The „forefather“ of the Czech alternative scene Mikoláš Chadima (*1952) and the pioneer of the Slovak one Július Fujak (*1966) met in person for the first time in February 1990 and perhaps already then appeared a spark, which was to cause their common fireworks of ideas nineteen years later. They are both associated with endless hunger for searching and finding, so they feel at home in the fields of free improvising, in which one by no means does not find certain conceptual context. Julo has invented the title XAFOO, which was originally just a fusion of the first syllables of the protagonists. surnames, but later he discovered by chance that in certain Swahili dialect this word allegedly means something dirty, or muddy. At the same time, Mikoláš sent him old black and white photos of the secret state policemen. These were dated back in deep totalitarian socialism of the last century, and represented people who then spied on him and
questioned him. Together with his computer drawings these formed the base of the visual-artistic conception of the whole performance, and on the other side it inspired Julo to create the motto of the project: “…to uncover the hidden by wiping away dust and dirt from what we lived“.
Improvised music beside the secret policemens photos and photos from Lawsuit with Jazz Section in times of real socialism in Czecho-Slovakia …to uncover the hidden by wiping away dust and dirt from what we lived . . .”
Sometimes clairvoyance is hidden under sediment of dust…
- project has originated in 2009, in times of 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution 1989 in Czecho-Slovakia
- performed in different venues, galleries and international festivals in Czech Republic and Slovakia including Alternativa in Prague, Gallery of Arts in Ostrava, PostmutArt in Gallery in Nitra, A4 – Nultý priestor in Bratislava, Trafačka in Košice, Genius Loci in Levoča
- published CD XAFOO (Hevhetia 2012, EH 0037-2-331) – recorded live: Festival Alternativa, Prague (CZ) 2009. Awarded by Premium of Musical Fund, Bratislava (2011)
M I K O L Á Š C H A D I M A (CZ, born 9th September 1952, Cheb)
- composer, saxophonist, guitarist and singer - full info www.mchband.cz
J Ú L I U S F U J A K (SK, born 10th October 1966 in Žilina)
- experimental composer, aesthetician, multi-instrumentalist and organizer of intermedia musical events
- member of the Slovak alternative rock bands Teória Odrazu and Otras (1987-1998). After completing his study of Aesthetics and Musical science at the Faculty of Arts at Comenius University in Bratislava (1985-1990). Since the mid-1990s, he has participated in many transmedia projects organized by centre of contemporary arts Skleněná louka (Glass Meadow) in Brno 1995-2005).
He as artistic director and organizer of the Hermovo ucho v Nitre (Hermes’ Ear in Nitra, 1999-2007) international concert series of contemporary unconventional music, which he later followed up with the PostmutArt Fes, intermedia intermedia art series in Nitra Gallery (since 2008)..
Other artists with whom Fujak has collaborated include: The California EAR Unit (USA), Zsolt Söres (H), Franz Hautzinger (A), Jon Rose (AUS), Veryan Weston (UK), Ludivine Allegue (F), Eufrasio Prates (BRA), David Šubík, Jan Kavan, Jana Lewitová and Vladimír Merta, Mikoláš Chadima (all from CZ), Marián Varga, Ján Boleslav Kladivo, Peter Macsovszky, Jozsef R. Juhász, and Jozef Lupták (all from SK). He has performed at Red Cat Theatre (Los Angeles), festival Audio Art and Akademy of Music(Krakow), Sound Bridges (Vienna), Big Ear and (Cross), Hearing (Budapest), Alternativa (Prague), the Slovak Institute (Rome), Exposition of New Music (Brno), Movement-Sound-Space (Opava), JAMU and Glass Meadow (Brno), Sound Off (Nové Zámky), and Evenings of New Music (Bratislava).
He worked as a musical semiotician at the Institute for Literary and Artistic Communication (1996-2007) attached to the Department of Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Arts of Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra.
Teória Odrazu. (Globus International, 1991; CD re-edition Hevhetia 2011)
Otras: Kysucký postindustriál. (y.f.w., 1998)
Fujak – Macsovszky – Varso: Trojkolo: beh fiktivity. (Animartis, 2000)
tEóRia OtraSu: Bábkový režim zvuku. (Animartis, 2002)
tEóRia OtraSu: Nosferatu (2002)
Julius Fujak & The California E.A.R. Unit: transPOPsitions! – intermedia wrestling. Live in L.A.
(DVD, Hevhetia, 2006)
tEóRia OtraSu, Jana Lewitová and Vladimír Merta: Jánošík ( Hevhetia, 2007)
Ján Boleslav Kladivo & Julo Fujak: Fluff Modulation (DVD, Vlna 2008)
Julo Fujak: Úchytkom /Cursorily (Hevhetia, 2008)
Julo Fujak & spol.: Konvergencie do vrecka (Hevhetia, 2010,)
Mikoláš Chadima & Julo Fujak: XAFOO ((Hevhetia 2012)
Ne:bo:daj (Azyl 2012)
Tvorivosť v načúvaní hudobnému tvaru (Creativity in Listening to Musical Form, ÚLUK UKF Nitra 2000)
Musical Correla(c)tivity (ÚLUK UKF Nitra 2005)
Slovenské hudobné alternatívy (Slovak Alternative Music, with M. Kalinek and O. Rehák; ÚLUK UKF
Hudobné korela(k)tivity (KKu UKF Nitra, 2008)
Margonálie (Modrý Peter Levoča/ KKu UKF Nitra, 2013, being printed)
Mikoláš CHADIMA (CZ): saxophones, electric guitar, selection of photos and images , Julo FUJAK (SK): semi-prepared piano, bowed and prepared bass guitar and sonic toys
Part I. The Beholder
Part II. The Nature
Part III. Franz Kafka
From CD reviews:
(Text in CD booklet from Petr Slabý, Hevhetia 2012)
…the CD is the recording of their concert in KC Kaštan in Prague, which happened within the international festival Alternativa on 27th November 2009. It is a dialogue which on one hand springs from the growing dark subconsciousness and states of anxiety, but gradually the struggling light of clairvoyance gets to the surface, threading its way through long past memories and fragments of stories and through layers of dust, all into other dimensions. This more than fifty minutes long flow of imagination has its own evolution and despite that it is not linear. Here and there your attention can be caught by musical ornaments, in other moments you almost touch the state of an astral unconsciousness and perhaps even memories of the future. The whole
process was described by Julo just before the realisation of the piece:
You lead an unpredictable musical dialogue on the base of alternative improvisation in such a way as when you wipe off sedimentary layers of dust of several years, which will swirl so much that you can see nothing at first. But then, after settling down, there will appear something which was, under the dust before.. And nobody knows in advance if the appeared thing will be something unpleasant or quite the contrary…
And I add that all that eventually appeared is for sure new and surprising, and probably even alarming, but at the same time it has the power to bring the feeling of something familiar, something perhaps remotely known and carries the feeling of certainty and warmth.
When I listened to this record after some years, I had a feeling of a peculiar anti déja vu. Actually, I was present at that performance physically and until now I still have profound experience from it. But while listening to the record I found myself suddenly in other space-time continuum and experienced quite a different story, and this happened to me every other time I played the record.
…Alternative rock background of both artists allows in improvisation excursuses more drastic portrayal of brokenness of the past and requiem atmosphere of it – not by learnt usual coordination, but by the wiggle, alternation of roles with imaginary bathyscaphe dipped in shiftiness and freakiness of the era. In the divergences and convergences of their approaches I feel dubitation about errancy, remained bitterness, consideration of possible atonement. Right here, in junction of forgiving and rebelling moments, there appears wider relevance of personal experience in a question if we all are Kafkas in this unfeeling world.
Zdeněk K. Slabý , His voice, Prague 2013
The recording is remarkable by no immersion in blest sonic depression and widespread planes of silence, but in musical development of continuousness. Duo XAFOO offers sophisticated sonic concept, which can attract our interest and pervade the form by unusual originality. I the frame of former Czechoslovakia it is uncompromised project, which does not sound as “underground” anymore, but as highly actual and cogent utterance.
Peter Katina, Hudobný Zivot (Music Life), Bratislava 1-2/2013