int012 | Andrey Popovskiy | Rotonda


Andrey Popovskiy
Rotonda

37:26

int012
CD, digisleeve, insert | edition of 200
1 September 2014



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Intonema представляет в каталоге музыканта из России - Андрея Поповского. Его дебютная сольная работа записана в ротонде Библиотеки им. Маяковского, месте с особенной акустикой и требованиями к музыканту, где малейший звук любого объекта влечёт за собою длинное послезвучие. Андрей заранее изучил свойства пространства и выстроил импровизационный сет на их основе, работая с миниатюрным саундом и тишиной, а также восприятием звука слушателем.

Intonema expands its catalogue with a Russian musician Andrey Popovskiy. His debut solo album was recorded in the rotunda of the Mayakovsky Library in St. Petersburg, a space with special acoustics and demands to a musician where a tiny sound of any object ends in a very long reverberation. Andrey researched the acoustic properties of the space in advance and built his improvised set on their basis, working with a miniature sound and silence as well as a listener's sound perception.

Andrey Popovskiy: lap steel guitar, objects, electronics

Рецензии /  Reviews:
"This is the debut solo album by Andrey Popovskiy and was recorded at a performance given in the rotunda of the Mayakovsky Library in St. Petersburg. This venue was chosen for the special acoustics it provides, amplifying, as it does, even the smallest sounds and imparting a very long reverberation. Prior to the recording, the artist researched the space in order to fully understand the responses that would be gained from the building.

My first listen flagged up the extensive use of silence, to the extent that at times I wondered if my system was working. I cannot say whether this, or Popovskiy’s use of small-scale sounds, are part of his natural armoury, or whether it was developed especially for this venue, but this approach forms the bedrock of the piece, accompanied by the “listener’s sound perception”. Instrumentation used involves lap steel guitar, electronics and objects. Anybody expecting country and techno (now there’s a thought), step back disappointed, put away your ‘kerchiefs, cowboy boots and Milky Bar Kid badges.

There is a short video online of part of the concert, although as the performer and instrumentation are mostly hidden by a bannister its use for clues is pretty limited, but I suspect the objects are being used to prepare the lap steel guitar (à la John Cage). Obviously, in such a reverberant space care has to be taken, as too much information could easily lead to an unholy mess. Not a chance of that happening here, with most sounds being allowed to work their course before the next arrives. Unfortunately, I feel this approach fails. The most interesting moments are where sounds are allowed to mingle, approximately the last seven minutes, leaving the rest to be the sonic equivalent of trainspotting. I am sure there is adventure, mischief and drama, for some, through undertaking it in this way. However, maybe the recording should be heard mostly as a means of documenting how certain objects sound in this space. Short clicks and footsteps are distributed amongst longer electronic induced whistles and hums. A short period of more intense (in decibels) action, itself separated between bursts, acts as a counterpoint to the minimalist fare that surrounds it.

Personally, I do not think the recording helps. It sounds like there is a barrier between the listener and the space, giving the impression that you are once removed from the setting. Considering the importance of the environment to the performance, there is an overall lack of depth and involvement. My overall feeling that you had to be there, was in part confirmed by the video, although even here I found my enthusiasm draining away from me after a few minutes. There were moments where I suspect sound from elsewhere in the building escaped into the space. One of these, at the beginning, resembled a distant Russian choir, although focusing on it reveals dialogue. These, I think, are the things that should have been exploited more and used to build up a more interesting piece. One which involved the whole building on a level above that of the acoustic it supplies."

(Jack Tatty, The Sound Projector)
 
"Мне кажется, что самым лучшим фоном была бы тишина. Но если думать именно о звуковом сопровождении, то меньше всего мне нравятся ритмичные и повторяющиеся паттерны в фоновой музыке. Поэтому я назову две пластинки. Одна издана в прошлом году в Питере, другая — в Москве.

Вообще-то, они требуют пристального внимания при прослушивании, но когда есть возможность, я люблю слушать их фоном. В них нет никаких длительностей и повторений, каждый раз они обращают на себя внимание в разные моменты, и это очень освежающе."

(Александр Зайцев, Theory&Practice)

"On Rotonda Andrey Popovskiy is featured alone at a live gig, in November 2013, at the rotonda of Mayakovsky library, St. Petersburg (hence the album title). He is credited with playing lap steel guitar, electronics and objects but, as with Tri, above, little is heard from the guitar and plenty of electronic sounds and noises from the objects—maybe this is an Intomena characteristic? More importantly, the rotonda itself fully deserves its star billing as its shape gives it a naturally resonant acoustic (similar to the Whispering Gallery in St. Paul's Cathedral, London) which amplifies small sounds so they resound. Consequently, Rotonda joins a distinguished group of recordings (from the Deep Listening Band onwards) that were recorded in resonant spaces.

As always, the key to success in such circumstances is to discover the characteristics of space and to treat them with utmost respect and caution. Not to do so can easily result in a cacophony. Fortunately, Popovskiy takes it gently at first and tentatively explores the responses of the rotonda before steadily moving up through the gears. Throughout, he treats the echoes and resonances as if they were the responses of another player, thus creating an ongoing dialogue between him and the room. Eventually, signalled by some louder, sustained electronic tones, he moves into top gear and unleashes a continuous barrage of percussive sounds that combine with their echoes to fill out the soundscape, leading to an impressively thrilling climax.

A suggestion: Given Keith Rowe's views on "the room" (above), next time he plays St. Petersburg, see if the rotunda is available for him; the results should be awesome...  "

(John Eyles, All About Jazz)

"A szentpétervári kísérleti zenész debütáló szólóalbuma a helyi Majakovszkij Központi Városi Könyvtár körtermében 2013 őszén előadott koncertjének felvételét tartalmazza. A lemezbelső tanúsága szerint Popovskiy a fellépése során lap steel gitárt, elektronikát és apró tárgyakat használt, amely hangszereket a felvételből ugyan nem ismerünk fel mindig, de ennek jelentősége a zene hallgatása során teljesen jelentéktelenné válik, mert az előadás oly mértékben redukált, hogy egy idő után az itt-ott megszólaló hangok és a közéjük ékelt csendek váltakozásának dinamikájára irányul a figyelem.

Popovskiy zenéje a végletesen absztrakt, brit improvizatív zenehagyományt írja tovább. Az első asszociáció talán Keith Rowe esztétikáját juttathatja eszünkbe, azzal, hogy a lokáció fontosságának kiemelésével egy érdekes többlettel állunk szemben: a Rotonda lényegét voltaképpen az előadás színhelyének jó előre eltervezett megválasztása képezi, innen ered a kiadvány címe is. Popovskiy több zárt tér akusztikájának kivizsgálása után, a könyvtár kör alapja folytán, a rotundaszerű, azaz a köralapú templomokra emlékeztető épület belső hangzása miatt választotta ezt a teret, amelyben a cd-n dokumentált koncertet előadta. Ennek eredményeként tehát azzal a többlettel állunk szemben, hogy a megszólaltatott hangszerek kísérlete, avagy a rögtönzött megszólalási módszer mellett a tér akusztikája által kínált lehetőségek kiaknázására is nagy hangsúlyt fektettek.


Az elhangzott hangokból felépülő metazene leírására nem térnék ki részletekbe menően. A korong iránt érdeklődő sejtheti, hogy mit várhat a fent felsorolt három instrumentum hangja, illetve a hosszú visszhangokat biztosító, speciális körtemplomszerű pétervári könyvtárterem akusztikai lehetősége általi közjáték alapján. Ami érdekes a 37 perces kiadvány kapcsán, az a megvalósítás mögötti koncepció. És annak fényében, hogy ez a radikálisan minimalizált kísérleti zenét tartalmazó hanghordozó Andrey Popvskiy fiatal művész első szólólemeze igen erősre sikerült, ezért csak azt tudom mondani: kíváncsian várom a következő szólómunkáját.

Az Intonema kiadó tizenkettedik kiadványa ötletében a label 2013-as Lucio Capece-lemezéhez kapcsolódik, ami a Rotondával karöltve a belső terek akusztikájának lehetőségeit is bevonják a zenei játékba. Capece egy templomban, Popovskiy pedig egy körtemplomszerű teremben szólal meg. Mindkettő kiadvány megvalósításáért a kiadó mögötti személyek kompetenciáját dicsérhetjük.

Figyelemre méltó debütáló kiadvány egy mind jobban teljesítő kiadótól."

(Lenkes Laszlo, Improv.hu)

"Есть у Андрея Поповского одна черта, заметна она на его лайвах — включить все в начале и выключить все в конце. Или включать все потихоньку, наращивая крещендо и затапливая слушателей шумовыми контрапунктами. На этой записи — концерта (!) — его не узнать. С первого раза я не понял, была ли музыка. Но тогда я занимался посторонними делами, слушал невнимательно. Со второго раза стало понятнее, что все же он делал. А делал он следующее: включал и выключал процессы, когда ему вздумается, и использовал звуковой материал, который сильно похож на звучание домашних процессов типа уборки. Он создавал такой пунктир из звуковых событий и следил за их затуханием в естественной реверберации в ротонде Библиотеки имени Маяковского в Санкт-Петербурге. Создавал он все это с помощью гитары, электроники и объектов, гитары, как я понимаю, настольной, что делает похожим его на Кита Роу (Keith Rowe). Похожим, но не настолько сильно. Длинные послезвучия в пространстве стали еще одним его инструментом, можно сказать, что он играл самой ротондой. Звуки шагов, проведение пластиковой губкой по струнам, щелчки, фидбэки, дроны, короткие сигналы, паузы и прочий библиотечный звуковой быт — все это слилось и срослось в одну законченную вещь. Благодаря вслушанности в пространство он работает также с планами — звуки его и звуки среды, и при всем своем инструментальном богатстве Андрей не перегружает звук слоями, а наоборот, пытается понять, как встроить звук в окружающий его уже звучащий акустический космос."
(Курт Лидварт, Современная Музыка)

"A live performance by Popovsky (lap steel guitar, electronics, objects) in the rotonda [sic] of the Mayakovsky Library, I take it in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The reverberant quality of the rotunda is put to good use throughout this extremely quiet set, both as a subtle spatial presence and as an echoer of the occasional louder (though contained and pure) percussive elements as well as the odd, siren-like sound that emerges about 24 minutes in. Prior to that episode, Popovsky engages in a well-considered, tentative exploration of the space, sometimes eliciting vaguely guitar-ish sounds, more often discreet hums, clicks and hushed sustained tones. The sirens are strange, "out of place" in a sense but welcome in that they act as a break in what had up to that point been a fairly standard, if well done, "lower case" set. They seem to act as something of a release valve as afterwards, Popovsky opens up somewhat, notably in a gently roiling and rattling section toward the performance's end, one of the highlight's of the disc. A good recording, not sure if it's representative of Popovsky's work (I believe it's the first I've heard him) but I'm curious to hear more."

(Brian Olewnick, Just Outside)

"The other new release by Russia's Intonema label is by one Andrey Popovskiy, of whom I never heard. On November 21 2013 he played lap steel guitar, electronics and objects at Rotonda Of Mayakovski Library (city unknown?). This is all much more radical than the Eubanks/Kahn release. It deals, for a start, with a lot more silence between the small sounds. Especially in the first thirty or so minutes (of the total of thirty-seven) things happen at a very low level or, when things get louder, it seems to have more silence before and after. It's hard to say this is lap steel, as it seems to be more about the objects producing sound and less about the sound of the lap steel. Maybe it's only used to play these objects on, and the recording suggests a lot of space in this rotunda, which works nicely as an extra resonating instrument. This is certainly not 'easy' music. This is one of those improvised music releases, which require your full attention in order to reveal it's true beauty.
Nothing to be heard while doing other stuff. I quite enjoyed it, although, as I sometimes feel about these things, it would seem that seeing this concert is the real thing. Popovskiy plays with great subtle care and lots of concentration. I would like to see him sweat doing this music."

(Frans De Waard, Vital Weekly)