotöne- Small is beautiful’ Symposium 2017, at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel and in Germany at the Akademie der Tonkunst, Darmstadt and the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. He often gives joint presentations, with Stephen Altoft, on the microtonal trumpet. He is a joint author of The Microtonal Recorder Manual (Moeck, co-authored with Kathryn Bennetts and Peter Bowman).
Alessio Elia: “Polysystemism: a tool to shape music in connection with acoustical phenomena”
What’s more evanescent than sound? What is closest to immaterial among the manifestations of the perceptible realm if not music? Well, although this has always been noted, since the dawn of time, music in its historical path, has fallen into the error of becoming a language. It certainly reached peaks of inestimable beauty and depth of thought, but it gradually moved away from its ethereal essence and I would even say magical-alchemical dimension. During my career as a composer I have tried to trace it back to what I believe to be its most authentic origins and I have tried to organize the sound according to the ways in which we perceive it, making Berkeley’s expression my own according to which “being is being perceived”. In the search for a meaning of music as sensation I developed a compositional technique that I called polysystemism, that is, the simultaneous use of different tuning systems in order to create acoustic phenomena on which to base the aesthetics of my research and music. The present paper reports on the excursus of this almost twenty-year-old investigation, both through its musical works and by providing some practical solutions for the realization of its intents. In the final analysis, I believe in the effect of music on human thought and soul and to put it with Plato: if music changes, the most important institutions will also change. And so be it.
Alessio Elia is an Italian composer whose field of sound investigation is the search for a musical writing capable of combining acoustic phenomena with their sensorial perception. He has received commissions from major institutions, orchestras and ensembles on the international scene. His music is published by Universal Music Publishing EMB and released on CD by Warner Classics.
Petr Pařízek: “Applying Mathematical Knowledge to Performing Music In Practice”
This lecture focuses on the issue of using some mathematical knowledge about relationships between pitches to better understand the rules of intonation in a choir or in a chamber orchestra, primarily in the context of Baroque or Renaissance music or contemporary microtonal music. The information presented here can be useful for players/singers and for conductors as well. Some crucial differences between intonation styles are mentioned and the danger of possible conflicts of intonation requirements is discussed. Finally, some ideas are suggested for making the rules of proper intonation clear enough to the player so that he/she doesn’t need to write down dozens of additional marks for adjusting the tuning.
Petr Pařízek is currently a lecturer at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic. Previously, he studied piano playing, flute playing, and composition. He has also been given harmony and composition lessons by the Czech composer and musicologist Daniel Forró. Both in his compositions and in his research, Pařízek specializes in things like alternative musical temperaments, non-standard harmonic systems, the relationships between timbres and scales, creative application of audio DSP effects, and linking harmonic and sonic elements in music. Much of his work deals with acoustic interference within specific temperaments, which partially overlaps with the issue of tuning in the context of Baroque or Renaissance music.
Edward Powell: “Microtonalism found in Arabic and Indian music”
This lecture gives an overview of how microtonalism is found in the music of the middle and far east, explained from a western perspective. Examples of microtonal musical expression found in ragas, makams, and “the Blues” (for comparison) are clearly demonstrated and explained.
Edward Powell is a cross-cultural performer, composer, instrument builder, and educator. Having spent more than a decade living and studying in the Orient with indigenous masters Edward’s music is now profoundly influenced by the Indian, and Middle-eastern modal traditions. Since 2000 Edward has self-released 7 albums of original music and hand-crafted more than 60 complex original instruments which he uses for performing and recording.
Edward has been a professional musician for more than 40 years, has performed in a wide variety of venues and festivals around the globe.
Christian Klinkenberg: “The Glacier – Combining microtonal scales”
Composition based on microtonal scales is enjoying increasing popularity. Xenharmonic composers have usually limited themselves to one scale. However, the combination of microtonal scales has so far remained mostly unexplored. In “Le Sacre du Printemps” Igor Strawinsky combined modes based on the western tuning system. This approach is called polytonality. It would seem likely that the different microtonal scales can also be combined in compositions. This results in a multiplication of compositional possibilities without slipping into confusion since the composer himself determines the framework by the selection of specific scales. This selection can be based on overlaps, relationships or even complementation and might also be influenced by the respective character of the scales, as they can later be used programmatically in the composition. Video examples of the application of these aspects in Christian Klinkenberg’s opera “The Glacier” are shown.
Born in Eupen (B) in 1976, Christian Klinkenberg studied composition first at the jazz section of the “Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel” where he received a Master’s degree in 2006. In 2012, he obtained a Master’s degree in the classical section of the same institution. In May 2020, he obtained a PhD at the Free University of Brussels. The music of Christian Klinkenberg is characterized by the combination of contemporary composition concepts and improvisation. Alongside his work as a composer, Klinkenberg has continued actively as a pianist, bandleader and improviser with different performers and ensembles. Currently, he teaches at the Conservatoire du Nord in Luxembourg. Benno Bartsch (Jazzpodium 06/2016) about the music: “… Christian Klinkenberg uses very sophisticated concepts, but his music sounds anything but abstract or intellectualized; Klinkenberg produces a warm, soft sound that is also very easy to listen to …” www.christianklinkenberg.com
Milan Guštar: “All-interval rows in EDO systems”
With the twelve-tone technique and the serialism tone rows as permutations of all notes from chromatic scale were introduced in music. All-interval rows are a special subset of the twelve-tone rows and each all-interval row contains not only all twelve distinct pitch-classes but also all eleven distinct intervals between successive tones.In the microtonal music the octave can be divided into other number of equal steps than 12 and the idea of tone rows can be applied in these systems as well.
Milan Guštar is an organologist, composer, computer programmer, and designer of electronic, electroacoustic, multimedia, and interactive systems. He deals with interdisciplinary research on the border of science, technology and art, especially mathematical principles in music, theory of tone systems, electronics, computer science, applied mathematics, modeling and simulation.
Presentation by Dr. Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka, see under heading Performing musicians.
Presentation by Linnéa Sundfær Casserly, see under heading Performing musicians.
The performing musicians
The members of the performing quartet
Flutes: Elisa Azzarà
Accordion: Mirko Jevtovic
Cello: Lucia Perez Diego
Double bass: Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka
Klaus LANG (AT/DE): Origami (2011; fl., acc., vc.) ca. 14′
* Xue HAN(CN/CAN): SharpDop PupPipTrip (2019; fl., cb.) ca. 9′
* Hyeokjae KIM (KR/AT): Bubblegum Music (2019; fl., acc., vc.) ca. 6′
Sylvain MARTY (FR/AT): Saddle node (2019; fl., acc., vc.) ca. 8′
* Eleni RALLI (GR/CH): Small Moments (like these) – The Quartet Version (2019; fl., acc., vc., cb.) ca. 7′
* = Composition that was received from an international call for works.
The recording of Schallfeld Ensemble’s live concert on August 13, 2020 at Schaumbad – Freies Atelierhaus Graz was sound engineered by Stefan Warum.
Schallfeld is an international ensemble for contemporary music based in Graz. The group sparks the interest of its audience by its vivid virtuosity and refined chamber music sound, paired with interpretations that pay special attention to concert format, creating events that adapt to the specific venue while aiming for a new dimension of listening.
The ensemble was founded in 2013 by alumni of Klangforum Wien and composition students of Kunstuniversität Graz. It currently consists of musicians from 8 nationalities and reflects the diversity and different interests of its members in its artistic direction. In the last few years, Schallfeld has been able to establish itself on international stages through exciting programming with a focus on young composers, innovative concert-stagings as well as through the quality of its collective improvisations and innovative use of live-electronics.
Schallfeld sees its mission in bringing music of international young composers to Austria and acting as an ambassador for new music production abroad. Besides its own concert cycle in Graz, Schallfeld is regularly guest in festivals in Austria and abroad, such as Wien Modern, Impuls Graz, Klangspuren Schwaz, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Afekt (Estonia), Poznan Musical Spring (Poland), EMA (Spain), Daegu International Contemporary Music Festival (South Korea). In 2016 and 2017 Schallfeld has been selected by the Ministry of Foreign/cultural Affairs as rappresentative of NASOM (New Austrian Sound of Music), a program designed to promote young Austrian artists internationally.
The ensemble is also involved in pedagogical activities and collaborative theater projects for children and adults. Schallfeld is funded by the municipality of Graz, the federal state of Styria, the Austrian federal Government and receives generous support from the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and the iem (Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics) Graz. Past projects by Schallfeld have also received grants by the EU (Youth in Action), Music Austria (MICA) and KulturKontakt Austria.
Linnéa Sundfær Casserly, recorders
Markus Zahnhausen: Lux Aeterna
* Jonas Marti: Alone
* Péter Köszeghy: SCHACH
* Antonis Rouvelas: Viomata II
Ryohei Hirose: Meditation
Presentation includes microintervallic recorder topics such as
adding voice to the playing, using the voice to create a countermelody with occasional interference, glissandi, “microtonal fingerings”, changes in air pressure changing the pitch, and more.
Works included in the presentation:
Kikuko Masumoto: Pastorale
Japanese Shakuhachi flute
Maki Ishii: Black Intention
Luis Andriessen: Melodie
John Casken: Thymehaze
Markus Zahnhausen: Jahreszeichen
Robert Heppener: Toonladder
Nicola Termöhlen: Raindance.
Linnéa Casserly is a classically trained singer and recorder player. Currently based in Finland she also works in Norway, the UK and the rest of Europe. Linnéa is known for juggling genres easily and mastering both of her instruments in the same concerts – sometimes even singing and playing at the same time. She is specialised in the performance of baroque and contemporary music and regularly premieres pieces written especially for her.
Daniel Costello, horn
Costello’s concert carries the title “Acoustic Set”. “One of my motivations to present a solo program is the challenge to explore and expand the timbral and expressive range of the horn. As such, it is a rejection of electronics and visuals. The pieces feature many of the half-valve techniques I helped research with Zinc & Copper, as well as Persian scales, quarter-tones, natural harmonics (especially the 7th, 11th, 13th and many more), and vocalizing and playing concurrently. The physics of the instrument are sometimes overcome to produce tones between the natural partials, which expands the pallette of colour.”
Daniel Costello, a native New Yorker, was a freelance horn player in the US and Canada before he came to Europe. His principal teachers were John Zirbel, David Jolley and Malte Burba. Costello was appointed principal horn of La Camerata, a chamber orchestra in Athens, Greece in 1997 and later became principal horn of the Schönebeck Chamber Orchestra in Germany. In 2001, Daniel Costello was appointed associate principal horn of the Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, Germany, a position he still holds.
In new music circles, Costello has collaborated with Zinc & Copper, where he helped research microtonal and half-valve techniques. He has also performed all over Europe as a long-time member of Ostravska Banda. He has appeared with KNM Berlin, the elole piano trio (Dresden) and as a soloist at Jazz am Wendelstein, with the LeipJAZZig Orchester, the Leipzig Bach Orchester, the Anhaltische Philharmonie, and the Radar Ensemble. Recent appearances include the premiere of PRASQUAL’s double concerto MASHRABIYYA with the Polish National Radio Orchestra (NOSPR), Richard Ayers’ NONconcerto No. 36 with Ostravska Banda and performances of the Ligeti horn trio in New York, Ostrava, Ghent, Dessau, Lübeck and Dresden. Costello has recently translated Malte Burba and Paul Hübner’s book on experimental brass technique into English for Breitkopf & Härtel, and has lectured in extended horn techniques at the Hochschule für Musik “Hans Eisler” in Berlin and at the Ostrava Days Institute.
Martyna Kosecka – Enigma I for Solo Horn (2019) – 6 minutes
* Pavel ŠABACKÝ (CZ): Lone interlocutions on floaty peaks (2019) for solo horn – 6 minutes
* Louis AGUIRRE (CU/DK): CÁNTICOS A LO DIVINO (2017) for solo horn – 8 minutes
Idin Mofakham Samimi – Hazin for Solo Horn (2018) – 7 minutes
* Michael MIKULKA (USA): Cyclops (2018) – 5 minutes
Robert HASEGAWA (CAN): the clear architecture of the nerves (2000) for solo horn with piano resonator – 5 min.
where * = these works were received from an international call for works.
Erik Drescher, glissando-flute
Erik DRESCHER (b. 1972) is a freelance flutist, performer and curator for contemporary
music based in Berlin. In addition to a very active international career as a solo performer, he has performed in many ensembles for contemporary music.
The instrument played by Drescher is a glissando flute, a normal C-flute with a variable-length headjoint replacing the standard mouthpiece. Besides the possibility of producing non-step or stepless glissandi on one
fingering, you get an enormous number of new techniques. You can increase the possibilities of any given extended technique and also produce microtonal steps. The glissando flute opens up a wonderful new non-step world, a continuum of pitches.
Drescher has premiered an enormous number of new pieces, the majority of which were also commissioned by him and dedicated to him. He has been working with composers like Peter Ablinger, Maryanne Amacher, Alberto Bernal, Antoine Beuger, Annesley Black, J.-P. Caron, Axel Dörner, Sabine Ercklentz, Julio Estrada, Dror Feiler, Friedrich Goldmann, Hauke Harder, Andrew Harlan, Hanna Hartman, Michael Hirsch, Adriana Hölszky, Nicolaus A. Huber, Henrique Iwao, Jamilja Jazylbekova, Esaias Järnegard, Sven-Åke Johansson, Christian Kesten, Johannes Kreidler, Artur Kroschel, Bernhard Lang, Klaus Lang, Juseub Lim, Alvin Lucier, Michael Maierhof, Maximilian Marcoll, Lucas Martin, Chico Mello, André O. Möller, Andrea Neumann, Chris Newman, Phill Niblock, Ivo Nilsson, Helmut Oehring, Christoph Ogiermann, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, Gérard Pape, Karen Power, Éliane Radigue, Uwe Rasch, Jaime Reis, Manuel Rocha Iturbide, Marc Sabat, Idin Samimi Mofakham, Friedrich Schenker, Marcus Schmickler, Cornelius Schwehr, Martin Schüttler, Salvatore Sciarrino, Simon Steen-Andersen, Ernstalbrecht Stiebler, Stefan Streich, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Kasper T. Toeplitz, Jakob Ullmann, Mauricio Valdes, Jennifer Walshe, Jeremy Woodruff, Arash Yazdani, Lidia Zielińska.
* Alyssa ASKA (USA/AT): Circles.lines (2020) for glissando flute & stereo “tape” electronics – ca. 7′
J-T VESIKKALA WITTMACHER (FIN/CZ): Proxies for totems of belonging (2018, 20′) for glissando-flute and PVC mat
Marc SABAT (CAN/DE): Swing in sweetest summer (a chromatic ground for glissando flute) (2013) for glissando-flute and electronics – ca. 16’
* Mika PELO (SWE/USA): Syringe (2020) for glissando flute solo – ca. 5′
* Olga KRASHENKO (RUS/FR): Experience of a Gap (2020) for glissando flute & stereo “tape” electronics – ca. 10′
* Rouzbeh RAFIE (IR/IT): Unfettered howl (2019) for glissando flute solo – ca. 7′
* = Composition that was received from an international call for works.
Dr. Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka: “One Ear for The Past, One Ear for The Present: Aesthetics of Microtonal Composition in The Oeuvre of Klaus Lang“
Performance of Klaus Lang: die drei Spiegel der schönen Karin for double bass.
Presentation: One Ear for The Past, One Ear for The Present: Aesthetics of Microtonal Composition in The Oeuvre of Klaus Lang.
Klaus Lang, one of the most prolific contemporary Austrian composers, has become known for his specific musical language, creating works that often remain at the limit of the audible, exploring a space of softness and stillness playing with threshholds of perceptions. The composer often refers to the aesthetics of John Cage, while also affirming roots in historical music composition practices from middle-age to early Baroque music. While Lang is stressing the importance of mathematical structures, microtonal scales and temperaments for his composing process, the sounding result seems to counteract his structured approach, thus leading to the question of how structures and their performative experience play together: In which ways does Lang use microtonality to (mis)lead our attention, play games with our ears, bodies and minds to create new performative experiences?
My study presents a focused insight into Lang´s practice of composing with microtonality, connecting analytical and aesthetical reflections to present a multi-faceted view on his music. I combine an analytical viewpoint on the historical elements of microtonal composing, such as the use of scales, temperaments and enharmonic theories, with a contemporary perspective on the aesthetics of microtonality informed by the so-called „perceptual turn“ from Cultural Studies, by which the shaping and reflection on the aesthetics of perception became an important field of discussion in contemporary music and art research. Referring to Michel de Certau’s concept of an „Art of Doing“ (L’art de Faire), Lang´s practice is described as an „Art of the Undocumentable“ that is rooted in historical music thinking while moving forward into the present and future. Tricking our „rational listening“ and pushing us into immersive states of perception, Lang’s practice draw on bodily experiences, while at the same time integrating conceptual historic references to music, art and architecture. I will demostrate my theses by examples taken from several of his pieces, showing how Lang is layering (possible) meanings that unfold in sensual experience like light in a prism, using the space of performance as a threshhold to connect the past, present and future.
Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka *1984 in Regensburg, studies of double bass, instrumental pedagogy, musicology and contemporary music at HfM Dresden, HMT Rostock, TU Dresden and KUG Graz. She got awarded her PhD in Music Aesthetics with distinction from KUG Graz. Since 2013 she is active as freelance musician, performer, sound/media artist and researcher. Besides being active in several groups and collectives for music and art, she is co-founder of Schallfeld Ensemble, with whom she performs worldwide. She held teaching positions at KUG Graz, KFU Graz, Uni Salzburg and FH Joanneum. Her research got awarded a Alumni Award from TU Dresden (2013), a Honorary Award of KUG Graz and the Theodor-Körner award for arts & science (2018).
Two main conference discussions will be held, at 3 PM to 4:30 PM (Prague time) on both Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October. The online platform will be Microsoft Teams which can be also joined using a link, no user account is necessary. The videos of all presentations and concerts will be available online before the conference discussions.
A closing discussion will take place on Wednesday 28 October at 3 PM to 4:30 PM Prague time and will feature Marc Sabat and give space to open discussion.
Due to the local circumstances in Prague, no live screening of the online discussions or of the videos will be held in the HAMU premises.
Registration is open since October 1, please use this form.
Tentative timetable for the online discussions
Some participants will be present for only some of the time. In addition to the festival organisers, the speakers in approximate order of joining are:
Friday 16: Powell, Sundfær Casserly, Hasegawa, Lang, Elia.
Saturday 17: Maierhofer-Lischka, Pařízek, Altoft & Bousted (Microtonal Projects), Klinkenberg, Costello.
Closing discussion Wednesday 28: Sabat.
Held on Microsoft Teams at 3 PM to 4:30 PM (Prague time) on each day.
Microtones or microintervals?
We listen to both!
The original scheduling had to be postponed, see the Public press release below.
The rescheduled dates are October 16 to 17, 2020, held as mostly online events as well a small amount of live events in Prague.
Public press release
March 14, 2020
Dear audience and participants of MicroFest Prague 2020,
we are sad to announce the decision that the planned events of MicroFest Prague for April 2020 have to be cancelled according to the travel and health regulations recently set by the Czech government. The regulations also affect cultural and educational events. Due the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, however negligible in and around Prague at the moment, this week a state emergency was announced. This closes all borders to all non-Czech citizens and will last at least 30 days into the middle of April. The timing leading to the festival would be too close to reliably tell whether the border will further stay closed to the majority of our participants and visitors who are foreign nationals. Even if the borders were reopened, organising the festival as planned would not contribute to subduing infections in such an international and touristic city as Prague.
A closure until further notice of all institutions of education was announced this Tuesday. Our sponsor and festival venue, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague suggested this postponing measure against further infections. With it, we aim to secure organising MicroFest Prague with as much of the original substance as possible at a later date and keep participation free. We are looking to changing the timing to when the state emergency can be reasonably expected to have been mitigated, to Autumn this year. We will soon contact the presenters and performers about their possibilities of participation at those dates.
We once again apologise the situation that has emerged.
Stay healthy and best wishes from Prague,
Iva Oplištilová and J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher
MicroFest Prague 2020
What We Do
The Czech Institute for Microtonal Music is a freely formed group for people with an interest in composed, theorized, and performed music with microintervals. The Institute is led by two Prague–based experts working in microtonal music and music theory, Iva Oplištilová and J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher. The Institute exists to promote microtonal performed and composed music and research in Prague, Czechia and nearby regions as a whole, to organize scientific and international easy-access conferences, workshops, presentations, competitions and concerts, and to enrich the worldwide dialogue and flow of information on the microtonal field. Connections are maintained with multiple individuals, groups, societies and festivals, among which are EUROMicroFest, Finnish Microtonal Society, and American Festival of Microtonal Music.
From Thursday April 23rd to Saturday 25th, 2020, the Institute organizes the first edition of a festival in a format similar to the international MicroFest (running since the 1980’s), with the local title Institut mikrointervalové hudby 2020, or with the international subtitle MicroFest Prague 2020. The performing and academic festival includes eleven presentations by internationally acclaimed speakers and two concerts focusing on microtonal music, one of them for ensemble and one a recital of soloists on microtonal instruments. Moreover, three shorter concert sets titled “Open stage” will present microtonal music in a Friday evening setting.
As of February, the first version of the festival programme has been published.
Our lecturers and performers include Robert Hasegawa, Klaus Lang, Marc Sabat, Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka, Erik Drescher, Linnéa Sundfær Casserly, Daniel Costello, Alessio Elia, Christian Klinkenberg, Edward Powell, Milan Guštar, Petr Pařízek, Stephen Altoft, Donald Bousted, and Schallfeld Ensemble.
Institut mikrointervalové hudby is financially supported by the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU).
Nov 16th 2020
We are happy for the three days of discussions. For a closure of the festival, we have added registration information about a free microtonal listening test November 27, 2020. The test will be held online.
Oct 26th 2020
The discussions on Oct 16 and 17 have been received with enthusiasm. Thank you to all participants! Recordings of these discussions can be seen after registration. We are looking forward to speaking with you in the closing discussion this Wednesday!
Sep 30th 2020
The technical details of the festival have been updated above. Registration online will open starting tomorrow October 1.
Sep 14th 2020
The festival will be mostly held online. The activities of the festival have been published above on this page! A detailed schedule will follow.
Aug 12th 2020
The festival has been rescheduled to October 15th to 17th, 2020 and will be held mostly according to the original program in HAMU, Prague. Schallfeld Ensemble will organize one pre-concert in advance with the same repertoire, in Austria, on August 13th.
Mar 14th 2020
The festival has been cancelled and postponed due to the state of emergency declared by the Czech government (description above). We are looking to organising the festival, with as much of its original substance as possible, at a later date in Autumn 2020.
Mar 1st 2020
We still have some visitor apartments available for the international public, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear about the offers!
Feb 4th 2020
The first version of the festival programme has been published!
Jan 27th 2020
We have just closed our fourth and last Call for Works, for Glissando Flute. We have received 26 works for glissando-flutist Erik Drescher, and again four of the received works include electronics. We will announce the results of the call by Sunday February 2nd. Further information on the page of the call.
Dec 21st 2019
The results of the Call for Works for Horn are here!
Dec 16th 2019
We have just closed our Call for Works for Horn. We have received 26 works for horn player Daniel Costello, and four of the received works applications include electronics. The jury for the horn works will consist of the performer Daniel Costello (GER/USA), festival organisers Iva Oplištilová (CZ) and J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher (CZ/FIN), and external specialist on microtonality, composer Matthias S. Krüger (GER). We will announce the results of the call by Sunday December 22nd.
Dec 15th 2019
The results of the Call for Works for Schallfeld Ensemble are here!
Dec 12th 2019
The results of the Call for Works for Recorder(s) are here!
Dec 9th 2019
We have just closed two of our Calls for Works. We have received 16 works for recorder(s) and 32 works for the musicians of Schallfeld Ensemble, most applications for the full quartet setup. The jury for the ensemble works will consist of Lorenzo Derinni of Schallfeld Ensemble (AT/ITA), festival organisers Iva Oplištilová (CZ) and J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher (CZ/FIN), and external specialist on microtonality, composer James Erber (UK). We will announce the results of both calls by Sunday December 15th.
We have already received a good amount of scores in the Call for Works for Recorder(s) yet we have decided to extend the deadline by two weeks until Sunday 8th of December, 2019, 23:59 Czech time (UTC+2) with the jury which will consist of
the performer, recorder player Linnéa Sundfær Casserly (NOR/FIN),
festival organisers Iva Oplištilová (CZ) and J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher (CZ/FIN), and external specialist on microtonality, composer-performer Johnny Reinhard (USA). There are also several days still remaining of the Schallfeld Ensemble Call for Scores!
Oct 13th 2019
We have launched our Call for Compositions to find music for glissando flute, the final one of our four ongoing calls for works.
Sep 23rd 2019
We have launched our Call for Compositions to find music for horn!
Sep 9th 2019
We have launched our Call for Compositions to find music for recorder!
Jul 8th 2019
We have launched our Call for Compositions to find trios and quartets for Schallfeld Ensemble!
We are currently booking musicians and lecturers for the upcoming festival. We will soon announce that brand new and recent works are being sought for microtonal solo instruments for our recital concert as well as for our ensemble concert. The concerts with standard repertoire and the selected works will be rehearsed together with the composers and performed as part of Institut mikrointervalové hudby 2020 / MicroFest Prague 2020 in concerts on April 23rd (ensemble) and 25th (soloists) 2020 at HAMU, Prague.
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While we add information on this new website, you can contact us at microintervalinstitute(at)gmail(dot)com or using the form below.
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© Institut mikrointervalové hudby / Czech Institute for Microtonal Music 2019–2020.
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