Czech Radio’s Concert for Animals wins Prix Europa 2021 award
Czech Radio’s project titled Concert for Animals – A Hushed Conversation with the Landscape recently won the Best Radio Music Programme of the Year award at the Prix Europa 2021 festival. The concert was recorded last summer in the midst of the Beskydy Mountains with the aim to offer a silent thank you to nature.
The unusual concert, parts of which were almost imperceptible to the human ear, was recorded last August in the open landscape of meadows and ponds of the Beskydy Mountains.
Ten performers interacted with the landscape, grass, insects, trees, hills, wind and water, while their colleagues captured the sounds on microphones.
The result was a two-hour long programme, which was subsequently broadcast by Czech Radio’s Vltava station and went on to win an award at the prestigious Prix Europa 2021 festival of television, radio and online production.
Ladislav Železný, the author of the project, says its main aim was to express gratitude to animals, plants, wind, water and silence for being part of the environment we need for our own survival:
“I just wanted to make a private gesture. It seemed important to me to think about what nature provides for us and I thought it might be nice to thank her for it.
“The easiest way to explain this gesture was through the title ‘Concert for Animals’. Animals are a living entity, and it is perhaps easier for humans to understand that they you thank someone other than humans.”
To record the concert, Ladislav Železný was looking for a secluded location free from the noise of human activity. He found such a place in the vicinity of Velké Karlovice, in the easternmost part of Moravia:
“It was a meadow surrounded by forests and ponds, but also with free standing trees, so the variety of the place was great, and you could almost call it a wilderness.
“There was no signal, for example, which was a problem because we wanted to broadcast the concert live. So that couldn’t happen, of course.”
The project involved altogether twenty people, including ten musicians and performers, who were given freedom to choose their own direction, says Mr. Železný:
“The artist and curator Filip Jakš chose a tree and stretched strings between its branches. When the wind blew, the strings sounded with music.
“David Danel, an excellent violinist, mowed the grass with his violin and Martin Režný from Ostrava played for the crickets. We couldn’t hear anything on the spot, because the sound was only audible to the crickets and to the microphones.”
The Concert for Animals – A Hushed Conversation can be heard in full on the website of Czech Radio’s station Vltava.