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Mikhail Chekalin

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Klassik Krautrock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Baumann & Roedelius in Studio '78

 

 

 


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Mythos

 

 

 


Popol Vuh

 

 

 


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Uli Trepte Spacebox LIVE

 

 

 


CON

 

 

 


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Wallenstein

 

 

 


Klaus Schulze

 

 

 


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Witthuser & Westrupp

 

 

 


Robert Schroeder

 

 

 


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Din A Testbild

 

 

 


Der Plan

 

 

 

Artistes Français

 

 

 


Lard Free

 

 

 


Urban Sax

 

 

 


Gilbert Artman

 

 

 


Art Zoyd

 

 

 


Univers Zero

 

 

 


Etron Fou Leloublan

 

 

 


Pascal Comelade

 

 

 


Armand Miralles

 

 

 


Eskaton

 

 

 


Annanka et Ivan - Fondation

 

 

 


Thierry Muller - Ilitch

 

 

 


Magma

 

 

 


Yochk'o Seffer

 

 

 


Richard Pinhas

 

 

 


Patrick Gauthier

 

 

 


Pulsar

 

 

 


Shub Niggurath

 

 

 


Pataphonie

 

 

 


Andre Baldeck - Decko

 

 

 


Déficit des Années Antérieures

 

 

 


Didier Bocquet

 

 

 


Dominique Grimaud - Video Aventures

 

 

 


Monique Alba - Video Aventures

 

 

 


Patrick Vian - Red Noise

 

 

 


Wapassou

 

 

 


Zazou et Racaille - ZNR

 

 

 


Jean Pascal Boffo - Troll

 

 

 


Surya

 

 

 


Bernard Szazner

 

 

 


Igor Wakhevitch

 

 

 


Xolotl

 

 

 


Robert Frances - Sirenes Musique

 

 

 

Diversaj Landoj
 

 

 


Neuronium & Ashra

 

 

 


Neuronium & Vangelis

 

 

 


Michel Huygen - Neuronium

 

 

 


Carlos Guirao - Neuronium

 

 

 


Juan Crek & Victor Nubla - Macromassa

 

 

 


Jordi Garcia - Suck Electronic

 

 

 


Far East Family Band

 

 

 


Chronicle

 

 

 


Stomu Yamasht'a

 

 

 


Hiro Kawahara - Heretic

 

 

 


Magical Power Mako

 

 

 

 

 

Light & Sound by Mikhail Chekalin


Chekalin Photo Archives 1987
 

Back to the Future ~ Post-Realism

In the late 60's and 70's, postmodern art and music were a progressive step away from conformity. Later there was an attempt to merge those forms with a lifestyle more attuned to consumption and relaxation. Now a new norm has deflated the whole scene, protest centers around bringing back fundamental values. In fact, Post Realism centers on the idea of getting back to the avant-garde culture and traditions of the XX century.

In today's world, true Art does not occupy the place it did in the last century. At that time art was a form of religion, the role of the artist in society was equal to, and even surpassed the role of the writer, philosopher, and especially politician. Since then, Art has fallen from its pedestal. Post-modern art does not even attempt to work as cultural protest against the present order of things; now instead it serves as a utilitarian sonic background, striving instead to become a form of entertainment.

With the onset of the era of consumption and mass culture, artists must uphold the value and purpose of the Art like never before. An artist is someone who reflects reality. To paraphrase a key phrase of Stanislavski: "Artist - this is not a diagnosis; the artist is the one who sets the diagnosis to the society."

Chekalin continues this tradition of 20th century Art. His music directly epitomizes this. It is not socialist realism, but a form of surrealism created in the context of modernity. It may seem strange, yet it is certainly true that Art of XX century was futuristic and has proven to be more modern than that of XXI. Digitization and advanced technology cannot replicate true human artistic creativity, which when manifested becomes revolutionary by its own nature. The idea of social revolution may be gone, but the inspiration that art (and first of all music) can provide are eternal.
 

MIR Records Catalog 2012

"Chekalin's Music is like Shostakovich, for the Electronica Generation"

DVDs

Poruganie Patsiphica
For More INFO: Poruganie Patsiphica
Poruganie Patsifika was the first MIR Records DVD release by Mikhail Chekalin. It is a stunning multi-media DVD. Subtitled Post Symphony in 9 Parts, it serves as the soundtrack for an avant-garde artistic presentation of the paintings of the famous Moscow 20. They were a group of 20 underground artists who exhibited on Malaya Gruzinskaya Street, circa the late 1960s - 1980s without official permission and were ultimately banned with most of their works now residing in private collections and museums outside the country.

Video History of Light & Sound Vol. 1
For More INFO: Light & Sound Vol. 1

The Video History of Light & Sound V.1 features Light and Sound collages with Music that were filmed at installations during the 1970s and 1980s. All music was performed by Chekalin. The visuals were created in accompaniment by his team of artistic collaborators.

Video History of Light & Sound Vol. 2
For More INFO: Light & Sound Vol. 2
The Video History of Light & Sound V.2 features Animated & Live documentary film as well as more recent Light & Sound Music collages. It also contains perhaps the historical capstone of his work the live concert by the St Petersburg Philharmonic in 1997 performing Chekalin's latest Post-Symphonic work at that time.

Mikhail Chekalin ALIVE @ 50
For More INFO Alive @ 50

Mikhail Chekalin ALIVE @ 50 Recorded in May 2009 at a private birthday celebration with a few of his friends. The 3 Live pieces he performed rank as perhaps the best examples of electronic music Chekalin has done to date. Experimental stylistically they are also filled with deep spatial explorations, darkly ambient undertones and heavy symphonic passages. Added film effects at times give it a 3D dimensional effect that you can enjoy using the old red & blue dual lens glasses. ALIVE @ 50 is a truly surreal & sonically entrancing experience.

CDs

MCD1000 Poruganie Patsiphica [2005]
Music Samples: <MChekalin1MP3>
For More INFO: Mikhail Chekalin

The most recent music Mikhail Chekalin at times shows traces of Soft Machine Third, as well as recalling Klaus Schulze most adventurous neo-classic works. Alternately, other passages evoke compositionally the emotional majesty of Vangelis and spiritual essence of Christian Vander and Offering. Mikhail Chekalin makes Post Symphonic Music that transcends the boundaries of Electronics, Neo-Classical & Jazz Fusion! Poruganie Patsiphica is a stunning work that blends that spirit of the avant-garde with elements of contemporary spatial fusion of electronic tendencies.

MCD1001 Untimely [2007]
Music Samples
: <UntimelyMP3>
For More INFO: Mikhail Chekalin

Chekalin today is making music that is was certainly at the forefront of not only Russian electronic music, but the multi-media areas of experimental neo-classical music around the world  as well. Now freed from the Cold War vacuum chamber they offer a unique audio visual experience for all to experience. The album, Untimely is a stunning Post Symphonic work that transcend the boundaries of Electronic, Neo-Classical & Jazz Fusion!

MCD1002 Paradigm Transition [2007]
Music Samples: <ParadigmMP3>
For More INFO: Mikhail Chekalin

Mikhail Chekalin has been making music in Russia for almost 40 years. He came of age during the ascendancy of pop music, while simultaneously immersing himself in studying works by the classical masters and great philosophical thinkers, past and present. Living and working under a restrictive social order, during a time of great change, he was determined to create music that was also art. The album Paradigm Transition reflects his personal artistic and emotional dynamic in the music, which is alternatively intensely overpowering and at times beautiful. It offers all who hear it as well their own truly personalized and unique listening experience.

MCD1003 Catharsis [2010]
Music Samples: <Catharsis1MP3> <Catharsis2MP3>
For More INFO: Mikhail Chekalin
The new CD Catharsis features recent music, recorded in 2010, that without doubt expands the range of his musical dynamic. A concept work in 9 Parts it combines all the elements of his style, post-symphonic classical, jazz, electronic textures with a hint of rock, weaving them into a new musical fusion that is both unique. The album centerpiece is the 26:32 piece, In Memory of Fascist Victims, Commemorating the 65th Anniversary of Victory in WW II. Musically, it is a stunning new form of music where various influences flow freely through changes in theme and musical texture that become intoxicating in their tone, timber and creative complexity. Subtitled, Special Soundtrack, it plays like a pictorial soundscape catching the listener up in its continual ebb and flow. Complex for sure, it is also highly listenable as well capturing your attention to the very end. If you have not heard Chekalins music before, this is the place to start!

Historic Edition Vol. 1 [1970s-1980s] (Previously Unreleased)
MCD1005 A Well Prepared Electric Organ
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

Mikhail Chekalin has been one of the most influential modern composers of the last 35 years in the former USSR, now Russia. His work was experimental; in fact, his raison d��tre was specifically to break new ground stylistically. He worked outside the boundaries of established culture, while at the same time breaching its borders when possible to expose his art and music to the people at large. The Historic Edition features 6 CDs that document unreleased music recorded during his early period.

Historic Edition Vol. 2 [1970s-1980s] (Previously Unreleased)
MCD1006  Background-Underground
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Over the span of his long career, Chekalin has produced some 40+ works that range the sonic spectrum for Post Pop, to free jazz, electronic, and Post Symphonic. During the 1980�s, he made a breakthrough of sorts when the state owned Melodiya label released several albums of his music. For the most part, however he created art and produced music underneath the radar.

Historic Edition Vol. 3 [1970s-1980s] (Previously Unreleased)
MCD1007 Free Piano
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Between 2005 and 2010, MIR Records in the USA released eight productions devoted to works by Chekalin. The label produced four CDs and four DVDs bringing his work to an entirely new worldwide audience. The MIR label now embarks on an ambitious new project by beginning the release of a series of CDs, titled the Historic Edition, featuring previously unreleased material from his personal archives.

Historic Edition Vol. 4 [1970s-1980s] (Previously Unreleased)
MCD1008 Just Bits And Pieces
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
The albums released in the series will focus on music from the middle of the 1970s through the early 1980s. It will not include any of the previously available Melodiya releases, but instead will feature material previously not released in any way. After that period of his work is documented, the reissue series will continue with further releases featuring Melodiya albums and unreleased music from the later 1980s & 1990s.

Historic Edition Vol. 5 [1970s-1980s] (Previously Unreleased)
MCD1009 Open Piano
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
As the listener experiences Chekalins musical progression through the years, they will in fact be hearing an audio documentation of the history of experimental music from the Eastern Bloc. For artists there, music and art was not about making money, but instead keeping their creative spirit alive. In Chekalins case that was certainly true and that social dynamic clearly is evident in the intensity and emotional power of this music.

Historic Edition Vol. 6 [1970s-1980s] (Previously Unreleased)
MCD1010 Tercium Organum
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
The life of an artist, in music and art, in the entire Eastern Bloc, was hardly about making money, but instead simply keeping their creative spirit alive during totalitarian times. In many ways, experimental music was an integral part of their emotional survival. In Chekalin�s case, it was certainly true. The social dynamic of those times is clearly in evidence in the intensity and emotional power of his music as evidenced especially on the 6 discs released in Historic Edition series.

MCD1011 Dissonata [1989]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
With the album Dissonata, Mikhail Chekalin continues his post-symphonic musical tradition, transcending his experimental 70s and 80s period. It was recorded in one session in 1989, at a studio located in the former summer residence of Lawrence Beria in Sokolniki, Moscow. Later individual overdubs were done in real time on analog tape recorders. The central piece "The Dream to the Accompaniment With Voice" does not include any overdubs.
After recording, two different masters were produced. The first master became the score of a movie of the same name, released in 1990. This movie was especially conceived for Dissonata to serve as a tapestry of musical video art. However, this CD release is not a soundtrack. The short fragments from the second (and main) version of the master tape appeared on vinyl (1991) and CDs (2000). This MIR Records edition presents the first complete release of this stunning work.
One of the protest forms of the post-WWII generation of avant-gardists (period of Stockhausen and Boulez) was to abandon the classical forms of music, as well as classical terminology. Thus Boulez one and only composition called "Sonata" is not a sonata by definition. The generation of the 70s & 80s however, reverted to classical forms and names. Being one of the important artists of his generation, Mikhail Chekalin, nevertheless, continues the tradition of protest in the spirit of the avant-gardists. He continues to break down boundaries, but today utilizes available technology in search of new multi-dimensional orchestral forms, thereby creating a new poly-instrumental form of electronic music and performance.
In the 1980s, rock music lost its protest component almost totally, and electronic music was becoming more and more like decorative wallpaper and entertainment. Chekalin then broke away from any form, working instead in opposition to the common stereotypes and associations with electronic music, and the aesthetics of the electronic music mainstream.
 

MCD1012 Music for Film [1989]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Music For Film represents a distinctive achievement in Mikhail Chekalins career that stands apart from his other works. It was not conceived for any particular film per-se, but music created instead as a template filled with powerful sonic imagery that would enable listeners to create their own movies of the mind. Previously Chekalin had created audiovisual soundtracks for art galleries and installations, but this album was a different musical challenge.
It turned out to be incredibly successful, with each of the four tracks creating a distinct musical tapestry of layered synthetics, percussion and voice that transcend the boundaries of traditional soundtrack classicism. In fact, later in 1991, the music was used in a 6-chapter film series examining the early 20th Century historical transition period from Tsarist Russia to the Soviet Union.
 

MCD1013 Existentions [1990]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
The album title track for this work by Mikhail Chekalin is one of his most powerful post-symphonic landscapes. With a running time of 56+ minutes, it literally reverberates and undulates, resulting in a musical kaleidoscope overflowing with swirling tone colors of pulsating electronic sound.
The albums other two tracks, Reflections 1 & Reflections 2, exhibit a bit more classical influence incorporated into spatial electronic soundscapes that venture off into free-form synthetics at various points in Part 1. Part 2 exhibits a bit darker tone. The music is more impressionistic, inhabited by deep bass voices and spatial, laser-like electronics with spatial effects inhabiting the mix. All 3-tracks combine to create a wonderfully surreal listening experience.
 

MCD1014 Reflections [1990]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Reflections may be the most beautiful album Mikhail Chekalin has created. Composed of 6-movements, each creates a slightly different sonic ambience, symphonic in structure, yet divergent in stylistic tendency.
The common denominator is a vibrant sense of flowing arrangements and rich melodic themes. He incorporates into the various pieces, spatial jazz inflections, dramatic, at times jarring symphonic arrangements and electronic soundscapes with occasional dissonance. This combination of elements serves to jolt the listeners consciousness into a higher state as the musical flow shifts gears dynamically. The music on the album casts an enchanting musical spell, compelling you to listen again.
 

MCD1015 Double Album-Vol. 1 A New Age Symphony [1992]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
MCD1016 Double Album-Vol. 2 Identifications [1992]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

This ambitious Double CD set offers an encyclopedic sampling of Chekalins eclectic musical approach centered on his philharmonic electronic music approach circa the late 1980s-1990s. The music he created during that era featured an extensive range of styles and genres.
Disc 1, titled A New Age Symphony, is comprised of 11 tracks that run the stylistic gamut from purely electronic to piano concertos and at times a post progressive symphonic rock sound. The fusion of styles and themes he creates offers listeners a distinctly Chekalin conceptual listening experience. His mastery of diverse styles and musical disciplines is at times staggering.
Disc 2, Identifications, is comprised of 18 tracks that demonstrate how Chekalin compositional style that fuses of many disparate musical parts can at times make for a bizarre and completely unique, conceptual whole. Here as on Disc 1, he combines a multitude of music influences: beautiful vocalizations and symphonic arrangements filled with unique synthesized saxophone imitations, hard rock elements, avant-garde jazz rock, rave and hints of techno, along with experimental and bizarre thematic arrangements. In the end, his alchemization of dissimilar sounds paints a vivid and unique sonic tapestry that is distinctive and hangs together beautifully.

 

MCD1017 In Concert I (w/ Alexander Eisenstadt) [1993]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Alexander Eisenstadt is a musician from the Moscow underground circa the late 1970s and early 80s who led of his own jazz-rock group. In spite of being close friends with Mikhail Chekalin for many years, they never played together back then. By the early 90s, Mikhail had gained some amount of recognition when his records began to appear on the Melodiya label, as well outside Russia as well. Western critics took notice and recognized him as one of Russia�s radical innovators.
Alexander was musical director at a prestigious and famous theater in Moscow. He wrote music for films and performances. By 1993 however, neither of these two pioneers of the Moscow underground felt they had achieved their due recognition. There was a short window of modest change and freedom in the late 80s and very early 90s. In this era a few belonging to the avant-garde and progressive artistic wing of Moscow gained recognition. Then the situation grew worse.
 

MCD1018 In Concert II (w/ Alexander Eisenstadt) [1993]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
In the early 90s, Chekalin responded to the invitation of his old friend Alexander Eisenstadt who organized two concerts at the House of Artists and Performers (CDRI) in Moscow. The musical atmosphere of these shows echoed back to a new confluence between old epochs and new civilizations. These live records were never released, or broadcast. This MIR Records In Concert I & II Dbl CD is the second presentation of both concerts since these very first and only performances.

MCD1019 Ad Marginum [1996]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
The Ad Marginum Suite consists of 32 pieces, selected and restored by Mikhail Chekalin from DAT tapes. Each track symbolizes one of the todays facets of contemporary music. Here Chekalin exhibits his mastery of sophisticated tricks on Korg and Yamaha. He makes use of synthesizer, treated guitar and bandoneon to striking effect. The musical result is a fascinating surreal musical tapestry created by a virtual one-man orchestra.

MCD1020 Piano Variations [1998]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1021 Incantation Songs [1999]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
 

MCD1022 The PostElectric Symphony [2007]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
The PostElectric Symphony is an organic Live-Non Stop instrumental opus that captures the essence of Chekalins improvisational tendencies perfectly. In an age where art and music have come to embody the worship of commodity, replicated endlessly. Chekalin has created with this recording a truly spontaneous burst of creativity. His mastery of the electronic idiom, his jazz tendencies and post symphonic style blend perfectly as the music weaves a shamanic spell over the course of its 78:44. The album is a protest against postmodernism posing as conformity, posing as true art and as such it exemplifies futuristic post-electronic music.

MCD1023 Post-Realism Vol. 1 [2008]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Post-Realism Vol. 1 initiates a musical initiative by Mikhail Chekalin to reincarnate realism - not socialist realism, but in fact neo- realism and surrealism in tandem. These albums could be classified Post 21st Century Classical Music. They offer compositions that are profoundly powerful, where assonance fuses with dissonance. Where music combined with pure sound comingles to achieve surreal effect in an attempt to obliterate any sense of pretending to be a dedicated follower of fashion.

MCD1024 Post-Realism Vol. 2 [2008]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Post-Realism Vol. 2 continues Chekalins musical attempt to revive realism - not socialist realism, but in fact neo-realism and surrealism in tandem. The music of both albums could be classified Post 21st Century Classical Music. They offer profoundly powerful compositions, where assonance fuses with dissonance. The music, combined with pure sound comingles to achieve surreal effect, attempting to obliterate any sense of pretending to be a dedicated follower of fashion.

MCD1025 A Pagan Suite [1991]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1026 Probability Symphony [1994]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1027 Porcelain God [1997]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1028 Avoiding the Desire for Cutting And Piercing Objects [1998]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1029 Saturn [2000]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Saturn is certainly a special album in the discography of Mikhail Chekalin. Recorded in 2000, he dedicated it to his late father Gennady Chekalin who was one of the main aeronautical engineers in the Soviet Union. His father was instrumental in development of the Saturn rocket, used to launch the first powerful telescopic satellite into space.
The music is some of Chekalins most powerful. On Saturn, he creates a highly synthetic, spatial soundscape filled with layered melodies, power surges and dense melodies, to create an evocative and emotional listening experience.

MCD1030 Forte Piano [2002]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1031 Meditations for Prepared Electric Organ Vol. 1 [1983]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1032 Meditations for Prepared Electric Organ Vol. 2 [1983]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1033 Vocalise in Rapid [1985]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1034 Between Spring And Autumn by Stealth [1986]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Between Spring And Autumn By Stealth (1986) is the beginning of the primary period where Chekalin fully developed his idea of post-symphonic music. Perhaps his most orthodox neo-symphony, an 11-part work, the electronic melodies and themes he incorporates into the full composition are powerful, and at times beautiful. The result is the creation of a wonderful listening experience.

MCD1035 Post-Pop-Non-Pop [1987]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin

MCD1036 Green Symphony/ Borderline States [1988]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
The albums Green Symphony (1987) & Borderline States (1988) saw his use of electronics become more spatial, surreal and darkly melodic. The overall tone is more somber with hints of dissonance beginning to become assimilated into his evolving style. This 2 on 1 CD pairs them up to create a very unique cerebral listening experience.

MCD1037 Symphony-Phonogram [1989]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Chekalins album Symphony-Phonogram (1988) demonstrates his efforts to creating an aggressively more avant-garde musical approach with themes become far more free from and experimental instrumentally. Thematically his compositional sense of  poly-stylism and the grotesque are far more developed here.

MCD1038 Concerto Grosso [1989]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
These two works, Concerto Grosso 1 & 2 (1989), are symphonic extravaganzas. They represent perhaps the ultimate expression of Chekalins modern stylistic reincarnation of Shostakovich and Shnitke, resulting in his own unique Post-Symphonic musical conception coming to full fruition.

MCD1039 Supremus Continue [2012]
For More Information Mikhail Chekalin
Supremus Continue is the brand new album by Mikhail Chekalin, recorded and released in 2012. The album title track is a stunning synthetic excursion into spatial free jazz and myriad layers of celestial electronica. Continue - Continue co-mingle tripped-out beats, scat and dense electronica into mind candy for movies in your brain. The album closer, Through the Looking Glass is a powerfully dynamic, dark symphony with layered synthe and dramatic chord structures that electronically trail off into oblivion. In some the music of Supremus Continue, feels like an attempt at musical transcendence, of leaving the flesh behind and moving on to the realm of the spirit. It's perhaps Chekalins most mature and fully realized album to date.
 


Chekalin Photo Archives 1989

A History of Light & Sound 1970s~1990s

In the West, the life of an artist has not always been easy but there has always been some garage, studio, and some company or arts patron who lent them their ear and sometimes the capital to make their dream happen. Even for those opting out of the trek down the yellow brick road to artistic commerce and the dream of stardom, it was always relatively inexpensive for creative types to acquire modest technical and equipment necessities to do their own thing for the sake of their art. Alternatively, imagine if you can, life in the Eastern Bloc, living in a land not so full of good and plenty, where a watchful eye was always peering just over your shoulder at what you are doing. After more than 3 decades the works of Mikhail Chekalin are now finally seeing the light of day in the Western world as perhaps he had always hoped for, and dare I say at times would have never imagined possible as he did his thing in the former USSR.

MIR Records was established as a side project devoted to exposing the Music, Art and Film of Mikhail Chekalin. To date 3 CDs and 4 DVDs have been produced featuring not only his latest, but also historical works from his archives that have been preserved over the past 35 years. To shed some light on the actual man and the road he travelled in terms of creating his art, Mikhail shared the following insights with Eurock about his life, their message, and the social/ political conditions under which he worked to create his unique and diverse works of art.

Experimental Electronic Music & Light Graphics Studio

Is it true that the KGB destroyed your film studio?

Well that would seem to be an oversimplification, of sorts, to state that it was the KGB that dumped scalding water into my studio located in the basement floor. That did happen however in 1987 and effectively put an end to my studios activities (it was not a film studio exactly speaking, but more a multi-dimensional art-work enterprise-workshop engaged in a variety of artistic activities which even included teaching plastic & graphic arts to young children (to provide a legitimate reason to exits of a formal sort). That destructive act happened just when the Studios acquired a legal status in its own right at last and had been officially recognized.

It would not seem to be too far-fetched however to consider this terminal event as an effect harking back to its cause in the year 1979 when I had been asked to present myself at the KGB, on the very same street where it is located now. At that point it was my professional career that they tried their best to stop. It was years later when Glasnost had come to pass that I became fully aware why they should have felt interested in me as I was always far enough from politics.

In the 1990s it was made known to the general public that the people at Lubjanka Street had got their direct orders from Yuri Andropov to investigate each and every promising young person involved in all kinds of creative activities and especially in liberal arts, such as music, art and literature - to make sure of their ideological predisposition - that is, that they were not up to something. And you need not be too surprised at the apparent immensity of the task as their authority was absolute, and their reputation is legion.

The reason underlying it was that the Soviet cultures predominant function was a strictly conservative-protective one and modernity, or popular culture was become exclusively associated with the West. The West during the Cold War Epoch was therefore a potential enemy at the very least, an actual enemy in terms of image and influence by all means.

So you can imagine their attitude towards young people who just liked to dance to good rock-n-roll music and to show off wearing long hair and blue jeans as a mark of social prestige in this country during the time of life behind the Iron Curtain. It was mostly highly placed state & party functionaries who were free to go abroad any time. Those like me, interested in Western culture in broader sense as it were, having always perceived the underlying unity of cultural heritage (liking to dance and to show off just as much as the next man, mind you!) naturally fell indiscriminately within the range of potentially political suspects.

Those at KGB were no fools however, they sorted people out deftly & carefully, putting lambs aside from the black sheep - and black sheep were destined for Afghanistan to serve their international duty, in the idiom of the epoch, or dispatched to mental clinics if they happened to be rejected.

Their only serious lack of judgment proved to be their failure to recognize that those of real intellectual and creative potential represented a national treasure rather than a national menace. Thus their earnest efforts went drastically askew, aiding the enemy in the long run, as the Soviet Union is no more as everyone now knows...

Save for this finer point they knew their trade quite well, they would not have been even rude to you, during the later epoch of Soviet Empire, they made use of sophisticated methods revealing their familiarity with recent developments in science... to put it shortly: they didn't break your bones; they just broke your life. For you became a marked man, for the rest of your days.

After my visit with the KGB, if I happened to have been asked for an interview by some Western newspaperman, the very next day someone from among my acquaintances would call to advise me, in no uncertain terms, that I should stay out of it. If I were to reply that I didn't give a damn about their well-meant advices, then I used to told, so, well, my music has been tape-recorded, and tapes circulated, I was surely aware that unsanctioned sound-recording activity is persecuted by law...

Thus the very music I made became cause for persecution when I had been expelled from the world of academic achievement as the phrase goes, and actually deprived of any legal opportunity to realize my work (what with a state monopoly stranglehold on sound-recording facilities) - all due to that evil visit to Lubjanka Street. It went reverberating on and on.

Even an opportunity to travel abroad was denied me. When for a while I performed as a keyboardist in a rather famous and quite official Soviet group The Samotsvety they went on tours and I had to be left behind. I went abroad in 1988 for the first time, to Prague, and with my Studio...

During what years did you do music & films in your studio?

My Studio (founded in 1978) actually existed up to 1993, until being destroyed by this act of sabotage, (an accident of boiling water, when the central heating allegedly burst into the basement floor). My studio just happened to be located at the heart of the downtown district, and thus presented a big attraction for those who were after immovable's and possessed of ways and means to get what they wanted.

Films that I made use of as art-video material for these DVDs have been executed with my own assistance, we worked as a team, as it were, but they haven't been actually produced by my Light Graphics Studio - so there are people whom I named in credits of these DVD videos: art producers, cameramen, cartoonists as concerns the animated films, scriptwriters etc.

Technique & History of the Films

Did you compose & perform all the music as part of the concept of the videos?

The Light and Sound collages were filmed at live installations during the 1970s and 1980s. All music was performed by me. The live symphonic concert by the St Petersburg Philharmonic was officially filmed with the orchestra conducting my music.

 That long film with me and the city images features edited material so as to transform it into a pure visual art product not requiring any verbal reinforcements. I also re-titled it after one of the longer pieces used in it Music for the Voice, Synthesizer, Drums & Piano.

 As I reconsider this in retrospect this basic concept or rather all-permeating feel of it could be construed as a work that evokes a feeling of estrangement, of dire alienation, of displacement almost literally embodied by that piano cast out upon the snow and that miserable old bones sweeping most absurdly around it (the scene has not been staged, by the way, it's a documentary, of sorts).

The animated cartoon entitled Exit is included here with the consent of the producer H. Porokova. The animated cartoon studio that produced it doesn't exist any more.

 This film was based on Russian folklore, in a sense, or rather on world perception appropriate to folklore - which with us Russian folks tends to brood and gloom.

 What with the desolation of life in the depressingly lowland area of Central Russia, not to mention that snow eternal and general lack of sunshine, we are much prone to introspection bordering on total introversion.

 This animated film touches upon the basic issues in the course of human events - life and death, hope and fear, perseverance in the face of total senselessness and despair, etc...

 The verbal message in the film is not absolutely literal and is conveyed, I trust, clearly enough by non-verbal means such as the very intonations and the context of the imagery. So I think the language isn't going to be major barrier to understanding the overall context and concept.

 In essence, our Russian folklore-based perception tends to view somewhat skeptically the extent to which our Good Lord as Supreme Authority is willing to be annoyed by us petty mortals. This is the message of the fragment with God answering a prayer, seemingly quite happy with himself. So I suppose you might say that a social/ realist attitude is reflected in a good many of these films and my work...