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Elena Rykova

Which sound is special for you?

Any sound can become special. It’s the attitude towards the sound, the relation to it, which makes it special. Relationship with sound depends on the context of the piece and the sound world it belongs to. Each time I start writing music, I have to make my own discovery, make an effort to reach the state of pure curiosity in order to be able to be surprised. I spend hours with instruments or objects I’m writing for while building this relationship. I believe that relationship with sound is the same as the relationship with people.

How important is the context, in which your work is performed, to you?

I’d love to think that my pieces can exist in any formats but of course, there are contexts, which are more suitable for my works, as soon as most of my pieces include a very important visual aspect. My favorite spaces are black boxes, buildings of industrial architecture, art galleries, museums, open spaces. I like to play with the disposition of musicians and public, that’s why I prefer mobile, transformable places, where I can play with the space, lights and staging.

Where are the limits of notation?

The only limit of notation I’ve ever found was notating the attitude to music, attitude to sound, which is reflected in the way the musician plays, the way they touch the object or instrument, directly reflected in bodily gesture. For instance, I can draw a little figure of a person lifting some object and then putting it on a resonating surface, I can describe in words how I’d like it to be performed and add some drawings to influence the character of the piece in general and this particular gesture, but if the musician’s attitude to sound, object and music overall is functional, it won’t work. If they don’t believe in the relation between an object and a person, no one can persuade them that there is one. Nevertheless, I proceed to invent new types of scores, with more drawings, poems, quotations, paper of different transparences, making everything by hand, because this way is the most natural and sincere for me to communicates my own relation and care for music and the world I compose. Maybe one day I will find the special way for me to communicate the attitude to sound as well but for the moment I choose to show my own in hand-written scores and drawings I make.


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© ️Nikolay Kritsky