Jakub Rataj: Attention!

Premiere: 7th October 2020, Duncan centre

Roman Fojtíček, Michael Jermář and Miroslav Tóth – alt saxophones, Shahab Tolouie – narrator, Jakub Rataj – megaphones

Attention! includes memories from the composer’s trip to Tehran, in the form of ancient Persian poetry. Just like the sound of the siren, a poem extracted from its original context and placed in another can produce controversial reactions, a heightening of attention, fear, or indignation. However, it can also create an important sonic quality, saturate the frequencies with content, and provoke understanding.

Jakub Rataj (*1984) composes orchestral, chamber, and electro-acoustic works in which he explores the question of physicality of music and musical gestures arising from the human breath, pulse, and movement. His compositions have been performed in both the Czech Republic and abroad (Prague Spring, Contempuls) and were presented by a number of performers and ensembles (e.g. Jonathan Powell, Trio Catch, Quatuor TANA, the Berg Orchestra). He has received a number of awards (including the main nuBERG prize in 2013 and 2014) and nominations for prestigious festivals (ISCM New Zealand, Cannes Film Festival 2020). He studied composition and new technology with Luis Naón, and in 2020 graduated with a PhD from the composition department at HAMU.