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The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms
    #4543508 - 08/16/05 08:52 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

A little less than a year ago I read a post in the Music, Art and Literature forum about a Czech musician who composes pieces about mushrooms - one piece for each species. I found the idea very fascinating, but as I don't live in the Czech republic, Vaclav Halek's works were impossible to find in shops or even the internet. This summer while on holidays in the Czech republic, I spared some time to walk around the Prague stores to find this interesting material. It says in the beginning of the book that in 2003 only 1500 copies were released, so no wonder it wasn't easy to find - it took me half a day and 8 stores, but still I consider myself lucky :laugh:

So here it is - Hudebni Atlas Hub (The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms) by Vaclav Halek.

Here is an article about it in The Prague Post, here is one in the Guardian Unlimited, here - one in the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, and here you can listen to an interview with Vaclav where he composes and sings one of his mushroom songs right on the spot (Real Audio from Radio Praha).

Here is some more information about the author right from the book:


Vaclav Halek was born in Prague in 1937. He studied the piano and music composition at the Prague conservatory and the Musical Faculty of the Academy of Music and Drama. He lives in Prague. Among his works are: "Mycocosmical Symphony", "Bechyne Suite", oratorio "La Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri", three piano concertos, two string quartets, a great number of songs including a whole series of pieces for children's choirs, music for the stage and the film. He co-operates with radio and television. So far he has composed music about approximately 1,650 species of fungi.

Ing. Miroslav Smotlacha About the Author

I have known Vaclav for many years. He has been interested in nature, and especially in mushrooms since his youth. This brought him to the Mushroom Consultation Bureau and to our Czech Mycological Society, where he has been a member of the Board for a long time.

His interest in fungi has always been profound and he has studied them seriously. He has published a whole series of specialized articles in the Magazine of Czechoslovak Mushroom Pickers. Randomly I can mention the article published in 1981 "The Experience with a less known Cortinarius" (it was Cortinarius varius). Since he began picking mushrooms, Vaclav Halek has been fascinated by the extraordinary colourfulness, variety of shapes and growth, and diverse smells of fruit bodies of fungi. Another very interesting article, dealing with the less known species of the genus Lyophyllum, was published in 1983. It concerned Lyophyllum immundum. I mention this also because of the Czech designations of mushrooms being sometimes almost bizarre (Lyophyllum immundum is called "liha necista" in Czech, the word "necista" meaning "unclean"), which attracts Vaclav, too. This all brought Vaclav Halek, a musician heart and soul, to setting individual species of fungi to music.

The first musical composition about mushrooms was published in 1993 - "Mushrooms for Violin". It concerned fourteen species of fungi, which Vaclav found and took photographs of with his friends from the Czech Mycological society. It was just a small portion of the hundreds of species he set to music in the course of many years. Many of the compositions have been performed at concerts for special guests in our headquarters in Karmelitska street, during lectures at the university in Trojanova street, and elsewhere in and outside Prague. They were performed on the television, the radio, and also in the Labyrint theatre in Prague Smichov.

It has always been interesting for me to observe Vaclav when he sees in our Mushroom Consultation Bureau or at a mushroom exhibition or when he himself finds during his walks in the woods a new fungus species, not set to music yet. He immediately retires to a quiet place in order not to be disturbed, he thinks, examines, breathes in, smells the fruit bodies, and composes, and composes. This way he has set to music a great number of fungi species. This is a world rarity. I don't know of anyone else in our republic or in the world examining and processing individual species of fungi through the medium of music!

Download it here: http://www.divshare.com/download/12265573-084



Edited by ivi (08/21/10 07:03 PM)

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Re: The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms [Re: ivi]
    #18858395 - 09/18/13 04:29 PM (4 years, 3 months ago)

I'm bumping an eight year old thread for the sheer musical genius. To add, there is a video on youtube with him.

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Represents Enlil's Fear

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Re: The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms [Re: Godfather1376]
    #18863546 - 09/19/13 05:41 PM (4 years, 3 months ago)

this is awesome, good bump. :bump:


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Re: The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms [Re: akira_akuma]
    #18874323 - 09/22/13 01:43 AM (4 years, 3 months ago)

Fuck, I actually remember this thread.


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Re: The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms [Re: Middleman]
    #18875210 - 09/22/13 11:43 AM (4 years, 3 months ago)

Very cool thanks, for sharing.

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Re: The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms [Re: elborito]
    #18883171 - 09/24/13 02:34 AM (4 years, 3 months ago)

Very sweet

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Re: The Musical Atlas of Mushrooms [Re: mrbeanstalk]
    #18883252 - 09/24/13 03:13 AM (4 years, 3 months ago)

Yeah that's awwesome. Some ppl play music to their fruits and the mushrooms return the favor :smile:

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