Byron Asher (US)
A saxophonist, clarinetist and composer based in New Orleans, dedicated to exploring new possibilities for improvised and composed music, often based on classical jazz. His range extends from the “free-jazz party band” Basher, to the ensemble Skrontch Music, which reflects on early 20th century New Orleans jazz in the context of Jim Crow discrimination laws, to a more abstract collaboration with the drummer Brad Webb.
The culmination of Asher’s residency was a performance at Punctum Krásovka, where he performed on November 8, 2024 at 8 p.m. alongside local artists Annabelle Plum, Annabelle Plum, Katya Vackova, Martin Debricka, Jakub Švejnar, and Mark Kimei Matvia.
Ravi Kittappa (US)
Ravi Kittappa is a composer currently living in Portland, OR. The New York Times described the “vivid soundscapes” of a recent performance of his work, Decantations III, as “alluring” and “meditative”. Ravi has been commissioned and premiered by Color Field Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, ECO Ensemble, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, percussionist Owen Weaver, and Talea Ensemble among others. He has been honored to be selected as a participant at international festivals like Ostrava Days, Bowling Green New Music Festival, MATA Festival, and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute.
In Spring 2012, Ravi founded the NYC/SF/LA new music series, Permutations, which he co-curates with pianist, Karl Larson.
Ravi studied philosophy at The Johns Hopkins University and music at Columbia University. He recently completed his Ph.D in music composition at University of California, Berkeley. For 2018-2019, Ravi was a visiting composer at The Academy of Performing Arts, Prague (HAMU) through the J. William Fulbright Commission. Ravi is a faculty member in Music and Sonic Arts at Portland Community College.
Kittapp’s residency in Neir culminated in a performance at the Echofluxx festival, where, following an international call, the Prague Modern Ensemble presented new works by Christopher Fry (US), Lucie Vítková (CZ), Ravi Kittappa (US), Brigid Burke (AU), Sami Seif (Lebanon), Jakub Rataj (CZ), Patrik Kaka (CZ) and Fernanda Aoki Navarro (US). Solo performances for electronics were presented by Ramin Ahkavijou (Iran – USA), Brigid Burke and Michal Novenko (CZ). The seven-member Prague ensemble Orchestr Opening Performance performed Four Walls Full of Sound, dedicated to Phil Nioblock.
Alanna Baxter (AU)
Alanna Baxter is a young Australian artist. She holds a Bachelor’s degree of Visual Arts from RMIT University in Melbourne.
The highlight of Alanna’s residency at Neiro is a solo show featuring her drawings and a painting at a pop-up exhibition space Neiro Mustek.
Moksha Richards (AU)
Moksha Richards is a young Australian artist, who holds a bachelors degree in fine arts from RMIT University in Melbourne.
Her residency at Neiro will include an open studio in the new pop-up exhibition space Neiro Můstek, where she will present her drawings with visual influences from Prague architecture, logos and semiotics.
Kinya Sogawa (JP)
Kinya Sogawa is a shakuhachi player and maker whose playing bridges worlds of traditional and contemporary music. He creates his own instruments and his unique sound speaks to international audiences through concerts and famous Hollywood productions. His deep understanding of the instrument makes the shakuhachi and its music accessible to audiences of all ages. He studied shakuhachi performance with Katsuya Yokoyama who premiered Toru Takemitsu’s seminal work November Steps. Sogawa studied shakuhachi making with the legendary Chikuzen Tamai, the father of the modern shakuhachi.
Kinya Sogawa will lead a three day shakuhachi making workshop during his residency at Neiro.
John Kaizan Neptune (US)
John Kaizan Neptune is a shakuhachi master player and a master maker based in Chiba, Japan. John Kaizan’s analytical approach to shaping the bore has enabled him to fine-tune individual notes across the three octaves range, thus creating a well balanced, precisely tuned instruments with projection comparable to western classical instruments. In recent years, he has expanded his understanding to also produce extraordinary jinashi shakuhachi.
As part of his residency, John will lead an intensive shakuhachi making workshop to showcase his unique production and playing techniques, as well as perform at ISFP 23.
Margaret Leonard (US)
American artist Margaret Leonard at Studio NEIRO.
Margaret Leonard paints since 1976. She graduated from Main College of Art & Design. Her current work reflects her deep sense of disgust towards the present political situation in the USA.
Open Studio Margaret Leonard is part of her art residence in NEIRO Association for Expanding Arts z.s.
Monique van der Wal (NL)
Monique van der Wal is one of the young artists working with new media. Her prints, videos and installations combine a retrofuturist aesthetic with an engaged mission. Van der Wal studied illustration at the University of Utrecht and is currently studying in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The highlight of the artist residency was the online installation OMNI INN, which took place at AXA Palace.
The exhibition opened on 6 October 2022, accompanied by the female free-jazz duo Annabelle Plum & Žaneta Vítová.
Chikako Goto (JP)
Chikako Goto (65) lives in Yufuin, Oita Prefecture. She studied at Goldsmith College in England and the Byam Shaw School of Art. She has long been involved in the intersection of the visual arts of European classical music, Japanese music and theatre. Britton-inspired War Requiem is a successful series and performance that has been presented internationally in galleries in Germany, Russia and Japan.
Japanese artist Chikako Goto visited Prague as part of the NEIRO artist residency, will create works from The War Requiem series in front of the audience. The War Requiem is an art performance inspired by Benjamin Britten’s composition of the same name. The artist paints Japanese ink paintings reminiscent of the legendary Zenga circles, reflecting the state of mind of their creator. Her aim is to constantly remind us of the reality of war. “I always stop before creating each painting, close my eyes and think of nothing. Now. Now is war.”
Hiroya Miura (JP)
A native of Sendai, Japan, he has worked as a composer and performer in North America. Hailed by Allan Kozinn of the New York Times as “acidic and tactile,” Miura’s compositions explore the “constantly shifting balance” between traditions, players, instruments, and sound objects. For the 2019-20 season, Miura composed the micro-opera Sharaku Unframed for shamisen player Hidejiro Honjoh and San Francisco’s Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and Galactic Monarchs, and music for a shakuhachi concerto for John Kaizan Neptune and Prague’s BERG Orchestra. He has been awarded the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts and Literary Arts Residency, la Napoule Art Foundation Residency, HB Studio Residency, and Willapa Bay AiR Residency, among others.
During his residency at Neiro, Miura continued his composition studies for shakuhachi, shamisen, and extended voice techniques. Currently, Miura is completing an opera based on the story of Milena Jesenska and Franz Kafka. This opera is expected to be finished next year and has scheduled premieres in New York, Tokyo and the Czech Republic. Neiro has facilitated meetings with the opera’s vocalist Annabelle Plum, other local composers and musicians involved in the project.
Byron Asher (US)
A saxophonist, clarinetist and composer based in New Orleans, he is dedicated to exploring new possibilities for improvised and composed music, often based on classical jazz. His range extends from the “free-jazz party band” Basher, to the ensemble Skrontch Music, which reflects on early 20th century New Orleans jazz in the context of Jim Crow discrimination laws, to a more abstract collaboration with drummer Brad Webb. In all cases, Asher manages compositions that are both coherent and genuinely fresh.
The highlight of Asher’s residency was a performance at Punctum Krásovka, where he performed alongside local artists – singer Annabelle Plum and the Stratocluster ensemble.
Tassos Tataroglou (GR)
Tassos Tataroglou, Greek multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, shakuhachi, voice, guitar), creates original contemporary and improvised music. He has created a unique instrument, the duplex microtonal trumpet, for which he creates distinctive, sensitive and multi-layered musical environments drawing on the aesthetics of live electronics, jazz and field recordings. Tassos Tataroglou has lived in Basel, Switzerland since 2013, and is a member of the Unorthodox Jukebox Kollektiv, Insub Meta Orchestra and Incounterpoint vol.1. He studied music theory, voice and trumpet in Athens and Thessaloniki, and free improvisation and conducting at the Basel Music Academy.
Tassos Tataroglou performed at a concert at the Punctum club in Žižkov as part of his artistic residency at the NEIRO studio.
Their music is a floating conversation between the electronics of Silva and Pereira and Vicente’s trumpet; it is an open journey to a new music language creation based on the exploration of mutually shared binoms: noice / silence, abstract / specific a melodic / dissonant.
Scolari led by the legendary Luís Vicente recorded new compositions together with Annabelle Plum (voice) and Kimei Matvija (shakuhachi). The formation presented their music in a concert at Prague club Punctum.
Naoko Kikuchi (JP)
The world virtuoso on Japanese koto graduated from NHK School of Performing Traditional Japanese Instruments where she obtained her master’s license. She currently lives and works in Berlin where she uses her extraordinary talent in a wide spectrum of activities ranging from premiering new compositions, collaborating with other artists and musicians to perform traditional music for koto.
During her residency program in Prague Naoko led a koto workshop and performed with the worldwide known shakuhachi player Jeanem Françoisem Lagrostem, Monika Knoblochova (cembalo) and Marek Kimei Matvija (shakuhachi) during a concert of music by Japanese composers Torua Takemitsua, Makiho Ishiiho, Tadao Sawaie, Yukiko Watanabe and Ichiro Seki.
Steve Cohn (US)
NYC pianist, shakuhachi player, jazzman and improvisor, whose music dramatically evolved over the years.
During his second residency at Neiro, Steve performed together with Annabelle Plum (voice) and Kimei Matvija (shakuhachi) at Free Jazz Festival. The trio and a special guest George Cremaschi (double bass) presented and recorded new compositions within their concert at The Music Academy of Prague where Steve also lectured an Improvised music and extended techniques workshop.
John Kaizan Neptune (US)
A legendary shakuhachi player and producer, who reinterpreted the shakuhachi and adapted it for Western music and jazz. Neptune, who is acknowledged to be among the top masters of the instrument in Japan, now lives in Kamogawa, Chiba-ken, where he continues to make, compose for and experiment with the instrument he had adopted as his own.
During his residency, John lectured a shakuhachi playing and a shakuhachi making workshop, where he introduced his unique playing and production techniques. He performed at ISFP 21 festival with the infamous Berg Orchestra and Stratocluster. He also performed as a guest at Japonske dny festival in Ostrava and at the Kozel castle together with the Czech shakuhachi master Marek Kimei Matvija.
Viktor Szeri, Tamás Páll, Gyula Muskovics
Choreographer Viktor Szeri, multimedia artist Tamás Páll, and curator Gyula Muskovics have all combined to create immersive installations and performances since 2018. Their trans-disciplinary art projects connect contemporary dance with new technologies, poetry and curatorial vision.
The collective is preoccupied with the changing role of the human body and the notion of real experience on the verge of the virtual and the physical reality.
They dedicated their residency to their multimedia performance SUMMIT speculating about dark future scenarios. The latest project by Gyula Muskovics, Viktor Szeri, and Tamás Páll is a collective mourning ritual, a preparation for an unexpected, yet already evident Future Event. The decentralized environment of SUMMIT is based on the combination of new technolgies, dance, and poetry. During the performance the visitors are immersed in the dialogue between the physical present and a virtually existing, yet possible reality.
Jasmin Schaitl is currently living in Vienna, AT and Wroclaw, PL. She recently started her practice-based PhD at the Academy of Arts and Design, Wroclaw. The main medium of expression in her work is the body in performance, sculpture, drawing and video. She graduated from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Since 2011, she has worked as a visual artist and performer; she also organizes and curates interdisciplinary projects. Jasmin shares her approaches to performance also through leading workshops in universities, institutions and performance festivals all over Europe.
Within the field of performance and sculpture, she is researching the connection of, and effect between the haptic sense and the memory. This includes audience involvement, participation and objects/materials that are to be touched. Jasmin examines how durational pieces and intimate one-on-one performance and installation settings affect and change the perception of time and space for an audience.
Natasha Padilha and Anna Júlia Amaral (Brazil) are more than 10 years working in performance arts field.
Performance “I Don’t Know How To Explain That You Should Care About The Others” is their current research around identity, migration, affection and failed politics.
Staša Guček is creating connections between various fields of art, technology and sound. She is interested in illustration, analog electronics, bioacoustics, field recordings and grows affinity and care for the world of insects and fragile ecosystems. She is developing custom stand-alone analog electronic instruments and mentoring workshops.
A workshop and a lecture “Nocturnal Animals” took place in NEIRO during Staša’s residency. Under the leadership of the artist, the workshop participants made a musical instrument that tells the story of nightlife, climate change and blind musicians. The workshop was followed by a lecture about her “Nocturnal Animals” project and Staša Guček’s creative process.
Dietmar Ippu Herriger & Tivadar Nemesi
Dietmar Ippu Herriger (shakuhachi, alt-saxofon, bass flute and bass clarinet) dedicated his life to the studies of wind instruments in Europe and Japan. He is currently teaching flute, saxophone, clarinet, and shakuhachi play at Leo Kestenberg Music School in Berlin.
Tivadar Nemesi is a percussionist, based in Budapest and Berlin. He plays the legendary Swiss percussion instrument Hang Drum. Tivadar studied photography at Budapest Academy and is an author of many musical and art projects. He also creates film music.
They dedicated their residency to their mutual project MA: In between, Today. The outcome was a concert in an artistic club Zázemí in Bartolomějská street, Prague.
June – July 2016
Multi-instrumentalist and a jazz experimentator Steve Cohn, together with Marek Kimei Matvija and Annabelle Plum, recorded and presented new compositions for shakuhachi, experimental voice and quarter-tone piano.