milan knizak

String Quartets


Black vinyl LP + color insert


Violin was Milan Knizak's first instrument. He has composed hundred of works of this ilk. The first one DHK, 45 years ago. Next to his destroyed works, Milan took notations of different composers, cut them and put them together (with his own score) into a collage, expressing his feelings and his apprehension of music.

'I am aware that the majority of my compositions are technically challenging, since I employ uncommon intervals, so as to make the musicians think in a different, novel way and to produce different colours in the "classical" passages too. If the instruments were arrayed "beneath one another", simple melodies may come across as boring. In the case of interval skips, whereby I count with a certain fuzziness, even falseness of tones, music is far more colourful.  I don't care who would perform my pieces, as long as they are solid musicians. I think I have written them in such a manner that they should not forfeit energy even when someone is not familiar with the modern playing principles, only their effect would somewhat shift. And I really don't mind any shift. One of my friends said that this music of mine is not similar to anything. I would like to add that it is similar to everything. Perhaps both are true.'   Milan Knizak, April 2018

Prof. Milan Knízák, Dr.A.

Multimedia artist working in fine art (actions, paintings, sculptures), music, literature, architecture, fashion and furniture design. Member of the international art group FLUXUS. Featured in major galleries around the world as well as archives, catalogues, encyclopaedias and dictionaries. His BROKEN MUSIC (SRV400 LP) was included among the 1000 most important compositions of the 20th century. One of the 500 artists in the 20th Century Art Book (Phaidon Press, London and New York). A dictionary of designers published by Ambiente lists him as "a central figure in modern Czech design". Curatorial work, theoretical essays, exhibition architecture. Extensive teaching, lecturing and publishing activities. Collector and expert on the history of puppet theatre (puppets, set design) and author of the only encyclopaedia of Czech and Slovak puppet theatre designers. Under the communist regime he was arrested, searched and detained by the police approximately 300 times, spending several
months in custody in total. He was convicted of failing to prevent a friend from deserting and of harming Czechoslovakia's interests abroad, and in 1968 he was arrested in Vienna for attacking two policemen. From 1966 onwards he was listed as an enemy of the state. His final prohibited exhibition was to have been held in November 1989. Milan Knízák has had more than 120 solo exhibitions and hundreds of group exhibitions throughout almost the entire world. He has published approximately 80 books and catalogues and released many music recordings, as well as creating a number of design projects.




side A
1. DHK Quartet (1973) 9'38
2. Dubai, Australia, Tallin (1992-2009) 13'25

side B
1. Irritating Lullaby (2008) 5'49
2. Slightly Mouring Spring Morning (2008) 20'36

Performed by fama Q which is a string quartet founded in 2005 in Prague. Its members, being also orchestral musicians with the Prague Philharmonia, were always devoted to chamber and string quartet music making. fama Q presents regularly the works of contemporary composers, be it the traditional approaches of 20th century or the avant-garde classics as well as prominent international and Czech composers of these days