Vložte kočku tour – part 3

The Colours of Ostrava Festival is held at Dolní Vítkovice, an old industrial area of coal mines and ironworks which since 2002 has been designated a National Cultural Heritage site. I think that it would be very difficult to find anywhere a more extraordinary and awe-inspiring backdrop for a music festival!With four days of concerts and performances on 15 open-air stages dotted around the site it is no surprise that this festival attracts huge audiences.IMG_0299Above – Vložte kočku on the Radegast Czech Stage. The Tagtool was set up in a corner inside the barrier below the stage, which was a good position for me as there was a huge audience for the concert. I gave my little camera to Theresa who took lots of photos of the musicians and also of my drawings which were projected on the wall of the building adjacent to the stage. Here is a selection.
The photos below show the effect of the colours cast on my drawings by the changing patterns of the spectacular stage lighting. I hadn’t anticipated this unexpected ‘extra’ that completely changed their appearance (and sometimes the lighting even made it difficult for me to see what I was drawing at all!)





I’ll end this post with some of Theresa’s photos of Vložte kočku onstage.In the photos below, behind the musicians Dima’s LED lights are visible too.

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Vložte kočku tour – part 2

The tour ended with two performances in Ostrava, the first at the Czech Music Crossroads event that preceded the Colours of Ostrava Festival and the second at the Festival itself.
The Marley club where the Crossroads event was staged was just the right size for Dima’s new LED stage lighting to have maximum impact (though this can’t be seen in any of the photos that I took with my small camera!) but the club had black walls and a low ceiling – so not so good for Tagtooling.Our ‘on the spot’ solution this problem was to use gaffer tape to fix a white sheet for the projections to the eurotruss lighting rig above the band. This seemed like a good idea and it worked well for the fist few minutes of Vložte kočku’s set but under the heat from the stage lights the tape didn’t hold and first one side of the sheet then the other fell down among the musicians!
This really upset me, as there was an invited audience of journalists, promoters and concert organisers and this was an important gig for the band. But I’m happy to say that the musicians just played on as if nothing had happened and instead I was able to do this drawing on the (dark brown!) ceiling in front of the stage…I thought that despite this shambles with the projections Vložte kočku gave a really great performance, and the organisers must have thought so too, as the band was invited to play on the Radegast Czech Stage at the Colours Festival the following day. I’ll save the photos of this for my next posting…..

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Vložte kočku tour – part 1

I took the photos below at our gig at the ‘Colour Meeting’ festival at Polička, an historic town in the south of the Czech Republic. This was the first time that we had used Dima’s lighting, his video clips, and my Tagtool drawing all together in the one performance – which made for a very complicated set up!
I thought that the lighting design and video worked really well together but I wasn’t too happy with my Tagtool drawing – so perhaps it is just as well that I don’t have any photos for the blog….
The next day we went to the festival Pohoda, in western Slovakia. This enormous festival is held at the airfield at Trenčín and Vložte kočku’s performance was in the afternoon at the Red Bull Stage bus.
As it was daylight, for this location our lighting and drawing were not needed so, for the first time, I just sat in the sunshine and concentrated on listening to the music! After the performance we were able to explore the festival site and see some of the other (really spectacular) stages too, which was great.
For our next ‘stop’ we returned to the Czech Republic for the festival at Boskovice, another historic town in the south of the Czech Republic. Outside the walls of the castle ruins there was a beautiful white traditionally-shaped circus tent where the music performances were to be held. This programme was a real Vložte kočku ‘family event’ – the central performance was by VK but the evening began with a set by Ufajr, one of whose members is the keyboard player with the band and closed with a performance by Mutanti hledaj vychodisko. Although it was still bright and sunny outside when we set up the projector Ufajr asked me if I could do some drawing for their set – and of course I said yes, which was a good idea as it gave me an opportunity to get to used to the huge amount of distortion that I had to contend with when drawing on the tent roof.
For Vložte kočku’s performance Dima set up his lights and this time I think that the drawing and lighting worked together much better than at Polička.
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I was about to pack up my pen and Tagtool when Mutanti hledaj vychodisko asked if I could continue and do some ‘mutant drawings’ for their set – this was something quite different for me, and made a really fun end to the evening!

I’ll end this post with three photos of our last drawing of the night. On the tent roof I drew the silhouette of a man in a hat then the different versions of the image were made by Dima changing the colour in the second projector which was positioned on the ground in front of the musicians and cast the shadows that connected with my drawing.

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At Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Last night we were performing with Vložte kočku at the Film Festival club Aeroport which was located at the historic Goethe’s Lookout tower. Below – getting everything ready in the afternoon at the main stage outside the building.This was a very spectacular location on top of a hill just outside Karlovy Vary but it could only be reached by a steep, narrow and winding road so it was good that there was a special all night bus service to take festival visitors to and from the venue! And despite the weather being rather cold and damp, there was a good-sized audience for Vložte kočku’s performance in the evening.As Dima was busy programming the lighting for the performance he didn’t have time to set up the video camera or take photos but I did manage to stop drawing for a few moments take these (not very good!) pictures of the performance.
For the next week we will be travelling with Vložte kočku on their tour, performing at festivals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, so I hope that I will have more pictures for the blog in my next posting.

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Tagtool at BYOB – Prague

This year the ‘Bring Your Own Beamer’ event was held at the venue Podnik – a very good location for projections, with a big main stage and adjoining gallery space. Our Tagtool was in the area behind the main stage where it was really dark and the projector was set up so I could draw right down to ground level.I did the drawing above quickly in the afternoon to test our set up before Dima had to leave to work at another project. I was a bit nervous being left without him to troubleshoot any problem that might occur with the Tagtool or the projector, but thank goodness everything worked perfectly all night! I started by drawing this monochrome landscape which I photographed at various stages.The opaque Tagtool colour really glowed in the dark! Then I was able to use the fade slider to produce some transparency and finally added some line drawing. The next drawing sequence began in colour and ended in monochrome…Here are two more of my photos from what was a very long night of drawing! The event went on till 5am so I left my drawing from time to time to go and have a look at the other installations and the VJing at the main stage. I was sorry that Dima wasn’t with me to take some video. Instead I will end this post with another sequence of still images.

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Tagtool at Berg Orchestra Concert

The Berg orchestra specialises in 20th century and contemporary music in performances which often include theatre, film and video art. I was invited to make a Tagtool drawing to accompany Steve Reich’s ‘City Lights’, one of the four pieces in the programme CITY:RESPIRE presented by the orchestra at their concert in Prague on Monday 5 May. This concert was held in a very unusual location – the partially completed Petřiny metro station. At the morning rehearsal I took the photo above to show this very atmospheric deep underground location. Despite the fact that it was very cold and the platform where the concert was held could only be reached by descending more than 300 steep temporary wooden steps (much easier going down than up!) there were many people standing at the concert as every seat was filled!This is a photo that Dima took during the concert and below is his video of the whole piece. ‘Check it out’!!

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Tagtool workshop – Drawing as a performance art

Now that the 2014 Lunchmeat Festival is over it is catch-up time for the blog! As part of the events accompanying the festival, we held a two day workshop, ‘Drawing as a Performance Art’, on 5 and 6 April at Lunchmeat’s club, NEONE, and an open air performance by the students at Proluka in Prague on 15 April.

Of the four students who attended the workshop, only one had any prior experience of Tagtool drawing. They produced some nice drawing sequences during the workshop and there are lots of photos on this facebook Tagtool workshop page but I have selected these images to show the range of their work.





For the outdoor session we had the Red Bull car with its sound system and generator to power our equipment and provide the music for the students’ performance – and here is Dima setting up the Tagtool and projectors.It was a very cold and damp evening but despite the bad weather the students kept on drawing until it began to rain really heavily and we had to turn off the projectors and hurriedly pack all the equipment in the van and go home.

So – a big ‘thank you’ to the students, whose hard work ensured that the workshop was such a success, to the Lunchmeat organisers and to Red Bull for providing the power and sound system for the outdoor performance. Also I must thank Markéta Vozková for publishing this article about the workshop in the on-line magazine,’Kulturio’. It is in Czech but has two videos showing us working at NEONE and also a short video showing part of the students’ outdoor performance – do check it out!

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