In the room where the action lasting 4 houres and 33 minutes took place, besides usual house interior there were six black shields on the walls with emblematic images of paralinguistic signs. These included:
1) "Time" – a man looking at wrist watch; 2) "Wipe your ears" or "Stop your ears" - a man with fingers stuck into his ears; 3) "Fifty-fifty" – a one-eyed man; 4) "Yes" – a man with naked teeth; 5) "No" – a man with a black hole instead of mouth; 6) "No" – a man with hanging out tongue.
The paralinguistic meaning of last four emblems is optional and only possible in the sequence with first conventional two. A shield with "twinkling man" split the emblematic sequence into semantic (1,2,3 – to ½) and emotional (3 - to ½, 4,5,6). Besides these shields, there was also a rectangular black box with four turned-on electric torches on the windowpane and a square black box with 3 electric torches (used in the "Translation" action) on the shelf. During the live musical performance only these lights and a table lamp were lit. In the pauses (during playback of recordings) the ceiling light was switched on.
The action consisted of a series of musical improvisations with a common "minimalist" theme, in which the following performers took part: A. Monastyrski (pianoforte), S.Letov (bass clarinet), S. Romashko (end-blown flute and triple-tone whistle) and S.Haensgen (cross flute). Besides them, pre-recorded tapes were used in the course of action. Two of them – "The Duet" by S.Letov and A. Monastyrski and "The Trio" by S.Letov, S.Haensgen and A. Monastyrski – were played back during the pauses; they were recorded prior to the action and consisted of improvisation to one theme. Another phonogram titled "The Trains; The Barrel" (recorded by A. Monastyrski in an area near train station "Yauza") occasionally overlapped the live performance. It consisted of noises of passing-by trains melting into half-hour long sound of a barrel rolling down an asphalt road. Besides instruments and phonograms, a TV set sitting on the piano was also used during the action as a source of light, sound and images. Also on the piano, on the right from the TV set there were large headphones used by Monastyrski to repeat after TV news broadcast "Vremya" (Time). On the piano’s music stand there was a glass-sided black sheet of paper with a sticker in its center saying "C. A. Jupiter (4.33)".
The action was carried out according to the following scheme (timekeeping was supervised by G. Kizewalter who imposed phonograms over the live sound to signal either the gradual termination of live playing or beginning of a new stage of musical performance):
1. 18:00 – 18:10 – Phonogram "The Duet". TV is off.
A.: 18:10 – 18:55 – the first 45-minutes-long stage of live performance. TV is off. Phonogram "The Trains; The Barrel" is not used.
2. 18:55 – 19:05 – Phonogram "The Trio". TV is off.
B.: 19:05 – 19:50 – The second 45-minutes-long stage of live performance. TV is on, displaying clear white screen without sound. First 45 minutes of phonogram "The Trains; The Barrel" are played back.
3. 19:50 – 20:00 – Phonogram "The Trio". TV is on.
C.: 20:00 – 20:45 - TV displays white screen; headphones connected to it produce a hissing sound. The second 45-minutes-long part of the phonogram "The Trains; The Barrel" is played back.
4. 20:45 – 21:22 – Phonogram "The Trio". TV is on, the screen is black, headphones producing a hissing sound.
D.: 21:00 – 21:45 – The fourth stage of live performance, during which Monastyrski with headphones on repeats loudly after the TV news section, synchronously with playing the piano. The TV screen is black (during the repeated news section). At 21:30, during the weather forecast section Monastyrski removes the headphones, turns on the TV screen and switches the sound channel to TV speakers. After the weather forecast TV was switched to white screen again, and the sound channel switched to headphones to produce the hissing sound.
The third 45-minutes-long part of the phonogram "The Trains; The Barrel" is played back.
5. 21:45 – 21:55 – Phonogram "The Duet". TV is on but the screen is black; headphones produce hissing sound.
E.: 21:55 – 22:33 - The fifth, final part of the live performance.
TV is on, its screen is black, a hissing sound becomes extremely loud at 22:30. At 22:32:27 musicians stop playing. During the next 33 seconds only the loud hissing sound is audible. At 22:33 bright soffites and TV set are turned on. Last 30 minutes of the phonogram "The Trains; The Barrel" are played back.
The following persons were present at the action: J. Backstein, I. Nakhova, I.Yurna, M. Konstantinova, V. Sorokin, Yu. Leiderman, A. Zhigalov, N. Abalakova and two others. Prior to the action the viewers were given notebooks and pencils and prompted to make short notes on their condition, experiences, impressions etc.
Examples of notes:
J. Backstein: "18:07 – oppressing sensation. 18:29 – silent euphoria. 18:31 – inner entanglement from the very beginning. I’d like to move aside, but I can’t . 18:39 – untied my shoelaces. 18:43 – emerging anxiety for the musicians – will they endure? 18:45 - my own fate still aroused no anxiety. 18:47 - sleepy sensation. 19:00-19:23 – enjoyed my tea".
M. Konstantinova: "I feel somewhat frightened and ill at ease. 18:35".
Yu. Leiderman: "18:30 – came. 18:45 – very good, really fascinating, tickle in the throat is a nuisance – fear of loud coughing. 19:12 – I marked this time only because I looked at my wristwatch. I don’t feel like writing, this paper rejects my field of reflection. 19:45 - Everything is still fantastic. I feel a bit sick, and my current state reminds me of school years, when I used to lay wrapped in plaid, daydreaming, reading some fine book or managing my stones and drawing formulas. 20:45 – "You’ll see what it means to fall on evil days, you’ll see!". 22:05 – during the last hour and a half I became a natural plant".
Other notes are either too broad or consist of schemes, graphics and drawings (for example, A. Zhigalov’s).
13th of April, 1985
A. Monastyrski, S. Romashko, S.Letov, S.Haensgen, G. Kizewalter, I.Yurna, M. K., V. Sorokin
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