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Ian Mikyska

(b Bratislava, 16 Oct 1981). Slovak composer, saxophonist, and improviser. Studied composition at the University of Performing arts in Bratislava (VŠMU) (with Jevgenij Iršai and Vladimír Godár) and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (with Michal Rataj), as well as musicology at the Comenius University in Bratislava.

He is unusual in the Czecho-Slovak context for the breadth of his musical and cultural interests – eclecticism and a Schnittkean polystylism are the only unifying elements of his work, perhaps together with relentless demands on the listener’s emotions (in one direction or another). His earlier works betray the influence of Schnittke in their rapid changes and distressed emotiveness interspersed with moments of (ironic?) grandeur, while at other times, his use of explosive improvisation and a range of stylistic contexts brings John Zorn to mind.

He has a close relationship with theatre, both in his operas and video-operas – often made in collaboration with the actor, director, and librettist Marek Kundlák – and in his instrumental music, which doesn’t shy away from theatricality and make-believe. He often treats musics as cultural phenomena, mindful of their history and current position, unafraid to appropriate and explore what he calls the emptied-out or sketched-out worlds that remain in music after the 20th century....

Article

Martin Kirnbauer

(It.)

A designation for an instrument, known only from a stage direction in Peri’s Euridice (Florence, 1600): ‘Tirsi Viene in scena sonando la presente Zinfonia con un Triflauto, e canta la seguente stanza’. The score at this point comprises a ritornello on three staves, all with soprano clefs. The top two parts (e′–e′′) are written predominantly in parallel thirds, while the lowest is a drone alternating between only four notes.

The direction may simply refer to a stage-prop, perhaps an instrument comparable to the flauto harmonico or armonia di flauto. The latter was a kind of recorder with five pipes (four of which served only as a drone) made by Manfredo Settala about 1650; the only surviving instrument is in the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Bologna. The music could have been played on recorders, as prescribed by Francesca Caccini for a very similar ritornello in her opera La liberazione di Ruggiero...