Sociological and musical projects
Research and scholarly projects, bands I have played with, my musical collaborations.
Regulation of construction activities in protected landscape areas (PLA)
Transdisciplinary project, supported by the TA CR (TL03000439): Cyril Říha - grant holder; Zdeněk Konopásek & Jindřich Prach - key research collaborators.
The project aimes at improving the regulation of construction activities in protected landscape areas (with emphasis on PLAs Křivoklátsko and Český kras as model areas). We want to examine what this regulation is, how it comes into being and what its effects are, and propose recommendations on how to make it more effective and more politically legitimate. We will use the long-term experience of transdisciplinary work at our institute, combining competencies in the fields of architecture and urban planning, sociology and ecology (landscape protection).
Vulnerable residents in fragile residences: An inquiry into tensions of residential care
Sociological research project, supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (19-07724S): Zdeněk Konopásek - grant holder; Radek Carboch, Dana Hradcová and Michal Synek - research collaborators.
The proposed research focuses on a specific tension in residential care for people identified as disabled: the tension between care for the residents, enabling them to live their lives as "normally" as possible, and care for the residences, safeguarding their economic and "cultural" worth. In the Czech Republic, the residential institutions are often housed in former castles, monasteries or historical villas, which are similarly out-of-shape, fragile and unattached as their inhabitants. And although care for people and maintenance of things might seem to be two dcompletely different and unrelated activities, they go hand-in-hand and cannot be separated. Our research will contribute to the recent turn of social sciences towards interest in materialities and ethical values of caring. We will analyze a single field of practice as framed by several diverging logics and sets of values, paying attention to how this multiplicity is managed. We also hope that our research will help to improve living and working conditions in residential care facilities.
Fish Flesh Field & Henry $
Line-up: Jindra Tolar (guitars, vocals), Michal Fejt (bass, vocals), Karel Maso Koštejn (drums, vocals) and Zdeněk Konopásek (drums).
After the band Široko-daleko [Near-and-far] ended and Jan Prokop left the group of participating musicians, I started playing with an older project of basically the same people as a second drummer. This band from Karlovy Vary (my birth town) is oriented on psychedelic rock songs and now it features two drummers.
Dance sessions: Smeykal & Konopásek
Didgeridoo and drums, free improvisation.
Since 2015, I play together with Ondrej Smeykal, one of the most brilliant and widely celebrated players on didgeridoo. Characteristically we play one piece from start to end, but in "waves", gently, but also wild, not only for listening but especiall for dancing and moving, a plethora of rhythms and sounds intended as something almost therapeutic and cathartic.
Drums and cymbals (ZK solo)
Free improvisation on accoustic drum set.
Since 2013, I occasionally do solo drumming. It is not a kind of exhibition of player's skills, but rather complex free improvisations emphasizing the beauty of sound of accoustic drum set.
Noční pták [Nightbird] (Fidler & Konopásek)
Musical duo: Luboš Fidler - vocals, lyrics, electric guitar, drums, amplified window shutters, accordion and composed songs; Zdeněk Konopásek - drums and cymbals, trumpet. And almost regular guest, Štěpán Pečírka - voice, bass.
Luboš Fidler is one of the most important and interesting performers of the Czech alternative music. It is well-known that he, as bass guitar player, was founding member of alternative rock groups Švehlík/Stehlík. He also played in MCH Band, Kilhets and other bands of the time. In the early 1980s he was involved in the minimalist-experimental trio Janota-Fidler-Richter. Later on, he created various sound installations (e.g. for the Orbis Pictus exhibition) and continued in a number of collaborations, including Oldřich Janota. We met first already in the beginning of 1980s, but it was only during Summer 2011 when we established a musical duo. Our music is not for big and wide audiences. It is partly composed and partly improvised. Songs with short and absurd lyrics mingle with free playing.
Official website: http://nocniptak.cz/index.php?m=3&lang=en
YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/user/Nocniptak2011
1999-2000 / 2005- ::::
Fully improvised theatrical-musical performances: Jaroslav Dušek - acting, speaking, singing, dancing; Pjér Lašéz - guitars, djembe, singing and speaking; Zdeněk Konopásek - drums, trumpets; Viktor Zborník - lights
Divadlo Vizita is a life-long theatrical project of Jaroslav Dušek - actor who recently became widely known by some of his film roles (Musíme si pomáhat [Divided We Fall] - Oscar nomination in 2000), but who has also been systematically developing methods of free improvisation in theatre (and music). I started playing with Divadlo Vizita in the Archa Theatre (Praha) in 1999-2000. The lineup of these times (Dušek, Lašéz, Konopásek) was renewed in 2005, with occasional guest appearances such as collaboration with Dan Bárta (voice, instruments) and occasional switches to an alternative lineup with Miroslav Vitouš (contrabass) during 2006-7. A number of people have played with Divadlo Vizita throughout the years, either actors or musicians, e.g.: Jaromír Honzák (contrabas), René Pařez (guitar), Radomil Uhlíř (action), Alan Vitouš (percussions), Martin Zbrožek (action, violin, singing), Oldřich Kužílek and Jan Borna (actors) and many others.
Jaroslav Dušek: Four agreements/The fifth agreement
Theatrical performance of Jaroslav Dušek. Also participating: Pjér Lašéz - vocals, guitars, author of songs; Zdeněk Konopásek - drums, trumpets, percussions (as guest); Viktor Zborník - lights.
Theatrical performances inspired by the books of the same titles written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Four agreements has been a successful piece for several years, part of the program list of the club Lavka (Praha). Dušek is accompanied by Pjér Lašéz (guitars, vocals) and Alan Vitouš (percussions), light design by Viktor Zborník. Old Toltec wisdoms are played out and exemplified by everyday life situations, especially related to child education. Since 2008 I occasionally participate as guest in these performances, alternating Alan Vitouš during gigs outside Prague, often planned as joint gigs with the Vizita improvised shows (where I play regularly).
Široko-daleko [Far and near]
(Post)rock band: Jan Prokop - vocals, lyrics, guitars; Jindra Tolar - guitars, trumpet; Michal Fejt - tenorsax, clarinet; Zdeněk Konopásek - drums and cymbals.
Originally, Široko-daleko [Far and near] was a two-person project of Jan Prokop and Jindra (Henry) Tolar - both coming from a rock band Fish Flesh Field & Henry Dollar based in Karlovy Vary (my birth town). They became known for slow, melancholic and minimalistic songs, occasionally echoing the work of Oldrich Janota. I joined the line-up after a jam weekend, which took place at Jan Prokop's home in autumn 2010. We had the first concert in January 2011, in the Paderewski club in Karlovy Vary. We enjoyed playing together and thought it should not be our last performance.
Biograf (journal not only for biographical and reflexive sociology)
Scholarly peer-reviewed journal for qualitative research in the social sciences (ISSN 1211-5770) - I was its editor-in-chief since it was established in 1994 until 2008; in 2009-2016 I was member of the editorial team.
Currently the journal is published tri-annually in both paper and internet (online) versions (http://www.biograf.org). It features original papers, translations, exchanges, review essays, reports and other minor genres of academic writing.