Czech-Icelandic music and film project highlights climate change
Fyield, a group of musicians from Czechia and Iceland, have just released the LP Future Landscapes. The unusual project, based on field recordings made in a variety of locations in both states, is aimed at boosting awareness of climate change. Member Václav Havelka, a well-known Czech alternative musician, outlines the spark of the endeavour.
“Two years ago, when with the director Ivo Bystřičan and his wife Tereza, I was asked if I want to be part of this idea they had, which was to study and explore the impact of humans on climate change.
“We were discussing that way to explore this situation would be with sound, which seemed quite unique.
“So we then created a project where we picked a team of people and we decided to explore the situation here in the Czech Republic and in Iceland.”
Candy, a single from Future Landscapes.
“We decided to pick Iceland, because there’s a nice contrast between Czech Republic and Iceland with natural sites and industrial sites.
“So we thought that could be a nice combination.”
What kind of environments were you recording in, when you were doing these field recordings?
“We ended up having four locations in the Czech Republic and four locations in Iceland.
“We went to an oil mine in Moravia and to this new progressive way of agriculture, an aquaponic farm in Kaly.
“Then we went to Tušimice coal power plant and then we went to Milovice nature reserve, which is like an artificial wilderness.
“In Iceland we went, for example, to an iceberg, of course – that’s like the best place where you can see transparently the climate change that’s happening there.
“We went to an active volcano, which was almost like going back hundreds and thousands of years.”
Were you recording music at these places? Or were you recording sounds that you later sampled to make into music?
“Yes, we used two specialists in field recordings.
“In the Czech Republic it was the Portuguese woman Sara Pinheiro and in Iceland it was Magnus Bergson.
“With field recording, and with the help of the philosopher Lukáš Likavčan, who was also part of the team, we were kind of exploring each place philosophically and politically.
“And through the sound we were just letting our thoughts drift.
“With the sound we were getting to different kinds of thoughts, which Lukáš was philosophically exploring. He was also making notes, which people can read at the website of www.futurelandscapes.cz, where we’ve also got a big archive of the sounds we recorded.
“And from these sounds we built the music for the record of the band Fyield that we created during this project, where I invited in the Icelandic musician Pan Thorarensen, who is an artist and also a promoter, and also Kryštof Kříček, who is my partner from the band Please the Trees.
“He’s a great producer and he basically edited all these sounds and with each place we tried, with a song, to reflect our musical picture of the situation of the place.
“We were trying to give these sounds we recorded in field recording the major part in the compositions.
“So the musical part is kind of in the back, including the vocals, and we were trying to let the sounds of the places speak the most.”
The album has just been released. What’s happening with the film? Is it also out?
“Ivo Bystřičan, the director, was shooting the whole trip, both expeditions, in Iceland and the Czech Republic, and he made a documentary movie about the process when we were recording and exploring these places.
“The film is called Invisible Landscapes and it was just premiered at the Ji.hlava documentary film festival, where it was also in the competition.
“What we are doing now is that we are trying to make events kind of complex, with the theme of climate change.
“We’re first screening the film, so people can get into the whole idea of what we did.
“Then we play a show and after we have a discussion where people can share their feelings and give us some feedback on how they perceive the phenomenon.
“And it’s very, very cool.”
A trailer for Ivo Bystřičan’s documentary Invisible Landscapes.