A festival called Praha žije hubdou is aiming to bring music to the streets of Prague next spring. If the project goes ahead, professionals and amateurs alike will help culturally transform the city for a day, but organisers will have to reach their proposed target in a current crowdfunding campaign. Jan Gregar of the NGO Nerudný Fest told me more about the project and about busking in Prague.
After three years, the renovation of Prague’s National Theatre is complete. The project, which cost 135 million crowns, saw the complete restoration of the theatre’s façade, which in places had fallen into disrepair. Not only has the theatre been restored, many of its magnificent interiors are also now viewable in a special tour online.
For twenty years now, the Prague-based Institute of Bohuslav Martinů has been assembling all available material on the great Czech composer, making it available to anyone interested in his life and work. It has also started to publish Bohuslav Martinů’s extensive complete editions, a work which is expected to continue for the next fifty years.
Today’s Sunday Music Show puts the spotlight on Tonya Graves, the Prague-based US singer, who has just released her second album, the positively received Back to Blues. Graves, known mainly as the lead singer for the band Monkey Business, offers her original take on some of the legendary blues songs, from B.B. King to Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix.
Prague has a long history of inspiring visiting writers. The list includes novelists and poets as diverse as George Eliot, Pablo Neruda and Allen Ginsberg. So it seems apt that the City Library has just launched a programme inviting writers to spend two months absorbing the atmosphere of the city. The first writer-in-residence was the Australian novelist and essayist Liam Pieper and last week, just as his stay was drawing to a close, David Vaughan caught up with Liam and the programme coordinator, Kateřina Bajo.
Prague recently saw the return of robots in Café Neu Romance, an annual festival held at the National Technical Library celebrating robots and artistic performance. I met with the festival’s founder Christian Gjørret to discuss how this year’s edition went and have him explain what it was all about.
A new exhibition currently on display at Prague’s Centre for Contemporary Art presents an experimental project by architecture students from Prague and Bratislava, who created a so-called parallel membrane city. Urbo Kune, which means a common city in Esperanto, was designed for an old quarry in Prague’s Zbraslav. The laid-out model of the utopian city can be seen at DOX until mid-January.
The summer release Kontakt is the third LP by Kittchen, the masked man of Czech DIY pop. The follow-up to Radio, which picked up an Anděl award for best alternative album in 2012, it finds the mysterious musician cooking up more top class – to quote his Vimeo page – “industrial kitchen sounds and alternative folk”.