Selected Works vol.8

1) Moscow, 2018 11 03 (live) (12:19)
at Smena 2.0 (dance club) 
modular synth, field recordings, laptop 
4 channels, pa systems with subwoofers 

2) Saint-Petersburg, 2018 12 22 (live) (27:00)
at Small Hall of Museum of Nonconformist Art (gallery) 
modular synth, field recordings 
1 channel, 2 portable speakers, 1 home subwoofer 

3) Berlin, 2019 02 16 (live) (15:01)
at Kek Lo (vegan cafe & upcycling fashion store) 
modular synth 
1 channel, pa system 

Listen on bandcamp:

Эссе на русском языке:

This time I’d like to talk about own music. Selected Works is a series of solo works started in 2011, when I realised I have some solo material that deserves to be released somehow. I decided to print CD-Rs. So the first two parts appeared, in an edition of 30, then another five, of which one was an online release. Basically, these were pieces from concerts or rehearsals, sort of compilations reflecting my activities and interests for a given period. However, a similar format was abandoned for 6 years. At that time, either full improvised concerts or composed works were published on different labels, and individual tracks appeared on compilations or splits. Now I’m returning to this format of the compilation album in order to mark these or those achievements for some relatively recent time.

Selected Works vol.8 is the first release where I use an exclusively modular synthesizer, only adding field recordings to the main source of sound. I make synthesizer patches in such a way that there is always the opportunity to simultaneously control and play the sound, but at the same time to be surprised, leaving room for risk, experiment. Often this happens due to feedback, when some parameter affects others that affect it. Sometimes this happens when I start to switch wires to change a patch, when in theory I assume the result of the change, but the specifics occur only at the moment of sound extraction. All together presupposes accidents, which, as you know, can lead to interesting discoveries.

The use of field recordings has been one of my main interests lately. Using these recordings, you can create a new sense of space in the concert space, direct improvisation in a different direction, and sometimes these recordings become an invisible partner to which you react or vice versa. Mostly I use raw recordings and rarely slightly edited versions. I remember each record according to my mood, but only at the time of the concert I hear and remember exactly which sound events happen there.
The next «partner» to whom I pay more attention now and think more about, are the acoustics of the spaces where I play. In each place you play differently, listening to the surrounding sound and using it to build the music here and now. Together with field recordings, the acoustics of the space give a reason for reflection before and after the concert, and during music making this happens more likely on a subconscious level.

It’s impossible not to talk about the speakers. This is a headache for electronic musicians, because rarely you know what speakers you’ll get at the space. Each time on a sound check in a short time it is necessary to understand the sound of speakers, how to work with it, which frequencies can be better avoided, and which sound so good that you want to work with them. Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes not; a proven option for all cases does not exist. This is another partner to which you somehow react and philosophise on this topic.

The first track was recorded in Moscow at Smena 2.0 dance club in November 2018, this is the final part of the set. A 4-channel speaker system with subwoofers was used, the laptop helped to route two synthesizer mono channels into four channels and to play field recordings. Room was not so dry, and therefore the sound flying by itself in unpredictable trajectories. The sounds of music coming from other floors and conversations in the public sound almost like field recordings. 

The second track is a whole concert in December 2018 in St. Petersburg in the Small Hall of the Museum of Nonconformist Art, which is at Pushkinskaya-10. A small gallery with several spaces, curious geometry. Also not so dry acoustics, the sound is distributed in a very curious way. I used my own speakers: two speakers and a home subwoofer, a mono signal from the synthesizer. In this case, I knew more about the sound with which I would work; this happens infrequently.

The third track was recorded in Berlin in February 2019 in a place called Kek Lo, it’s a vegan cafe and fashion store. Mono signal goes to one small monitor. The space is not too booming, you can hear sounds like the hum of a refrigerator or the rare sounds of a small audience. It was a short solo set, restrained and reductionist (Berlin mood?). It has more listening to the environment around, which was perceived as a field recording.

Thanks for organisation of those concerts to Nikita Vasilenko, Denis Sorokin, Antti Virtaranta and for proofread to Lauri Hyvärinen.

Ilia Belorukov, March 2020