Hidden Orchestra releases their new album Creaks: Bonus, Live & Remixes

Hidden Orchestra releases their new album Creaks: Bonus, Live & Remixes

Hidden Orchestra releases their new album Creaks: Bonus, Live & Remixes with their previously unreleased tracks, remixes and reworked compositions from the soundtrack to the award-winning platform game Creaks by the Amanita Design studio. The album is a follow-up to their record Creaks Soundtrack from 2020.

Hidden Orchestra is a project of the British composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Joe Acheson. He works with various musical influences and invites a diverse range of artists to join in the production, only to create his “hidden orchestra”.

“So much great music was made for Creaks that it all just couldn’t fit on the original record. Even the fans noticed that, after all, they were missing several tracks from the game on the original soundtrack. It was Joe himself who came up with the idea at the beginning of the year. Originally, it was supposed to have been a collection of bonus tracks, but gradually, the concept took on a life of its own and resulted in a bigger and more interesting record,” Jakub Dvorský, the founder of Amanita Design, says.

Creaks: Bonus, Live & Remixes brings seven previously unreleased tracks from the original Creaks Soundtrack, two extensive reworked versions for a live band and seven remixes from diverse artists such as Floex, Poppy Ackroyd, Ben Lukas Boysen or ZKA4T.

The live versions of the compositions Bridges and Three Islands were recorded in May 2022 in the Luxembourgish monastery space Neimënster with the current line-up of the Hidden Orchestra consisting of Joe Acheson on the bass and electronics, Jamie Graham on the drums, the clarinettist Jack McNeil and the cellist Rebecca Knight. The studio mix was created by the engineer Tim Southorn. In the newest incarnation of the Hidden Orchestra, the emphasis is moving from a precise replica of studio tracks to focus on energy and emotions of the given material.

The game Creaks received both the award Czech Game of 2020 and Czech Game of the Year in the Audiovisual Design category, the Anifilm 2021 award for the best visual art in a computer game, the CEEGA 2020 award for games from Central and Eastern Europe for the best visual design. Creaks was nominated for the prestigious Golden Joystick Awards for best independent game and it received two nominations at the Brazilian gaming festival BIG Festival for best visual design and best story.

The compositions from Creaks will also be played at the concert of Hidden Orchestra at the EFG London Jazz Festival in the London Queen Elizabeth Hall on November 20.

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Singer-songwriter David Pomahač releases his second solo album Neviditelný todayPlay

Singer-songwriter David Pomahač releases his second solo album Neviditelný today

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Pomahač releases his second solo album, Neviditelný (Invisible) today via Minority Records. Martin Hůla (aka Martin "Bonus" Tvrdý) serves double duty as the album’s co-writer and producer.

"The best things in life are invisible," notes Pomahač. "The air we breathe, the stories written between the lines, love itself. Even inspiration is drawn from some intangible realm. Indeed, sometimes I am invisible to myself - hard to read, unaware of my own motivations, oblivious to the signs - but then I recognize myself in the telling of other people's stories. Neviditelný is a means of processing these stimuli."

Neviditelný was born out of studio improvisation with renowned musician and innovator Martin Hůla. It signals a new approach to Pomahač’s songwriting, relying less on guitar figures.

"From our very first collaboration, back in the Kieslowski era, I have wanted to do more with Martin. He's a genius. So I went to his studio once a week, nothing was pre-determined, and we wrote and recorded the music for the whole record together. I recorded the bass guitar and added lap steel guitar, then only synths - we avoided guitars. We played, improvised, looked for weird sounds and kicked ideas around," says Pomahač.

This time, David Pomahač took a new approach to writing. He didn't look for stimuli from his personal life; the lyrics were mainly inspired by single sentences from H.G. Wells' novels, dystopian science fiction or the stories of people around him. David Pomahač wove tales of self-preservation and the will to survive.

The eight-track album Neviditelný is accompanied by a video clip of the song Klaun (Clown) from director David Mencl with actresses Klára Issová and Sarah Haváčová, and featuring - as in the song Dlouhý (Long) - the violin of Jenovéfa Boková and cello of Marie Dorazilová.

A numbered vinyl version of Neviditelný - limited to 100 pieces - includes a bonus dub version of the record from the workshop of Martin Hůla, Petr Klouček and Tomáš Karásek aka Gaex, as well as a unique instant photo inscribed with a personalised message from Pomahač himself. Digital versions of the album and CD include the bonus track Bez konce (Without End).

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Sixth solo album of musician, singer and producer Beata HlavenkováPlay

Sixth solo album of musician, singer and producer Beata Hlavenková

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.

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Soundtrack to the political thriller Je Suis KarlPlay

Soundtrack to the political thriller Je Suis Karl

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.

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Limited edition of movie soundtrack ZátopekPlay

Limited edition of movie soundtrack Zátopek

The 26th of August belongs to Zátopek, both on celluloid and on vinyl, as David Ondříček’s eponymous biopic is premiered in Czech cinemas and the accompanying soundtrack Zátopek by composer, singer, pianist, producer and two-time Anděl Award winner Beata Hlavenková hits the stores.
The soundtrack to Zátopek features both the grandeur of an orchestral tapestry and the intimacy of Hlavenková’s piano-playing. Guest stars who were invited to participate in the recording of the album include trumpeter Oskar Török and bassist Rasťo Uhrík.

The 14 tracks owe their final sound to the various characters’ leitmotifs, running motifs at certain tempos - BPM - based on the average speed of Zátopek on the running tracks, allusions to folk melodies, processed effects, raw piano, orchestra, voice, samples and combinations of them all.

The story as told by the LP follows a slightly different sequence than on the silver screen. Motifs have been shortened, expanded or merged so as to ensure that the soundtrack works independently as a whole.

All of the demo tracks were created at the Czechmate studio of Beata Hlavenková, who recorded the orchestral part with the sCore Orchestra under the baton of conductor Michaela Rosza Růžičková at the music studio of Czech TV; the final mix was created by sound engineer Michal Pekárek and the album was mastered by Matouš Godík.

“Working on the album was a very beautiful task – demanding, but all the more exciting. I enjoyed touching on the folk songs that were popular with Emil and Dana, I enjoyed working musically with his running pace, I enjoyed looking for a musical expression that would befit this exceptional film – and I enjoyed the thought of sending out into the world at least a fractional sample of our musical heritage, just as Zátopek and his achievements represent us in the world. I enjoyed working with sounds, piano, sound design, orchestra, trio and combining everything together. I think that courage is the common thread for the entire plot and the characters, as well as for the creators of this film,” says Beata Hlavenková.

The Zátopek Soundtrack is released digitally and on LP. Limited edition includes a 180-gram deep-red vinyl and 16-page story booklet with large-scale photographs from the film. The album cover was designed by Aleš Najbrt and Jakub Spurný from Studio Najbrt.

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