The sixth-tone harmonium is an utterly unique instrument on a world scale. Its creation was initiated by a pioneer of microtonal music in the first half of the 20th century, a visionary and one of the most striking Czech composer, Alois Hába. Hába used it in his sixth-tone opera Thy Kingdom Come and also in the only – until 2021, that is – solo composition for this instrument: the Six Compositions for Sixth-tone Harmonium, op. 37. This piece was recorded in 2019 by Miroslav Beinhauer, the only concert performer on sixth-tone harmonium in the world (♫ click here to listen ♫).
The Prague Quiet Music Collective brought this precious instrument, which is part of the collections at the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music, into the sphere of live art. It thus became fruitful inspiration and the source of powerful experiences, proving that even museum exhibits can be made a living part of our musical culture. We were thus following in the work begun by the Ostrava Centre for New Music, which produced the world premiere of the opera Thy Kingdom Come in 2018 and, in August 2021, presented four new pieces for the harmonium and ensemble at the Ostrava Days festival. Our group's first season featured four concerts with an innovative dramaturgy that aimed to disrupt listening conventions and take our visitors' ears far beyond the limits of their usual expectations. We were also hosting a number of educational activities for both the expert and general public, aiming to bring the world of microtonal music, otherness, and new points of hearing closer to all sonic adventurers.
Concert MIKYSKA/HÁBA: SIXTH-TONE HARMONIUM (more about the concert)
Prague Quiet Music Festival (more about the festival)
Concert and seminar in Oslo, Norway (more about the event)
Concert and seminar for composers and musicians at JAMU (♫ click here to watch ♫)
Seminar for composers and musicians at HAMU
A workshop series about microtonal music Retune Ears (more about the workshops)
Audio recording of the composition Strands by Ian Mikyska and Fredrik Rasten (♫ click here to listen ♫)