Ondrey Smeykal – Prameny

This short piece (about two minutes), which is meant to be played by only a didgeridoo, has an incredibly hectic character. The structure is interesting, but simple :

The composition starts with some hollow tones first, which only sound like air being blown through the instrument by the performer, without being on any particular note. After the very first, and longest breath, the blown air gets into a fast rhythm.  Even though the hectic breathing noises continues, a singing voice can be heard after another short while, giving the piece its first melody. A third noise, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to identify, joins in, until the didgeridoo actually  starts being played in a normal way. This middle part of the piece sounds rather disharmonious and chaotic, but after awhile first the rhythm and then the tune of  a part of the melody, which the performer sang initially, can be heard much lower pitched, played by the instrument. This rhythm with the melody is being repeat several times, until the performer starts singing the same melody again. It seems that towards the end one or two other singers join in and sing the melody as well, but a tiny bit lagged.

The word “Prameny” is Czech and means headwaters. Listening to this piece one can imagine quite well how the water comes down from a mountain, uneven, fast and loud in form of a river for example

This piece shows again, that there a several other ways to use an instrument, especially with this piece, Smeykal used the instruments’ original way of being played once for a very short time in the center of the composition. I have to honestly say, due to its fast pace and disharmonious, uneven melody, I had a feeling of stress listening to it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s