Magazine article Czech Music

All Linked by Common Thread an Interview with Vladimir Vaclavek

Magazine article Czech Music

All Linked by Common Thread an Interview with Vladimir Vaclavek

Article excerpt

Vladimir Vaclavek is a musician who needs no introduction in the Czech Republic. It is enough just to mention the names of the groups in which he has been involved--Dunaj, E, Rale, Klar, Domaci lekar, Cikori, and VRM and it is clear that we are dealing with one of the key figures in Czech music of the 1980s and 1990. All these groups, like his solo recordings, share a share a common thread--a unique Vaclavek signature recognisable at once to any experienced listener- He is currently giving concerts with his present group VRRM and planning a new CD.

Although V.R.R.M. has only been playing together for a relatively short time, the sound of the band has changed strikingly. Is this the result of your desire for a new sound?

After Rene Parez left we created a new repertoire. The sound grew out of the change in the V.R.R.M. line up, I mean the arrival of Ivan Acher and Marcel Barta. Marcel had worked with us as a guest, and played with us at about eighty percent of our concerts. Ivan and I knew each other, and I knew his musical ideas. Ivan mainly did music for theatre and had never played live anywhere for any length of time.

How did V.R.R.M. come into existence?

For some years I did a lot of travelling and scarcely ever played at home in this country. I had some songs ready and new ideas that had matured in my head. I was keen to put together a new band and that was the reason for V.R.M., where Rene Parez and Milos Dvoracek played at the beginning. And then as I said, the line-up changed to V.R.R.M.

It is also a group where you are doing more with electronics and electronically modified vocals...

I don't listen only to one kind of music and essentially I don't care where music gets to me from. And so with electronic it wasn't planned, but happened thanks to the arrival of Ivan Acher, who loves these things and works with them. I think his singing and Milos's singing complement each other brilliantly, I just add a bit of mumbling if I feel like it.

Can you say how the sound of the band will be developing in the future?

It's hard to say. Certainly it will be a little harder, but we don't have an advance plan of the music, It's better to keep looking and searching, and feel the sense of adventure in it For me music is a matter of searching and I've already managed the first step, which is connecting up to myself.

What is your attitude to improvisation?

At the moment we improvise relatively little, and then mainly at concerts, where as saxophonist and clarinettist Marcel probably has the biggest scope for it, as well as himself coming from the jazz scene and having an affinity for this type of playing. I would be pleased if we played more freely in the future, It's beautiful that it's a thing of the moment when it happens and it doesn't matter if the result is sometimes stupid and embarrassing, because tension when something new is being born is stronger.

Do you improvise on the basis of a previously created structure, a model, or is your improvisation free?

The structure is given beforehand, and we sometimes just draw it out or reduce it. But with Klar we sometimes went on stage not knowing what we would play That was really free improvisation.

I have a feeling you are gravitating to a music in which a repeated structure reveals itself to the listener. Is this your concept of minimalism?

Yes. That's probably true. Obviously I've heard minimalist music, but it's more that I feel what is inside me and gravitate to that Repetition is a certain bridge that allows you to reach a trance state. …

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