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Watch: Andrey Smirnov on early 20th century Russian experiments in sound and electronic music

June 2013

"[Leon Theremin] gave technology. The technology was so advanced and it produced such a clean projection of future methods of sound art, that he didn't need to be an artist or philosopher or composer, but he provoked it".

Andrey Smirnov talks about early 20th century Russian avant garde experiments in electronic music and sound making, and how he came to inherit a vast and as yet mostly unresearched archive of work by inventors and artists whose work was cut short by Stalin's totalitarian regime, and nearly forgotten.

Smirnov's book Sound In Z: Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music In Early 20th Century Russia is published by Koenig Books and Sound And Music and is available in The Wire bookshop. The first iteration of Sound In Z was a 2008 exhibition (co-curated with Matt Price, who also edited the book) at Paris' Palais de Tokyo. It was part of a larger show called From One Revolution To Another by the artist Jeremy Deller.

Interview and video by Nathan Budzinski.

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