21.06.2021 Maria Bregman is a journalist, writer and contemporary art researcher.
Even though COVID and other events made it difficult for most people to travel, Art Culture UK is on a mission to give you an overview of the art scene of the capitals of the world, because it is through the various forms of art that we can unite and connect to each other in a meaningful way across borders.
In this article let me take you on a journey to Moscow to share with you a story from an unconventional concert that I recently visited in the famous Gorky Park.
The 4th of September this year was a celebration of the music of various genres, that took place on various stages around the park and encompassed a diverse array of styles to accommodate almost every taste. I was deeply moved by this unusual concert, so I did some research about the performers that stood out the most and in this article I’d like to share my discoveries with you.
Ericka Janes and Andreas Wake were opening the concert in the afternoon with a romantic and deeply emotional indie rock composition ‘I Believed You’. The band is already getting considerable recognition on the Moscow art scene and internationally with venues like MUSEON and Petr Konchalovsky Studio staging their performances and Ericka Janes being invited to the Voice U.K. and Voice China.
Ericka Janes’ memorable and deeply soulful vocals filled the space. The singer-songwriter is renowned and loved by her audience for the unusual twist she is able to give to her contemporary compositions with a touch of ethnic motifs. The song was intended to evoke nostalgic romantic memories among the audience, which surely it did for me – the singer’s ability to transmit emotion and soul through the power of her voice is irresistible.
Andreas’ guitar performance is both passionate and exquisite. His musical vocabulary is anchored in indie rock, blues and soul with obvious nods to musicians like Jack White, John Frusciante, Mateus Asato and John Mayer. Andreas’ playing style includes lots of groovy percussive elements, distinctive catchy melodies, and of course powerful killer riffs. Andi’s extensive musical knowledge and tasteful phrasing on guitar add an intriguing twist to the band’s sensuous and open sound.
The concert continued with Konstantin Fedorov’s solo domra performance, bringing in the cheerful and warmhearted energy of Montenegro, where Konstantin is a long-term key member of the historic orchestra Muzika Djenovići, which is over a century old. Konstantin’s music is befitting such fusion events beautifully, he is a virtuoso on the domra – a Russian traditional folk instrument – yet the multicultural influence is very apparent in his work. He has contributed to musical projects from around the world, working a lot with African musicians, and is currently involved in an international project with musicians from France and Ukraine, playing drums and bass interchangeably. But what is truly impressive is how he takes out of its usual folk context, imbuing this instrument with his international experience in a truly original and unprecedented way. He has often collaborated with artists, contributing the musical component to video and installation projects and exhibitions in Moscow and Montenegro.
Irina Irianova, an acclaimed award-winning piano player, stands out powerfully even amongst the sophisticated artistic elite of Moscow. She was performing the piano Sonata №4 by Sergei Prokofiev. The kaleidoscope of Prokofiev’s images came to life before the audience in this sonata. And without a performer, the music of a departed composer would be dead. The role of the performer in her interpretation of the composer and his music – is crucial. The fate of the composer and his work is in the performer’s hands, especially when the listener gets acquainted with this music for the first time. The audience of Moscow music enthusiasts is unanimously thankful to Irina Irianova, for revealing anew the work of a brilliant composer for us with a performance just as bright as the composition.
The most experimental performance was a fusion of electronic music and digital art. Yevghenyi Lastochkin (Vφ) is a Moscow-based musician, performer, and sound Engineer, who is widely recognised in the Moscow music community for his expertise with modular synthesisers, experimental electronic music, and analog signal processing. For this performance, he collaborated with Konstantin Frolov, who is an experimental digital artist also based in the Russian capital and deriving his inspiration from the contemporary scene of experimental electronic music. Konstantin’s art was projected on the wall behind the stage and it was changing and vibrating along with the music. With their show called Synesthesia*, Yevghenyi Lastochkin and Konstantin Frolov aimed to push the boundaries of visual image and sound in order to see how one can be intertwined with another, crossing all borders and transporting the listener as well as the viewer to a hybrid sensory space. It was an immersive experience for the audience, beyond anything that we normally experience, opening space into the unknown and yet unexplored.
* Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which irritation in one sensory or cognitive system leads to an automatic, involuntary response in another sensory system.