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text by Marius Houschyar

The Habitat Ensemble is a project that brought together a diverse group of individuals with a shared interest in sustainability and environmental care. Led by Marius Houschyar in collaboration with the residents, the project aimed to create a sense of community, awareness and connection to the environment through musical experimentation and expression. On each of the 12 days of the residency, different participants would pass by this magical little place, trying out ways of producing and capturing sounds. The project culminated in the album "The Habitat Ensemble," which captures the collective improvisations and field recordings of the residency and will continue as part of the Summer School 2023. 



In the center of the residency stood a wide diversity of approaches within the field of sustainability and environmental care which included spirituality and community building as well as creating awareness about our own place in the natural environment of our planet. 

The Habitat Ensemble aimed to include all participants of the residency in a community building manner without regard to their musical background. The old barn of the cottage that was home to all the residencies gave shelter to a place full of different instruments, offering a free space to everyone for musical experimentation. Besides collective improvised jam sessions, a choir was formed as a liberating tool that wiped away fears and insecurities and contributed to the communal feeling. The idea was to transfer the vibrations of the community as well as the environment itself into a musical journey in which everyone participates with the individual means, be it musical experimentation, composition, poetry, chant or dance. 


On the 20th of August the results of the artist residency were showcased the first time in the Spolkový dům in Slavonice, a historical town close to Maříž. As part of the showcase the residents gave an improvised concert to the audience of the village. 


The name ‘The Habitat Ensemble’ refers to the core of the research and the general idea of realizing oneself as a vital part of the natural environment. The album is a collection of moments of collective improvisation, features almost all participants of the residency in one way or another and includes field recordings from the village of Maříž as well as self written poetry of some of the participants. The outro concludes with excerpts of interviews of the residents made by Harry Nientimp regarding Maříž and the personal feelings the participants have towards the place. 


The Habitat Ensemble is an expressionist project of honest music about community, spirituality, experimentation, braveness, peace and nature. Marius Houschyar will continue the project in form of a workshop for the Summer School 2023. 

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