The Opposite Land trio was founded in 1996 by Jiří Durman and Alexandr Krestovsky as a duo, where different musical experiences were melted in an unbounded musical expression loosely based on an East European musical tradition with a considerable emphasis on improvisation. After common musical starts in the first half of seventies influenced mainly by the jazz avantgarde, Jiří Durman was fully involved in free improvised music while Alexandr Krestovský switched later to early music and since eighties has been singing medieval and rennaissance vocal polyphony music.
Their first public appearance was in 1996 on a Jazz festival in Karlovy Vary.
Since 1998 Durman – Krestovsky duo has been working with different poetical texts
from the Central and East European cultural region in original languages (J.Skácel, I. Blatný,
Fr. Listopad, O.Mandelštam, N.Gumilyov, D.Kiš, B.Hamvás, A.Kusniewicz, A.Miran, Romanian folk ballads etc.)
and improvised parts of the music - composed mainly by J.Durman - has been conforming more to the structure
and poetics of the text. The duo
participated on several festivals organized by Hermit Foundation (1999 Plasy monastery), Foundation and Center
for Contemporary Art (2000 Cimelice Castle), Serpens Artistic Association etc.
In 2003 Ružena Hejná, a soprano singer, joined the duo and together with the international team of visual artists
they realized a multimedia performance “The Dream Hunters”, based on the novel “Dictionary of the Chazars”
by Serbian writer Milorad Pavic. The project was sponsored by the Open Society Fund, the Town
Council of Prague, the Jewish Community Prague and was presented in the Liben Synagogue.
In 2004 The Opposite Land trio presented a project named “The Danube”, based on the book by Italian writer
Claudio Magris. The music performance and narration were accompanied by the projection of images
created on computer by Edita Vološčuková from Slovakia, a participant of the “Dream Hunters” project.
In 2005 and 2006 The Opposite Land presented a performance based on the poems by Czech poets Ivan Blatný,
Jan Skácel and František Listopad. The performance is accompanied by the projection of the photographs
created by Jiří Ernest, a student of the Film and TV School of Prague Art Academy.
At the beginning of March 2007 the Czech Centre in Moscow invited the Opposite Land trio to participate
in the festival of arts of the Central European countries "M@narchia" where “The Danube” project was presented.
In June 2007 the trio presented a multimedia performance based on the poem “Crack” by the contemporary Czech poet
Miloslav Topinka. The performance was repeated in musically and visually modified form in 2010, again in the Liben Synagogue. In the recent years the Opposite Land trio has been setting to music poetry also of other contemporary Czech poets (B.Ditrych, J.Suk).
Jiří Durman, played in eighties and nineties together with Miroslav Posejpal
(double bass and cello) free improvised music and participated on international jazz festivals in Czechoslovakia
and abroad (Germany, Switzerland, Hungary). In 1985 they released a record Hidden Voices on Leo Records Label.
Jiří Durman composed and recorded the music for several documentary films by Martin Reznícek, Sarajevo ’94 (1994),
Farewell, Sun (2003), Jan Krížek, sculptures and bees (2005). In 2004 he released a solo CD
Vrškámen, dedicated to the memory of Ivan Lutterer, an exceptional Czech photographer. Jiri Durman is now also a permanent memeber of the Prague Improvisation Orchestra.
has been collaborating with different vocal ensembles and participated in a vast number of studio
recordings of music for European and US film companies. Since mid eighties she has been a member of famous
Kuhn mixed choir, participated on numerous recordings and presigious performances with renowned
philharmonic orchestras. In the years 1984 - 2000 she was a member of the vocal ensemble Duodena Cantitans
which specialized in historically authentic interpretation of renaissance polyphony music. The ensemble
recorded five CDs, number of radio recordings, participated in TV films, gave concerts in many European countries.
was a member of the vocal ensemble Duodena Cantitans (see above). Since 2003 has been singing and playing
percussion instruments in the early music ensemble Schola specialis, which has been performing music based
on musicological study of old Czech manuscripts, prints and archive material. Since 1996 he has been collaborating with
multimedia artist Arnold Dreyblatt (US/Germany) as a programmer and designer of computer driven visual outputs,
the projects “Memory Arena” (1996 Copenhagen), “Memory Project” (1998 Amsterdam) “Der Wunderblock” (2000 Berlin),
“The Reading Room” (2001 Bern), “Inscriptions” (2005 Frankfurt), see http://www.dreyblatt.net)