|Eduard Artemiev is a composer whose name for
many people is associated with electronic music. With unusual sounding's,
easily discernible in the present-day sound environment by their abundance
of nuances and unaccountable acoustic comfort.
With peculiar world of imagery, sense of space so striking for the
mind. A wide variety of views of Artemiev's music is pronounced, dealing
with it's different aspects such as technical- "it's impossible to understand
the way it's done", aesthetically - "It's infinitely beautiful", and spiritual
sides - "an encounter with the truth".
Artemiev accomplished his academic musical education at the Moscow
Conservatory in Yuri Shaporin's class of composition. His meeting with
engineer Eugene Murzin -one of the first in the world to invent a synthesizer
- sealed his fate: "Incredible prospects for creativity were opened up
by electronic music.
That was a real terra incognita. Composers had never set foot on it,
in their practical activities". It happened in 1960. And in 1968 the Italian
press reported after the presentation if his unique ANS-synthesizer and
Artemiev's compositions performed on it, which Murzin made at the International
Electronic Music Congress in Florence: "Moscow is the venue of one of the
leading centers of electronic avant-garde" ("La Stampa", June 14th 1968).
Nowadays Artemiev is a acknowledged leader of Russian electronic music.
Many of his experiments and discoveries have been realized in the sphere
of electronic synthesis, where he is a researcher authority and a highly
The cultural trends of his time have been originally interpreted in
the composer's creative evolution, with different facet's of his individuality
revealed in an alteration of stylistic orientations. His compositions written
in the 60s-the early 70s belong to the aesthetic of avant-garde. Thank
to electronics, which enabled to enter a qualitatively different acoustical
world, sound color and timbre became the field where a search for new musical
laws and relationship could be undertaken. "Sound is a palette with most
subtle and lavish nuances of color.
Electronics lends some new qualities to it: peculiar acoustical sounding,
unlimited duration, abundance of timbres". It is in electronics that Artemiev
finds what most appeals to his gift. For him the synthesizer is a possibility
to "compose" sound, timbre, to sculpt it, to lend from, "color", energy,
duration. A most fascinating task for the musician with a creator's imagination,
a colorist's talent and an inventor's intuition.
His findings in the sphere of colouring have expanded the limits of
timbre perception.In the composition "Mosaic" (1967) "sonors" - timbres
become independent means to express the motion of sounds in space. "Mosaic"
won recognition at the festivals in Florence, Venice, Cologne and Bourges."The
possibility of penetrating into the microcosm of timbre, of searching in
the field of controlled - spaces creation" has been realized by Artemiev
in his composition "Twelve Glimpses on the World of Sound" (1969). Here
the unique technical conception - the creation of a series of acoustic
"variations on one timbre" - symbolizes the idea of the unity of micro-
Artemiev compares "the space of timbre" with perspective: "Such variations
can be continued for as much time as one would like, for the given amount
of overtones (as the one present in the timbre of temirkomuz - M. K.) can
be combined indefinitely". "Mosaic" and "Twelve Glimpses" were included
into the phonograph record "Musical Offerings" (1990).
Kindred to the aesthetics of avant-garde is his incidental music for
films of Andrei Tarkovsky. The unordinary task set by the director required
similar creative efforts on the part of the composers. Writing the music
to "Solaris", "The Mirror", "Stalker" resulted in serious experiments in
electronics and the specific sphere of audio-video contact. From the mid-70s
Artemiev's style underwent a change in the direction of "new simplicity".
||The dialogue between the academic tradition
and rock-aesthetic tended to meet other, "more global tasks: to assimilate
the styles, genres and trends in the earlier and existing music, as well
as to master the entire sound, audible space as an acoustical physical
phenomenon". Resonant with those tasks was also his desire to try his hand
at an openly emotional, intuitive self-expression. "Polychromaticism of
timbre" still preserved its significance for the composer, however, the
traditional elements of writing were more actively introduced, accompanied
with a new sense of melody, rhythm and harmony.
Those creative aspirations of his were embodied, thought differently,
in a number of compositions. Declaratively: in his cantata "Ode to Herald
of Good" to the text of Pierre de Coubertin, written for the Olympic Games
in Moscow (1980). "I decided to take the road not of a synthesis, but of
a "symbiosis" of all expressive means at my disposal, and to write each
movement of the cantata in a special technique and in different genres,
with electronics' expressive possibilities as a unifying pivot" (the author's
annotation to the phonograph record of "Ode" ("Ritual").
In a variety of proportions and combinations the synthesis of "music's"
was realized in his quasi-symphonies "The Seven Gates in to the World of
Satori" and "Peregrini", in the poems to Lithuanian text's "White Dove",
"Summer", "Vision", in the music for the films "Sibiriada", "Fox Hunting",
"The End of Eternity", "Moon Rainbow", in the cantata "The Warmth of the
Earth", in opera "Crime and Punishment" based on Dostoyevsky's novel.
There is a new quality perceptible in the works written in the late
80's, a blending of the democratic aspirations inherited from aesthetics
of the 70's with the ideas of avant-garde, of the rational with the intuitive.
Here first mention should be made of his nostalgic cycle based on the music
for Tarkovsky's films "Solaris", "The Mirror" and "Stalker (1989).
An international response has been gained by another work of the composers
"Three Glimpses on the Revolution" written for the Bicentennial of the
French Revolution and commissioned from the organizers of the Electronic
Music Festival in Bourges (1989).The review in the Portuguese newspaper
"Diario de Lisbon" ran "... the work "Three Glimpses on the Revolution"
by Soviet Composer Eduard Artemiev has become a real discovery: his powerful
music built with great skill is remarkable for outstanding accomplishment.
This is a work of a typically Russian brought up in the traditions
of Musorgsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich... This is a music of a great epical
might and undoubted expression" (from Jorge Peixinho's article "Synthesis"
and the "The French Revolution", October 27th 1989). A good deal of interesting
music has been created by Artemiev for the cinema.
He is one of the most acknowledged masters of film music. Film directors
are hopeful of success if Artemiev is involved in the film. The composer's
name on the poster or advertising announcement is a lure attracting cinema-goers.
It is not a surprise that recording's containing his film music, in particular,
the disc "Mood-Pictures" with fragments from several of his film scores,
enjoy such popularity.
Ready for release are the records "Mood-Pictures", "Music to Films
of Nikita Mikhalkov", "The Inner Circle" and "Burnt by the Sun".Abroad
there is a growing interest in Artemiev's film music. In France a record
has been issued with his music to Andrei Konchalovsky's serial "Sibiriada".
A compact disc has been released in the Netherlands containing his voluminous
electronic cycle based on his music to Andrei Tarkovsky's films and also
including the composition "Ocean" written in memory of the late film director
Over 120 "scores of sound" created by him for the cinema impress with
a diversity of themes, plots, genres and heterogeneity of artistic tasks,
no matter whether are solved by means of electronics or symphony orchestra.
If necessary, the composer makes use of samplers, or acoustical instruments,
Text based on the writings of Margarita Katunyan