Andrey Smirnov, Jeremy Deller, Matt Price – Sound in Z – Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music in Early 20th Century Russia

Andrey Smirnov, Jeremy Deller, Matt Price – Sound in Z

König Books Ltd / Sound And Music, ISBN-13: 978-3865607065, 96 pages, 2013, English

The western imaginary about post-October revolution Russia and its liberated, flourishing cultural scenes is only partially supported by official histories. This unique book adds another important account of the many experiments that took place in this unrepeatable moment in history, which was characterized by a wave of new social and technological changes. Born from an exhibition focussing on the archives of the Theremin Centre in Moscow (Smirnov is the Centre’s director), Sound in Z documents early electronic music in the U.S.S.R. from 1917 to the 1930s. With the thrill of new electronic cables and new politics, trans-disciplinary collaborations were established producing incredible results. Science was the common denominator that attracted inventors, scientists and artists and a quantity of experimental devices were created and passed on to the next generation. He calls these pioneers “Generation Z” where the Z represents the zig-zag of radio waves, the quintessential symbol of the new technological and media-driven revolution. Iconic works like Arseny Avraamov’s Symphony of Sirens, or accounts of the lives of artists like Dziga Vertov and Léon Theremin unveil new and inspiring aspects of their respective work. Smirnov accessed the original documents (this book is in itself a goldmine of documentation) and he is able to tell the whole story, including descriptions of the very heavy repression of the time, which was nevertheless unable to stop the bravest artists imprinting their efforts on the history of 20th Century music. Alessandro Ludovico

Andrey Smirnov, Jeremy Deller, Matt Price – Sound in Z – Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music in Early 20th Century Russia