A Day in Benedict - CD

Rajesh Mehta / Irena & Vojtěch Havlovi
CD Recording / Center for Metamedia
Plasy Monastery

The improvisation on the CD A Day in Benedict were recorded at the beginning of October 1997 in two chapels in the Plasy Monastery and it started as a personal encounter earlier in 1996. Rajesh Mehta’s "Ragas for trumpet" and his improvisations in collaboration with Vojtěch and Irena Havel, recorded over the course of one day, are results of a three years of this trumpet player's musical experiments within the Saint Benedict chapel. The music pieces were composed specifically for the the chapel´s acoustic qualities into full play.

The meditation chapel, planned to be the main space of a never realized chathedral was dedicated to the founder if the Benedictine Order. It is an oval space designed in the Baroque style around 1711 by the convent’s architect Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel. The works on the chapel and the entire convent building were eventually completed under the supervision of the architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer in 1739. The chapel rises to the height of 25 meters and is 12 wide. Its shape and acoustics were designed to amplify liturgical singing and spoken word. Within the chapel the whisper of each tone echoes over and over as the sound winds up the elliptical cylinder of the cupola and disappears in the heights of its upper part. The St. Bernard Chapel is smaller of the two, located at the corner of the convent, has a briefer tonal echo and clearer acoustics. This is where the CD´s improvisations with a prepared piano were recorded.

Rajesh Mehta uses three types of trumpets and extends their timbres and ranges with added elements (mutes, paper, water, tubes and other objects). 

Recorded by: Avik Studio, Plzeň
Mastering: Jiří Sláma a Přemek Haas
Photographs: Daniel Šperl, Gert de Ruijter, Radovan Kodera, Hana Rysová
Text: Miloš Vojtěchovský
English editing: Jo Williams
Lay out: Hedvika Moravcová
Prepress: Gekko 96
Print: Kartex
AV 011797
Support: Pro Helvetia and Embassy of the Netherlands