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Prague-based improvisation ensemble Stratocluster paired with New York bassist James Ilgenfritz and US-based Austrian percussionist Lukas Ligeti.

Join us for this very special concert which sees Prague-based multimedia improvisation ensemble Stratocluster paired with New York bassist James Ilgenfritz and US-based Austrian percussionist Lukas Ligeti.


James Ilgenfritz has decided to program the WORLD PREMIERE of a piece by New York-based composer Miya Masaoka for this concert. It is titled Four Moons of Pluto, and uses the double bass retuned to just intonation, that is, notes of the harmonic series, played only on harmonics.

The concert will consist of a set of solo compositions for bass played by James Ilgenfritz followed by a small group set featuring our two guests. After the break, we'll continue with a piece by Ian Mikyska for two percussionists, two bassists and analogue projections written specifically for the occasion, followed by a collective improvisation featuring both Stratocluster and our esteemed guests. This is expected to stretch out into the wee hours.

The concert will take place in Punctum, an open artistic space in Žižkov, one tram stop away from the main train station. Drinks and refreshments will be available. // http://punctum.cz/ //

Generously supported by The Agosto Foundation

Entry fee: 100 full price, 50 for students (or people who feel enough like students)

Artist bios:


Transcending the boundaries of genre, the Austrian, New-York-City-based composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown New York experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, as well as world music, particularly from Africa. Known for his non-conformity and diverse interests, Lukas creates music ranging from the through-composed to the free-improvised, often exploring polyrhythmic/polytempo structures, non-tempered tunings, and non-western elements. Other major sources of inspiration include experimental mathematics, computer technology, architecture and visual art, sociology and politics, and travel. He has also been participating in cultural exchange projects in Africa for the past 15 years.

Born in Vienna, Austria into a family from which several important artists have come including his father, composer György Ligeti, Lukas started his musical adventures after finishing high school. He studied composition and percussion at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and then moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University before settling in New York in 1998.

His commissions include Bang on a Can, the Vienna Festwochen, Ensemble Modern, Kronos Quartet, Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger, the American Composers Forum, New York University, ORF Austrian Broadcasting Company, Radio France, and more; he also regularly collaborates with choreographer Karole Armitage.



Bassist and composer James Ilgenfritz has worked in New York’s experimental music community for ten years, interacting with visual artists, improvisers, composers, and literary figures. As an improviser James has performed with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Anthony Coleman, Jin Hi Kim, Jon Rose and Steve Swell, among others.

As an interpreter of notated music, he has also worked with composers Lukas Ligeti, JG Thirlwell, Annie Gosfield, Pauline Oliveros, and Ted Hearne. His debut solo recording ‘Compositions (Braxton) 2011’ features his distinctive solo bass interpretations of the music of Anthony Braxton, and was called “a considerable achievement of solo instrumentalism and an important demonstration of the possibilities open to the double bass in the early 21st century” by Avant Music News’s Dan Barbiero.

Current projects include his longstanding Anagram Ensemble (which has morphed from jazz quartet to experimental big band to avant-garde theatrical chamber ensemble), Hypercolor (with Lukas Ligeti and Eyal Maoz), Red Triangle (with Chuck Bettis and Nonoko Yoshida), COLONIC YOUTH (with Dan Blake, Philip White, and Kevin Shea), The Curators (with Joe Hertenstein and Mikko Innanen) and Radiant Tongues (with Jason Ponce). In 2011 James was Artist In Residence at Issue Project Room, where he premiered his opera The Ticket That Exploded (based on the 1962 William S. Burroughs novel of the same name).

James holds degrees from University of Michigan & University of California San Diego, and is on faculty at Brooklyn College Preparatory Center & Brooklyn Conservatory.



Ian Mikyska is a Czech composer who currently divides his time between Prague and London. He is a student of James Weeks at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has spent the last year on a residency at the Centre for Audiovisual Studies at the Film Academy in Prague. His work is almost always based in sound, but it tends to approach it at the edges, through text, theatre or multimedia. It has been published in Psí víno, A2, HISvoice, The Word Addict and the anthology Abolishing Prague (Charles University Press), and featured at festivals such as Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media Festival, Prague Microfestival and Alternativa. He leads the Prague-based ensemble Stratocluster, focusing on multimedia improvisation. He is also active as a translator of Czech prose and poetry into English.


Stratocluster is a Prague-based improvisation ensemble founded in 2013. Since then, it has gradually come to focus more on multimedia aspects of improvisation, working most notably with overhead projectors as tools for direct, intuitive improvisation across media, as well as working with text, theatricality and lighting. In 2014, they performed at the Alternativa, vs. Interpretation, and Ruins of Intolerance festivals, among others, and in 2015 they released a lo-fi casette “jabka hrušky meotary” ("apples, pears and overhead projectors") on the Meteorismo label. Their album on the polí5 label is set to be released in 2016.

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