The PMP Ensemble I Orchestra was founded in 2021, and its existence has been inevitably related to the Prague Music Performance festival and institute. The ensemble consists of some of the finest European musicians, who extensively travel both as soloists and musical group members with the Swiss trombonist and conductor Roland Dahinden as conductor. Throughout its short existence, the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra has performed pieces by acclaimed musicians and composers, such as Anthony Braxton or Roscoe Mitchell, both of whom came to Prague for this occasion. The idea of the ensemble is based on the experimental musical approach and unbridled musical creativity.
The PMP Ensemble I Orchestra members share a passion for interdisciplinary and super-genre music. The PMP Ensemble I Orchestra on different forms of controlled improvisation, and combines classical notation with graphic scores, notated, aleatoric as well as completely improvised passages. Under the artistic direction of Roland Dahinden, the musicians work in close collaboration with composers and world-renowned musicians. The international orchestra includes leading representatives of the experimental and improvisational scene (Marcel Bárta, George Cremaschci, Radim Hanousek, Didrik Ingvaldsen, Andrea La Rose, Michal Wróblewski, etc.).
In 2021-2022, the orchestra performed Anthony Braxton’s improvisational pieces Language Types, No. 174, No. 136, and No. 257, that had been practised for during the workshops under the baton of Roland Dahinden.
New pieces are also commissioned for, and performed by the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra. In 2022, the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra performed the arrangement of WHA-WHA by Roscoe Mitchell, who also accepted the invitation to arrive in Prague and performed with his quintet in the Archa Theatre. During this evening, together with a Filipino-American saxophonist Jon Irabagon as the soloist and Roland Dahinden as the conductor, The PMP Ensemble I Orchestra performed the arrangement in the world premiere. Prior to the concert, it was Roland Dahinden again, who led a few days’ workshop on improvisation with the orchestra. With the help of Prague Music Performance, the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra with Roland Dahinden as its chief conductor have very quickly built their international renomé. In August, the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Anthony Braxton's Trillium X under the direction of the composer. The orchestra was invited to record and perform at the International Summer Courses in Darmstadt in August.
I would like to express my extreme gratitude to Roland Dahinden and the PMP Ensemble who recently performed a version of my composition “Wha-Wha” with John Irabagon as a soloist. I’m humbled and honored by this collaboration. Everyone gave over 100 percent to this performance. Roland guided the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra with mastery, and the musicians of the PMP responded with glorious music. I was made to feel so welcome by everyone – like being a member of a new family. It is my hope that this is the first step in future collaborations.
The PMP Ensemble I Orchestra directed by Roland Dahinden is that all-too-rare creature - an orchestra that can (and wants to!) read modern, complex music AND improvise with daring and confidence. They are helping to usher in a new age for large ensembles where the entire history of music is funneled through breathing, living, group-based improvisation. It was an honor (and an incredible time!) performing with Roland Dahinden and the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra, and I am very much looking forward to the next time.
To conduct the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra is pure joy! The musicians read the compositions with great mastery and improvise with such creativity and verve. The ensemble is unique and driven by enthusiasm and dedication. I love to fly and surf with the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra in the universe of creative music!
The concert was magical with spirit, and I won’t soon forget the experience. This project was both a national and international event that unified a creative potential that was waiting to happen. In the coming time space I believe that this concert will influence the greater art community - both in the Czech Republic, middle Europe and America. This experience was a reminder that it’s not about oligarchs who control what information is allowed to be broadcast to the public, but rather the challenge and reality of creativity comes from artists who have sacrificed their lives to reinstate the wonder of the “hidden forces” that hold everything in place. I bow to Jan Bartos, Roland Dahinden and the musicians of the PMP Ensemble I Orchestra for the great work they’re doing, and I also understand that we are only in the beginning of a new era that will bring forth fresh surprises, opportunities and experiences.