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Prague-NY Effects: Michal Rataj and String Noise

Date: 25 June 2017 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Venue: Czech Embassy

The Embassy of the Czech Republic is pleased to present Michal Rataj and String Noise as part of the project Prague-New York Effects bringing together Czech and American artists on June 25, at 5 pm. Czech composer Michal Rataj collaborates with the musicians Conrad Harris & Pauline Kim Harris of the duo String Noise to present the original piece The Long Sentence II as a part of the all Czech music program. 

String Noise, Violin Duo (New York)
Conrad Harris & Pauline Kim Harris

Petr Cígler: Nothing is Free (2017) 
Michal Rataj: The Long Sentence II (2017) 
Alex Mincek: Way (2017) 
Petr Kotik: Overture (2014)
Petr Bakla: September (2013) 


Michael Rataj - Composer
Michal Rataj (born 1975) is composer, performer and sound designer based in Prague, Czech Republic. He composes mainly electroacoustic and chamber or orchestral instrumental music and receives performances throughout Europe and broadcasts worldwide. Recently he has been active as real-time performer of his acousmatic music and he gives sound performances alone or with different music partners.

Rataj is assistant professor of electroacoustic music at the Department of Composition, Academy of Performing Arts and at the NYU in Prague. He studied musicology (Charles University, Prague) and composition (Academy of Performing Arts, Prague) with prof. Ivan Kurz and prof. Milan Slavický. He also went to study in Egham (UK) and Berlin (D) and as a Fulbright Scholar he conducted research in Center For New Music And Audio Technologies at University of California, Berkeley, CA in the academic year 2007 – 2008. He has worked as a radio producer at the Czech Radio since 2000, where he has produced over 100 original radioart works with artists from around the world. He also formed rAdioCUSTICA radioart archive there. He was a member of the EBU Ars Acustica Group, his music has been broadcast worldwide and performed throughout Europe and in the USA. As a film music producer he has composed over 30 soundtracks for TV and cinema since 2000.

String Noise
String Noise is an "enterprising violin duo" in NYC. Classical avant-garde violinists Conrad Harris and Pauline Kim, who are married, have expanded the two violin repertoire to include over 50 new works written for them since their debut at Ostrava Days in 2011.

String Noise was highlighted in Performa 2011 and was the featured ensemble for the launch of composers collective Index 0. Premieres include works by Christian Wolff, Elizabeth Hoffman, John King, Phill Niblock, Caleb Burhans, David Lang and John Zorn. Future new works by Annie Gosfiled, Spencer Topel, Bernhard Lang, Petr Bakla and Dan Siegler to be performed in 2015. String Noise has performed at Issue Project Room, Roulette, EXAPNO, Rockwood Music Hall and the Stone and has been heard on WNYC and WKCR. Their first feature album "ThE Book of strange positions" is on NORTHERN SPY RECORDS.

Pauline Kim Harris
Pauline Kim Harris is a Grammy-nominated artist who engages in classical to the experimental/avant-garde. Since recording John Zorn's tour de force solo violin work “Passagen” for Tzadik in 2012, choreographer Pam Tanowitz created a duet named after the piece with Pauline playing onstage. Premiered at the Joyce Theater in 2013, it was also presented by Lincoln Center Out of Doors and the Chicago Dance Company. As the first violinist of the Alchemy String Quartet, she completed a European tour in the "Zorn @60" concerts in London, Gent, North Sea and Warsaw, as well as at the Lincoln Center Festival, the Miller Theater and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. She is member of the S.E.M Ensemble, Ostravska Banda, OBSq, Ensemble LPR, the Wordless Music Orchestra and the "enterprising violin duo" String Noise. Pauline has been a guest artist with many of the leading new music ensembles to include Talea, Argento, Transit, Ensemble Signal and Alarm Will Sound and has toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. As Music Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, she toured the US, Germany, France and Holland as well as performing with the Orion String Quartet at The Joyce Theater for the 30th Year Anniversary Celebration. 

As a soloist, Pauline has performed in the LIVE screening of “There Will Be Blood” with Jonny Greenwood and the Wordless Music Orchestra at the United Palace Theatre in New York City, presented the Southeast Asian Premiere of John Zorn's "Contes De Fees" with the Thailand Philharmonic at TICF, and gave the Czech premiere of Helmut Oehring’s “Vier Jahreszeiten” with Ostravska Band at Ostrava New Music Days. Pauline is the featured soloist in Petr Kotik’s opera “MASTER-PIECES” and is the founding member of “Holographic” an electroacoustic multimedia work by Daniel Wohl, co-commissioned by Baryshnikov Arts Center, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music, Mass MoCA and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Husband Conrad Harris and Pauline curated Drawing Sound: Part II at the Drawing Center - a three night mini-festival featuring artists Alvin Lucier, Greg Saunier and Jad Fair. A collaborative work with sound artist Gordon Monahan, "A Note And Its Lifetime" featuring Pauline was installed on the Floating Library in NYC on the Hudson River (Pier 25) aboard the Lilac Museum Steamship. STRING NOISE: THE BOOK OF STRANGE POSITIONS was released on Northern Spy Records on November 27, 2015, available world-wide showcasing original compositions and punk rock arrangements by Eric Lyon showcasing songs by Deerhoof, Violent Femmes, Radiohead, Black Flag, Bad Brains and Half Japanese. Pauline’s first feature album /SHäˈkôn/ will highlight new works inspired by Bach’s Chaconne. Her commissions as a composer consists of four highlights: "Birthday 7-0" for Ostravska Banda, "Enapna" for DZ4, "D Major" for S.E.M Workshop and "When We Were" for St. George's Chorale Society. Pauline Kim Harris was a member in the final masterclass of Jascha Heifetz. 

Conrad Harris
Violinist Conrad Harris has performed new works for violin at Ostrava Days, Darmstadt Ferrienkürse für Neue Musik, Gulbenkian Encounters of New Music, Radio France, Warsaw Autumn, and New York's Sonic Boom Festival. In addition to being a member of the FLUX Quartet, he is concertmaster/soloist with the S.E.M. Orchestra, Ostravská Banda, and STX Ensemble. He has performed and recorded with such artists as Elliot Sharp, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Jean-Claude Risset, Rohan de Saram, and Tiny Tim. A solo CD featuring premiers by Alvin Lucier, David Behrman, Robert Ashley, and Gordon Mumma will soon be released on Mode Records. He has also recorded for Asphodel, Vandenburg, CRI, and Vinyl Retentive Records.