Irena and Vojtěch Havlovi: Transparent Messenger

In more than twenty years of their joint activity, Czech artists Irena Havlová (born 1959) and Vojtěch Havel (born 1962) have passed through several distinctive stages of development. They started to work together in the mid-80s, at the experimental Capella Antiqua e Moderna Ensemble which won both public and critical acclaim. The repertoire of that unique group of musicians of the same generation, all well versed in music history, spanned various styles of European classical music, ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary music, which they performed with extraordinary bravuro, yet very convincingly. The Havels, a husband-and-wife duo, were able to develop what since the very beginning had been a very unorthodox approach to both historical and modern compositional techniques and interpretive procedures. Besides appearing with that ensemble, they were intensively collaborating with many other leading Czech and foreign artists since the late 1980s, gradually creating their typically unclassifiable, multi-style and multi-media sound and image collages. Their favourite partners included Jiří Stivín, Czech jazz multi-instrumentalist of world renown, avant-garde drummer Alan Vitouš, and impulsive guitarist Tony Ackerman, as well as dancers Karel Vaněk and Eva Černá, painter Radek Pilař, and many others.

In 1990 they collaborated on joint projects with spiritually allied singer-songwriter Oldřich Janota. That stage came to a close and a new one began, with them embarking on their own path. In 1990, they released the first of their own CDs, namely Háta H. In this one and those that followed (YoganidraLittle Blue NothingMusic Of SilenceMysterious GamelanlandTenderly To Light) they gradually developed their very original, musically autonomous, but always very listenable musical conceptions.

In the first half of the 1990s, they travelled to India three times and in the desert villages of Rajasthan recorded tens of hours of folk and spiritual music which they later released on four CDs (AgniMaha Rudra YagyaSri Maháprabhuji BhajansSri Mádhavánanda Bhajans). They also made two very inspiring films for Czech Television about India's spiritual life (Agni, Maha Rudra Yagya, Pushkar a Kumbhamela). Their audiovisual project Mysterious Gamelanland, their first collaboration with film director Viliam Poltikovič, won the acclaim of the public.

In the second half of the 1990s, Irena Havlová and Vojtěch Havel continued to develop their unique musical expression. They recorded and released more of their very original CDs (Vanity Of WingsThe Day In BenedictLike a Butterfly On Your PalmYour Golden Boat) which earned them acclaim both at home and abroad. At the same time, they were appearing in concert across the Czech Republic, Europe, Canada, and the USA. They travelled to Africa and Japan with the Solstice (Slunovrat) dreamy performance made in collaboration with avant-garde artists Petr Nikl and Jana Svobodová.