Milan Guštar

Transparent Messenger
Plasy Monastery 1994

Milan Guštar (b. 1963) is an organologist, composer, computer programmer, and designer of electronic, electroacoustic, multimedia, and interactive systems. Guštar studied computing at Czech Technical University in Prague (1981–86). After completing his studies, he stayed on as a lecturer (1986–92). During the 1990s, he spent several working exchanges at San Jose State University in the United States. Later, he studied information science and applied mathematics at the Technical University of Ostrava (1999–2003), where he received a Ph.D. From 2002 to 2008, he was a research employee at the Czech Academy of Sciences in the field of mathematic modeling and systems simulations. His current relationship to music is based on a Pythagorean understanding of the world as a manifestation of numeric principles. Guštar is an expert in practically the entire field of low-current electrical equipment and electronics, and has managed to apply his theoretical knowledge in practice by collaborating on the design of audio, video, and audiovisual objects. Since the late 1970s, his work has focused on the design, development, and manufacture of custom-made electronic and electroacoustic equipment and musical instruments, multimedia and interactive systems, software design, audio recording and editing, and consultation services.

Since 1993, Guštar has been engaged in these activities under the company name ARTech. He specializes in working with visual and other artists in the creation of multimedia, interactive, and kinetic works. He occasionally lectures at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts, Film and Television School (FAMU), Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU), and Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, among others. His knowledge of the intentional creation and modification of source sounds using electronics is summarized in the two-volume Electrophonics, in which he looks at the prehistory, history, and current state of this field from the viewpoint of organology and electrotechnics. He is also capable of manufacturing the electronic and electromechanical musical instruments and equipment whose construction and functioning are described in his writings. Among others, Guštar has created electronic organs (6 octaves, 5 stops), monophonic synthesizers, programmable electronic drums, MIDI keyboards, a MIDI Timecode Display and a theremin.

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