The link between tea and music harks back to the very roots of tea-drinking as a contemplative ritual in classical Chinese culture. These ceremonies were often accompanied by music performed on the guqin (an ancient Chinese zither), an instrument prized for its quiet, gentle sound, inappropriate for both celebrations and ensemble playing, used predominantly for solo meditative playing. It is this contemplative nature of sounds that flow through a cup of tea that the Prague Quiet Music Collective attempts to capture in their performance Sitting, in which the improvised musical component is structured by the temporal dramaturgy of the preparation of tea (specifically using the gong fu cha method). Two musicians, three steepings, one shared evening.
The premiere took place at the Malá inventure festival in February 2022.
The performance lasts approximately 45 minutes, followed by a discussion. If the piece is performed repeatedly (e.g. 3x in a day), the starting times must be at least 90 minutes apart.
Ian Mikyska – concept, director
Eva Dudová – tea preparation
Milan Kárník Jakeš, Ian Mikyska – music
Jakub Vaverka – dramaturgy