on the road – Praha (Oct'18)

Tonight we drive to Tallinn, leave the car at usedtobe-MIMstuudio yard, grab some ‘rolls (the same rolls we used to grab before events at mim when mim was still on), go to see how dancer Liis Vares and painter Pavel Semjonov focus on bodies. dancing. movement. We can hear them breathe. We can hear them breathe. We can hear them breathe. Later we go to sleep in the basement of Kanuti Gildi SAAL and wake up early the next morning (something to do with airports and flying). This time we fly separately (something to do with cheap flights). Kalle will fly via route Tallinn – Copenhagen – Praha. My route is Tallinn – Riga – Praha. I’m the first one to take off and first impressions go as – there was no free drinking water on the flight from Tallinn to Riga! No they did not offer any! free. drinking. water. on. this. flight. After arriving in Praha I wait a couple of hours at Václav Havel Airport and spend this time embroidering I-Ching hexagram table reflective fields patterns on a second hand leather item. This is some mystical sort of activity by which I like to pass my time. When Kalle finally arrives Ringhold enters Prague slowly – thought the suburbs, smoggy city sunshine, autumn vibes. We drive to Palmovka area of the city which will be our base for the next days. The first thing we do is just sleep long and then wake up once more time to this city. Restart Praha. First thing after the restart we realise our return tickets have a wrong date and we have to buy new ones. This sucks very much! Taking a tram through the city after purchasing new tickets has some therapeutic effects (if you ever have to buy something you don’t want but absolutely have to then take a tram after, it will soothe you!). The tram takes us close to Studio Pamet – a small theatre and concert venue we will play at tonight. Before soundcheck we eat soup and raw spring rolls on the second floor of a Vietnamese restaurant. We get to the theatre early, Milan from Pamet has not arrived yet and the gate is closed. This small theatre is open only in the evenings when there is program scheduled, once or twice a week (just like MIMstuudio used to be). Milan also runs a soul music label Memory Records – they release Czech performers on vinyl only. Soon also arrives Martin Pipal – he is Little Husky and he will play with us tonight in this Praha basement. Some still echoing moments are born, his performance creates a vibrant space in time. Later Ringhold goes on stage and attempts the same – still echoing moments and vibrant space. still echoing moments and vibrant space. still. echoing. later. At the bar we have a couple of drinks with Milan. We talk about music, his label, our interest in old phonograph records. Milan gives us a lead regarding an antique market happening in Praha tomorrow. We will go there.

photo by Milan Dedera

Later, in the middle of midnight Praha we discover that this city is very generous with it’s trams. Trams here never sleep. A therapeutic limitless public service. We get on one tram and let it take us back to base Palmovka. We somehow manage to combine sleeping long and getting up early next morning for the market. We grab some breakfast and step on a tram that takes us from Palmovka to U Electry where the market is held. It is a market selling both antique beauties and contemporary plastic crap. We get a laBlanchePorte weights (engraved date: 13.11.88) and a usedtobesomebody’s keyring that consists of old Jawa motorcycle ignition keys. And this is not all, we find a wind up gramophone’s mechanism – a double spring. We spot it from far and discuss the target in Estonian, our native language. We try to pretend we are not particularly interested in this rusted looking mechanism as we ask the salesman his deal. Appears he is not particularly interested in it as well, it becomes our’s for just 15 euros. Finally, on the way out we get honey wine from an old beekeeper’s stall. We exit the market and step on a tram and off again in Palmovka. We pass by an abandoned looking synagog. It’s inhabitants are doves. We spotted the synagog already yesterday – it is called Nová synagoga. We go around it but it’s almost impossible to see anything through the windows. We drop the things we got at the market at Palmovka, get on a tram and have a mission to look more like tourists this time – best way for this is to go where tourists go. We have a reason for this though – Kalle visited Praha in the summer of 1998, traveling through Eastern Europe with his K-750 motorcycle (a soviet bike). We will revisit some spots. sO, we struggle through some heavily touristic spots in Praha and at one point manage to slide off this post-tourism flow and enter an off beat bar serving coffee and wine in style on an off beat lost in quietude street.

photo by Rene Vahing

Soundcheck at the venue of our second show in Praha does not start until 2100. sO, before that we pass by the Vietnamese place for the same soup’n’springrolls deal. Kicked by the spices and after our first metro ride in Praha we soon find ourselves at Club Vzorkovna. To enter we have to prove ourselves to a man behind a small reception window. He let’s us in as we claim to be musicians. Vzorkovna is the second basement to swallow Ringhold in Praha. The venue consists of endless passages and rooms with different levels and new passages to new levels. The stage is in one of the back corners of the Vzorkovna underground universe. With some effort we finally manage to locate the sound technician – an Italian man who does not speak English and tries to signal us that he does not have a guitar amp (opposite to what the venue had promised to us). Soon another Italian man approaches us and confirms that his sound technician makes the best sound, that the sound will be amazing and we should not worry at all. sO, in general we are being promised some amazing sound without a guitar amp. Kalle has never played without an amp before – sO, always up for an adventure we go on. Well, the sound. was. not. amazing. in many ways. After the show we stay here for some time. We meet the biggest dog in the world (google Vzorkovna dog), an emotional Italian chef prepares us a meal and at one point the basement throws us back into the streets. At the tram stop there is an overload of trams this time. About 10 trams arrive in a row. We miss the first one of the row which is the one we needed. sO, we stay at the tram stop waiting for the next round. While waiting for the tram somebody almost steals my video camera. Strangely I have a moment of for sight here as I sense something a second ahead and this sensing creates a lucky situation where my eyes meet the thief’s eyes and stop him from grabbing the camera. I see all this happen in some slow motion state. After this incident comes a new round of therapy trams and we find ourselves being transported through Praha midnight.

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