I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought Buchlas.
Yes, Moscow, capital of that country that gave the world Theremin and the Polivoks, is now in a fully renewed embrace of the synthesizer. And as that scene develops and gets more closely connected with the international scene, we’re getting the gift of some simply spectacular music and inspiring artists.
This summer, the city will host Synthposium – earning a place on the calendar alongside the likes of Germany’s Superbooth or America’s Moogfest.
And for an artist embodying the new wonders this brings, look no further than Maria Teriaeva, who will play that event live – and who was nice enough to premiere her new single and video here on CDM. Ilya Kolesnikov provides the doodle-like visuals.
Teriaeva is a Red Bull Music Academy (2015) alumnus who indeed traded in her guitar for the synthesizer. (She came to fame as guitarist for electropop group Naadya, but has also taken on the identity Dub i prosto derevo.) She’s now turned her attention to the Buchla.
Her live exploits are gorgeous and minimal; the video here to me recalls the exquisite looped sequences of modular pioneer Laurie Spiegel. And while techno- and EBM- and industrial-dominated darkness has swept Europe, here the sound is full of wonder, rippling modal harmonies turning in circles and shifting lazily through shades and colors.
For me, the most irresistible combination, though, comes in the wonderfully demented video and song Меринос (Merino). This is still her productions, here paired with the lyrics (and vocal stylings) of Vadik Korolev (from the indie group Oqjav). Gina Onegina directs this weirdo-dystopian trip, with its faded post-Communist pastels paired with wax-plastic complexions. (full credits on YouTube)
Her sounds pair Korolev with trombones and yet more synthesizers.
And for a little extra sonic joy, here’s her vibrating, stuttering sound for a power station:
— and a wonderful, bubbling Buchla creation:
Restraint and a fluid approach to time mark all these projects, which makes me just as excited for the coming Buchla-focused record as for anything. I first thought Spiegel; Suzanne Ciani is a reference point, too, as evidenced by this “cover.” (As composition students, we were encouraged to make transcriptions of composers – I think doing a recreation of a beloved analog piece is a wonderful challenge – three seconds being a reasonable challenge.)
We’ll be eagerly anticipating the coming months, then.