The new CD “To My Roots” is the focus of the multitalented musician and visual artist Milli Janatková´s solo project and band from the Czech Republic, Europe.
Milli´s most personal instrument is her voice, she has been performing since 2006. In 2008 she studied abroad at the Departments of Music and Theatre (and Visual Arts Department) at the University of Évora, Portugal, which inspired her to use Portuguese (among other languages as English, Czech and Latin) in her songs. Apart from singing, Milli has been playing the guitar since childhood and, since 2010, has added percussion and drums. She has focused on freedom of original “voice in movement” she has worked on since 2008. Fascinated by improvisation, her experimental approach uses her whole body — breath, voice, movement and rhythms — to make music that combines elements of jazz, Latin American, folk and World music, as well as crossover, experimental electronics and ambient music.
In February 2013, Milli Janatková released her debut solo album “Transformation” and she has focused on solo concerts under the same title presenting songs from the album and incorporating improvisation with her voice, expressive movement and loop station, against a backdrop of her original painting. Later she transformed her paintings into her handmade performance dress. “Transformation” album has been honored with four nominations for The 13th Independent Music Awards, USA in 2014. Milli´s music has been honored with four other nominations for The 15th IMAs in 2016. It has been also honored with two nominations for The Czech Tais Awards. Later Milli adapted her songs for jazz arrangement as the Milli Janatková Duo or Trio or Quartet or Quintet with experienced pianist Marek Novotný, double- bassist Petr Tichý, drummer Tomáš Vokurka and Dutch saxophone player Cyrille Oswald.
Milli also leads creative workshops that bring together her rich experience with the voice, movement and visual arts. She was teaching vocal improvisation and visual arts classes (both interconnected with body movement) at Prague Duncan Center Conservatory, from February 2010 to December 2014. Since 2015 she has focused on big challenges of freedom and responsibility. She has been devoting time and energy to working on new creative projects – “Quiet, please!” since 2014 and the most important and actual project “To My Roots” since the summer 2015.
The new CD “To My Roots” / “Mým kořenům” was recorded both solo and with Milli Janatková Quartet and guests and released in April 2017. The musicians interpret the songs of Milli´s great-aunt Vera P. Kistler (1929 – 2006) who met an American soldier in former Czechoslovakia and moved to the USA as a war bride after the Second World War. She became a successful composer, writer and teacher there. The songs lyrics are based on Vera P. Kistler´s poems, famous American poets Robert Frost and Leonora Spyer´s poems, Rainer Maria Rilke´s poems and Czech folk songs lyrics. Milli arranged the vocal parts and three a capella songs based on Czech folk music.
The CD has been successfully accepted by the publicists and radios in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Serbia, Spain and Mexico. The CD is a part of Milli´s multimedia project “To My Roots” that contains the CD (set of songs and paintings), performances, exhibitions and workshops. The project has been supported by public crowd funding, Mělník Town and The Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The goal is the inspiration to renew people´s trust, hope, respect, and support the maturation process we all experience.
- A Cappella
My Dear Mother / CD To My Roots
- Short Form