Leader of local indie pioneers The Ecstasy of St. Theresa and a successful composer of film scores, Jan P. Muchow is one of the most respected musicians and producers in the Czech Republic. He calls the now-hip Vršovice district home but works in the nearby Vinohrady. And we begin our tour of “Jan Muchow’s Prague” on the latter’s Jiřího z Poděbrad square, just around the corner from his relatively new studio.
The annual DesignSupermarket gets underway in Prague on Thursday. Now in its eighth year, the event – which organizers call a selling exhibition – is an alternative to commercial shopping in crowded malls, offering a selection of hundreds of designer items. The event was originally established for young local designers who didn’t have an outlet for their products. I asked Darina Zavadilová, the head of DesignSupermarket, if this was still the case:
Rachael Weiss is an Australian author with Czech roots, who has just published her second book about Prague, based on her own experience of living in the Czech capital. The memoir, called The Thing about Prague, is chock-full of entertaining stories about how she went about looking for a job, finding an apartment and trying to blend in with Czechs. On the occasion of the book launch, I asked Rachael Weiss what made her write yet another book dedicated to Prague:
Even if you have never read anything by the great German novelist Thomas Mann, you will almost certainly have come across Visconti’s film of his most famous novella, “Death in Venice”. Thomas Mann is the best known member of one of Germany’s most celebrated literary families. Several of his children also had literary careers, but it is Thomas Mann’s elder brother Heinrich, born in 1871, who is the focus of this week’s Czech Books. Also a novelist, he had close associations with Czechoslovakia. David Vaughan explores the Czech branch of the Mann
Born and raised in Prague, Tereza Límanová captures the city in an unusual way in her paintings. She paints mostly landscapes, but in an abstract and reduced style that may well stem from what she describes as an almost obsessive fear of kitsch. Her latest exhibition “From Colors to Whiteness: From Jinonice to Košíře” is currently on display at Prague 5’s town hall gallery and closes Friday. It focuses on the unusual sights and landscapes of Prague 5, a mostly residential neighborhood far from the golden steeples that most visitors of the Czech
Since its modest beginnings several years ago, crowdsourcing has become a popular financing tool among Czechs. Hundreds of mainly artistic and cultural projects have been backed through Czech crowdsourcing sites, and compared to other central European nations, the Czech Republic has become a leader in community funding. However, the overall amount raised is still relatively small as most bigger-scale projects tend to use global platforms.
On the recent 25th anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution a previously unknown street art group named Pražská služba (Prague Service) made headlines at home and abroad for painting over the murals and graffiti on Prague’s John Lennon Wall, leaving it completely white apart from the words Wall is Over! To find out why they did it, I spoke to a member of Pražská služba, Mikuláš Karpeta. But we first discussed the origins of the Lennon Wall, a symbol of freedom in the communist era that is today a tourist attraction.
In this edition of Sunday Music we'll be playing some of the best known songs by popular Czech singer Petr Hapka, who passed away last week at the age of just 70. Hapka worked closely with a number of lyricists but with none more closely than Michal Horáčeck. Together they produced some of the best known hits in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s.