Musica Sacra II: Danse Macabre (Ac (chord) archeology)
The cycle "MUSIA SACRA" is an experience of the mythological perception of the world, its events and structure. Moreover, it is the "mythologization" of personal experience, personal formation.
This is not a ritual or a theatrical play in the literal sense of the word. This is an attempt to instrumentally simulate situations and images that, on the one hand, are very personal and, on the other hand, cease to be personal. Each image is a kind of prototype image, which exists in the symbolic dimension and in the symbolic formation of the I-snake, I-tiger, I- "homo ludens" etc. Their materialization is an instrumental design. In the cycle they are given in the following order:
MUSICA SACRA. The beginning of the world. Snake image Tiger image «Homo Ludens» image
MUSICA SACRA II: Danse macabre (Ac (chord) archeology) Macabre image (image of broken connections)
MUSICA SACRA III: Christmas Song Birth image
MUSICA SACRA IV: Carnival Snake-crowd image
From a certain point of view, these are not pieces in a proper sense, but rather "characters" and "situations" that materialized in accordance with the possibilities of "instrumental mechanisms". All "characters" and "situations" go through several stages of transition or «translation» from one state to another: model - manifestation - behaving strategy - instrumental gesture - instrumental design. Traditional instruments are just a means of objectification. The "character" or "situation" itself is a "generalizing instrument-myth".
«MUSICA SACRA» (2012) for Four Percussion Players and Electronics
The image of a snake is not only a biblical character or a martial art strategy – it is also a certain manner of behavior and a way of playing music. The musician's behavior should imitate a snakes behavior. All gestures are of a sliding, curving nature. Then they appear through a certain type of pronunciation, close to Parseltongue (snakes' language) or through the drawing of letters. The letter «S» resembles the form of a snake, the letter «O» is a symbol of infinite movement. Snake-like behavior also appears through the instrumentalization of a wind kite, whose behavior is of the same gliding nature as a serpent. Together, this gives a prototypical image.
As an instrument, this image requires three large plates lying on the floor upside down. The behaving and way of playing should imitate the movements of a tiger, like the slashing of the forepaw. Therefore, this part is performed using one's hands without using mallets. The tiger is the personification of will and strength, concentration and unity.
The musicians sit facing each other, sideways to the public. Their behavior: "creative game, game of construction". They always play with mallets (except during the final fragment of the piece), both sharing one common part. Therefore, very similar and relatively symmetrical gestures will be produced; nevertheless, in most cases they shouldn't be synchronized. The general task for the players is to collect and compose their own setup of instruments made of different rows/scales of small instruments of different nature; each row is up to 7 instruments. One can create from one to three scales and change them during the piece. The scales might be constructed from instruments of the same material or they may contrast one another. One can use pitched instruments (like marimba), but choose no more than 7 keys of it. Musicians are allowed to move instruments during the performance from one place to another (like moving cubes in a children game), mix them and then make a new scale in a vertical arrangement (i.e. putting instruments one upon the other like a tower), horizontally or in mixed positions. At the same time, it's possible to make an exchange of instruments or build one common scale for both musicians.
«MUSICA SACRA II: Danse macabre (Ac (chord) archeology)» (2013) For Piano and Electronics /Dedicated to the Memory of Augusta/
MACABRE (image of broken connections)
This image is about the separation of the soul from the body in a direct or symbolic sense.
Just as the consequence lost the cause, so the body lost its spirit; it is as if the sound material lost the memory of its own instrument, its own body. Once movement has commenced, vibrations lose the memory of their strings, strings lose the memory of their hammers, hammers – of their keys, keys – of their fingers.
This means that the sound of the piano is no longer a series of contacts: gesture - finger touching - pressing - the movement of the hammer - touching the string. Communication is opened. The instrumental projection of this image is presented through the synchronization or asynchronization of electronics and the performer's behavior. Initially, they are synchronized, but then the connection is broken: the performer either plays, then only pretends to play, makes a "mute" gesture, sometimes his fingers "stick", sometimes the "vibrations" are amplified by an electronic gesture, and sometimes this is a consequence without any cause. It is necessary to bring the lost connection back, to bring the keys, movements, strings, and fingers back into accordance (to the "chord") in order to renew their broken memory.
The pitches are taken from a chord in which the number of sounds is dependent on how many fingers simultaneously participate in pressing (maximum 10). Chords are generated by the behavior of the cursor, "running through" the funeral ribbons. The chord is a part of the word accord (ac (chord)), which in the broadest sense means harmony. Harmony is the restoration of connections – gesture + touching + hitting + vibration.
Ac (chord) archeology is a long search for the path (instrumental and metaphorical) back "home".
«MUSICA SACRA III: Christmas Song» (2013) for Three Brass, Three String and Three Percussion Instruments
"Christmas Song" is an opening, praising, rocking, singing, reading, comforting, lullaby on the palms. All of these movements are modeled through different languages, very close to how children express themselves: by speaking non-verbally. This is a parallel regarding non-verbal languages: the language of "muttering", the language of "swinging" with its special rhythm, the language of "sobbing". At the same time, this is a Christmas story, which has two instrumental expressions: 1. through a story that is "pronounced" by a dactylic alphabet articulated on percussion instruments (i.e. musicians literally draw with "dactylic" gestures on the surfaces of percussion instruments) and 2. through the jingle of Christmas bells that grow into an instrumental ringing ritornello. Thus, the personal story is drawn into the "mythology" of Christmas and becomes part of the overall history of Christmas.
«MUSICA SACRA IV: Carnival» (Lyrics by V. Hlebnikov, A. Ahmatova) for Orchestra and Female Choir (2016)
The snake-crowd in a sense is a return to the first work of MUSICA SACRA and its image of a snake. Only now this snake is dramatized in the spirit of a ceremonial procession: it is an instrumental street theater in which the rhythm of steps, swings, sways, whirls, fanfares, drums, whistles, and dance are mixed. This animated representation of unevenly moving groups in a live scenery and the spatial echo of the streets is a clumsy, grinding, all-absorbing snake-crowd.