Instruments creation (DIY)

The instruments creation is a part of the composing practice. It appears due to the desire to use non-conventional sound. Often a sound idea comes in the form of an image or just a feeling that is not fully concrete but already clear enough in terms of what the upcoming sound will be. Sometimes it becomes clear that a traditional instrument cannot provide the characteristics of this field. Or serious instrument modification is required so that it acquires the desired characteristics. In the first case, it is necessary to create (i.e., invent) the new sound device. In the second — work with an existing instrument by preparing it (adding or removing certain principles of sound production). Another motivation for the instrument creation is futuristic ideas about “impossible” sound. Monster instruments are born from this idea, for example, thoughts about string instruments using the principle of amplifying brass instruments. The most unusual and attractive systems are subject to the laws of combinatorics.

An example of a monster-instrument creation is Bashé's Violin (2010). The name comes from the Bashé brothers, creators of unusual musical instruments. The violin uses the principle of frequency modulation, which works in physical area: an electronic speaker is placed under the violin bridge and supplied with a sound frequency added to the frequency extracted on the violin in the usual way. Further, I built into the violin a part of the radio-controlled helicopter. It turns out a kind of a hurdy-gurdy, with the ability to change the wheel plane rotation. Also, on the violin bridge is a mechanism for extracting “electronic pizzicato”. The violin has a built-in DIY “sustainer”: the system uses an electromagnetic field around the string (due to additional winding). When exposed to a magnet, you can change the spectrum of sound.

Another example of a homemade instrument is the “tubafon”, created in technical collaboration with Mikhail Taratin for the theatrical production “Orphic Games”. It is several interconnected water pipes combined with sound modulators. A musician controls it by opening and closing water valves.

The instrument, by the way, also has a “water” sound distorter. When the sound from the tuba enters a vessel with water, it modulates by the sound of water bubbling. Here I use a special waterproof microphone placed inside. The performer sits on the big ball and thus pushes it for the air and comes into the instrument. My inspiration for this instrument was a work by Alexander Chernyshkov.


Examples in the compositions:


Pink Hills. Apollo
< 2018 >

“Rose Height. Apollo” is a spatial composition performed by 12 musicians. The name of the place Rosenhöhe (Rose Height, Darmstadt, Germany) gives the title for the piece. In 2018, they invited me to the Nadar ensemble residence there. The unusual composer’s exploration of familiar spaces was a subtheme of the project. Rosenhöhe is a vast rose garden. The park has a lot of signs and cultural symbols. You can’t see the form of tombs built in a cross model from the ground. There are fountains with double arches, where a sunlight corridor happens. There are religious places (minaret) and artistic......

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Hymns and Laylas of
Mascow Secularism
< 2017 >

“Hymns” is the sound performance carried out during the concert. Musicians move on the stage which is divided into several sound zones where loud sounds are separated from quiet. “Concerts” and “rituals” with different sound texture emerge in these zones. It is distinctive that these dissimilar “concerts” and “rituals” exist simultaneously, parallel to each other. Then, actions of musicians seem to be carried out in different dimensions, and musicians switch and push these dimensions together, crossing over from one to another.I) Very quiet ritual is performed on the right side of the stage. Actions of musicians in this space are......

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She Wolf
< 2013 >

“She-Wolf” arose out of my interest in similar transcendental meditation techniques. I mean stopping the flow of thinking, shifting away from evaluative, stopping self-talk. I could determine it as a “blind space of the feeling”.It is something from my childhood sensations when I imagined the forest as a fully alive, a single whole, and a sentient creature. What would happen to a human in this fairy forest? Would a man become its part, dissolve in it? Would a man turn into “a human animal”?“She-Wolf” is a play for five musicians. I divided it into two equal parts: The Other is......

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