October 29 2021
I live you life with everything you bring and take, what you contain - this seemingly simple idea inspired the sixth solo album of musician, singer and producer Beata Hlavenková through music released on her sixth solo album entitled Žijutě, which it out today on LP, CD and digitally.
The winner of two Anděl Awards and the Jantar Awards, Hlavenková is now fully focused on her solo creative work, writing lyrics, and singing, following the release of the album Sně and the soundtrack for the movie Zátopek. Listeners will have a hard time classifying her music in any of the established genres. Hlavenková has gone the way of intelligent pop, featuring electro beat and crossover elements, an approach that naturally reflects her musical personality. Hlavenková's work has instinctively evolved from dreamy poetry to a distinctive expression, even though her musicality remains submerged in impressionist soundscapes.
"I no longer want to remain immersed in dreamy reveries so much. I now want to use words and express ideas. I love singing and arranging, and I like contrasting elements. That makes me feel good and gives me self-confidence. Moreover, it is where I direct large amounts of energy and time, and where I focus my education. Each of the songs on Žijutě has precisely what is called for. In some cases, it means a different number of musicians. In contrast to Sně, Žijutě is much broader and packed with musical material in this regard. I spent long hours in the studio recording, overdubbing, trying different sounds and arrangements in striving to achieve the best possible result. It's only thanks to the deadline that I'm not still there," quips Hlavenková.
Out of the 11 compositions, nine feature lyrics in Czech and two in Slovak. They reflect the author's state of mind at the present time, important moments in her life, memories, and her continually growing passion for singing. The song Oka mih was created as part of OOO, an unfulfilled project during which Hlavenková began singing, while the composition Pořád je to tak was written together with lyricist and sound designer Lukáš Duchovič. Když padá sníh is based on a phrase coined by Hlavenková's favorite author, Eckhart Tolle, while Běžím reflects ideas expressed in the book Born To Run, and gives a nod to the composer's work on the Zátopek soundtrack. The composition 425 - Dobrý den, noci pays homage to Amherst, an American city where Hlavenková lived for three years. Zahrada tells a story about coping with the difficult time during the recent lockdowns.
The lyrics for the song Sovám were created in an impromptu fashion in the studio, in collaboration with vocal coach Pavla Fendrichová, singer songwriter Thom Artway, and singer Ota Klempíř. The composition Komíhání features a brand-new arrangement created by Hlavenková to underscore lyrics written by Václav Kvapil for the recently completed project Eternal Seekers.
Each of the songs features different guests – Tomáš Liška, Gabriela Vermelho, Pavla Fendrichová, Lukáš Duchovič, Vojta Nýdl, Rich Perry, Adam Koller, Thom Artway, Oto Klempíř, Tomáš Neuwerth, and David Stypka.
"The composition Píšu ti was originally written for the movie Dukla 61. I wrote it together with David, but it stayed on the back burner for a long time. It was only at last year's songwriting camp that David suggested that we finish it. Regrettably, we didn't have enough time to do that before he passed away, but I was at least able to use his singing on the demo. His genius shines through the music," adds Hlavenková regarding her collaboration with Stypka.
Hlavenková's principal music partners on the album and on stage are trumpet player and drummer Oskar Török, guitarist and co-producer Patrick Karpentski, and bassist Miloš Klápště. They also form the Dream Band, an ensemble capable of producing both big and chamber-like sounds, where all of the musicians play multiple instruments and sing backup vocals. The final mix was created by Slovak guitarist, musician, and sound designer Andrej Hruška, known for collaboration with Zuzana Mikulcová and Katarína Máliková. The album's visual design was prepared by Zuzana Lednická from Studio Najbrt, and images were supplied by a duo of photographers known as Shotby.us, the winners of the Czech Grand Design Award.
Žijutě is available at online digital and streaming services: https://lnk.to/zijute
September 16 2021
Political thriller Je Suis Karl, produced by German director Christian Schwochow, has a strong Czech connection. The soundtrack has been created by Czech musician and composer Tomáš Dvořák, a.k.a. Floex, who joined forces with British composer and pianist Tom Hodge. The soundtrack for Je Suis Karl has just been released today.
"In this project, Tom and I built on music that we wrote together three years ago for the album A Portrait Of John Doe. While this was the first feature film for me, Tom has extensive experience with composing music for movies and series," commented Dvořák.
Co-produced by the Czech company Negativ and filmed in part in the Czech Republic, the movie features characters played by Czech actresses Anna Fialová and Elizaveta Maximová. The picture makes use of the story of a young German girl, Maxi, and her family to draw attention to rising extremism among right-wing nationalists. Je Suis Karl was premiered during this year's Berlinale film festival in the Berlinale Special section.
At the director's initiative, music for Je Suis Karl was composed based on the script before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Christian Schwochow asked for a demo, but when Tom and I set to work in Prague, we came up with a huge amount of inspired stuff within a short time, and the music became the foundation of the soundtrack. Because of the pandemic, the music itself was created on a long-distance basis. It was a game of ping-pong of sorts," Dvořák added. The soundtrack for Je Suis Karl features a unique timbre, far from the traditional symphonic sound. Instead, the sonic design relies on a fusion of dark, discordant, dirty sounds that present the symphony orchestra in a novel fashion.
Floex and Hodge created a database of loops, sounds, soundscapes, and sonic experiments with no specific compositional context. In composing music for individual scenes, they used this musical database, remixed themes and versions of compositions, and worked with vintage equipment, such as the Yamaha MT4X cassette player. Considering the large quantity of music recorded, the album contains 14 compositions from the movie itself, plus bonus tracks that did not make it into the film.
The Je Suis Karl Soundtrack is released on a black 180-gram LP and in digital format by the Czech label Minority Records. The film will appear in cinemas starting on January 13, 2022.
Je Suis Karl Soundtrack is available at online digital and streaming services: https://lnk.to/jesuiskarl