LIGHT-MUSIC TODAY: THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCRIABIN“S IDEAS
(on the example of Kazan school of new art)

Research Institute of Experimental Aesthetics today is the joint department of Kazan State Technological University (KGTU) and Tatarstan Republic Academy of Sciences.

Russia, 420111, Kazan, K.Marx street 10, KGTU, Institute "Prometheus".
Tel: (8432)-386273 Fax: (8432)-365331 E-mail: <galeyev@prometey.kcn.ru>

________ * ________

The spring of 1912.

Scriabin came on tour to Kazan. Here is what "The Russian Music Paper" wrote: "The Nobility Assembly Hall was half void. The audience accepted the composer-pianist rather coldly. Anyway there would not be awaited anything different. The upbringing of the Kazaners moves slowly."

The spring of 1962.

Fifty years have gone promptly. The assembly hall of one of the Kazan aviation institute “s building - it is situated right opposite the Nobility Assembly Hall now. "Darkness. The audience is still. There are hundreds of people awaiting, - that is the beginning of a report of a newspaper "Sovetskaya Tartaria", - and, as a cry, a glaring beam stroke upon the edge of a screen. Went along the screen. The beam, slow and alarming, suddenly flounced up, became large, spotlighted a portrait of a man with the eyes used to look forward. And forthwith from the dynamics: "Today, on the 6th of April of 1962, for the first time in the Soviet Union the symphony poem of "Prometheus" by the great Russian composer Alexander Nickolayevich Scriabin is to be executed with a light accompaniment". Calm and low the first sounds came. And straight off, as an echo, the screen "set singing", the walls lighted up with a soft shine. It became brighter when the sounds soared swelling... And with bright redness the walls answered to the sounds that the hall seemed not to hold any more, the sounds of a fierce fight!"

Then the unusual name was affixed to a newly formed students“ and later on special drawing office traditionally preserved nowadays: the Group "Prometei".

In the 60ss, the years of the "storm and onset" of light-music ideas, the ideas of cosmic art, in our country there was a dozen of such self-active groups. But almost none of them has remained. What specifies the group "Prometei", that has been living not in a greenhouse conditions and gone through usual hardships of growth, "wary" attitude of the "professionals", official establishment and working at an institute seemed to be not quite profile - the aviation institute? The fact is that from the very beginning of its work the Kazan Group has been directed to the development of Scriabin“s ideas of the "light symphony", affiliating its labor with that of the art theorists, musicians and artists [1].

That was just the point that helped to grasp the diversity and complexity of the problem substantiated in that it was impossible to solve it without many-sided comprehension - in the arts, science and technical experiments. And, in contradistinction to many other similar organizations, that concentrated their efforts on some one aspect, the Group "Prometei" has persistently tried to conjoin them, keeping up the search-experimental set of its activity.

The experience of all previous "new arts" (cinema, television) asserts that the actual answer to the most important question - the assertainment of the subject, content, means and language of these arts (as a particular and separate form of reflection of the reality) is impossible without a constant refer to creative reclamation of new art means (it is not surprising that the stage directors S.Eisenstein, B.Pudovkin became the leading theorists of cinema.

The same way, the light-music concerts having been given for many years (that is creation of the compositions and their execution on the instruments of our own construction) let the Group "Prometei" make - to an extension of Scriabin“s ideas - the following theoretical conclusions which true value and principal importance are being approved by all contemporary practice of the new art.

Light-music is the art which bearing, also as of cinema close to it, is connected with attracting of new technical means (first of all, light-techniques and electronics). Like cinema, television, light-music appeals both to seeing and hearing. But on a screen there are no any concrete images and sounding words displayed but musical sounds and abstract color-light images.

The substance of light-music lays rather bare in a conditional (we underline this word), but helpful to uncover this substance, characteristic of it as an art of "instrumental light choreography" [2]. It is a peculiar "dance" of light-colored ornamental projections, constantly changing in their shapes, brightness and color. A man has had a possibility to "see" music before now - while perceiving dance, ballet: it is not a haphazard that from the ancient times dance has been called "music for eyes". But these possibilities were rather limited because of the constancy of man“s body shape and its inability to take off the "terrain surface". However, the light-music instruments that appeared at the end of 19 and at the beginning of 20 c. make it possible to project the movement of light images of any complexity, completely free of gravitation effect. Light- music appears to be somewhat instrumental "continuation" of dance, expressive and tonal art. It means that not any movements of light- colored forms can be perceived as light-music, but only these that contain the "tones" of man“s plasticity, movements of forms and colors of the reality, analogously and in the same measure to how audible music is connected with tones of man“s speech and other natural sounds [3].

Any art is created on basis of a knowledge of the certain rules, although is not consolidated in them. Quite regular was a drift of the experimenters to search for the rules of light-music synthesis. And Scriabin also searched for them [4].

Likewise they have been searching before now - beginning with 18 c. In order to create the new art of "music of color" (that was a name for it in the pre-Scriabinian period) it was considered sufficient to find a universal algorithm of "translation" of music into light. The most popular was the analogy "spectrum -octave" suggested by Newton, and L.- B.Castel and A.B.Rimington tried to take into art practice. Scriabin had a notion of such "theories" and put them away from the beginning. But the recurrences of the ideas of unique transformation of music into color also took place later on. So, for example, it was proposed to charge an automatic device with this "translation", that had to set up the miraculous creation of light-music "ex machina". Such mechanistic ideas were especially popular at the beginning of the 60ss, at the period of "cybernetic boom" [5]. But the problem appeared to be much more complex. In contradistinction to science and common language, arts“ "language" is a sort of untranslatable. And the problem itself of light backup of music - on whatever level it would be produced (Scriabin understood this after his experiment with "Prometeus") - does not have particular art value. Following these basic positions the Kazan Group "Prometei" started arranging its experimental light-performances with the help of special instruments of a keyboard type following a score created by a musician or an artist. It was man but not automatic who created the light compositions also in the light-music films shot by the "prometeiers".

The appreciation of necessity of making of light-music by means of creative art work gradually and overall displaces the disadvantaged idea of "translation" of music into light. So, beginning from 1967 the light- performance have been given by the well-known light-artist Y.A.Pravdyuk in Kharkov. By the way, he also executed Scriabin“s "Prometeus" - in his own light treatment (1970). In the 70ss. a similar studio was functioning in the A.Scriabin Museum in Moscow. Then the light- musical theaters were opened in Poltava, Alma- Ata, Chkalovsk, Podolsk, Uzhgorod. Even those who had begun with the experiments on automatics adverted themselves to the creative approach (the engineer K.Leontyev - in the Moscow cinema-and-concert hall "Russia", where in 1975 he performed his own version of "The Poem of Fire").

Experience shows that whatever it is said about some "correlations" between audial and visional effect in light-music, about correlations providing a "fusion", "synthesis" of heterogeneous elements and integral character of their perception in man, the only and distinctive aim of an artist-creator at his synthesizing of music and light is the achievement namely and only of i m a g e integrity. (The artist-creator in light-music is both a musician and light-artist and, of course, stage director, so as like the other synthetic arts light-music is an art of collective creative work.) This thesis, of course, does not exclude the possibility and necessity of analysis of principles of this integrity also on a lower, primarily on the psychological level. The members of the Group "Prometei", for example, developed and brought in the science terminology a notion of so called "light-sound effect" and also gave their own determination of the effect of synesthesia, color hearing, that had been a point of Scriabin“s intent interest [6]. In the course of research work the Group distributed a questionnaire among 25,000 members of art unions of this country, launched the experiments "Children draw music". But the results of this analysis, of course, are not assigned to use as obligatory "receipts" for creative work. Having a self- sufficient scientific significance, they have mediate relation to the art practice, meanwhile the exposing of common aesthetic laws of light-music synthesis has to be carried not a priori but on the basis of learning of real practice of light-music. And this practice shaped in the following way.

The first step in creative assimilation of the capacities of light-music synthesis is a creation of light a c c o m p a n i m e n t s for existing musical pieces. Within the ambit of this genre, in its turn, it is possible to differentiate the three stages of artistic growth in the evolution of synthesis methods. Scriabin, in his time, also got through them on his way of consequent assimilation of ideas of "light symphony".

1. "Visualization" of certain elements of musical stuff (for, example, timber or harmony, tonality etc.). It is exactly this method of synchronic tracing by color, light the development of particular musical means that underlies the first Scriabin“s light- music experiment -the symphony poem "Prometeus" (1910), to be more accurate, in the base of its light part "Luce", where "coloring" of the accords, tonalities concretely takes place [7].

Besides "Prometeus" the method of colored visualization of tonal plan of music was applied by the "prometeiers" at the execution with light of "Spain Capriccio" and the scene "The Three Miracles" from "A Tale About Czar Saltan" by N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov in the performances of 1963-1964 (the composer himself did not provided for it, but he did like Scriabin devise his own system of associative "vision" of tonalities exposed by him in the light-decorating remarks in the score of "Mlada" ("The Young Girl") yet in 1890.) (In 1987 a similar method was taken into account by us in the stage production of "Snow-girl" at the Tartar theater of opera and ballet named after Dzhalil.) In the following experiments with more complex light- instruments where color could move on a screen the possibilities of brightness "doubling" of music dynamics, coloring of timbers and harmony, structural displaying of metro- rhythmical organization of music. The assimilation of these possibilities, as experience shows, is necessary but not ample to create artistic significant light- compositions in view of known formal character of suchlike methods of synthesis.

2. "Visualization" of musical themes bears informative character yet, admitting of exposure (illustration, underline, depth) of theme development, that is dramaturgy of piece of art. In this case the application of clear color usually is not sufficient. The "Luce" part has to comprise complex, more often, objectless light plasticity. (Though at the disposal of program pieces the visual reflections of music themes may contain also the elements of graphics, of course, stylized. Scriabin had been aware of the necessity of such approach in the course of his work on the light part of "The Poem of Fire" already, when he endued, for example, the theme of Reason and of Will with certain colored and, besides, image-plastic characteristics. He spoke about some "waves", "flames". But, to our regrets, this had no reflection in the "Luce" part itself (the single copy of the score with the composer“s marks of that kind had been taken by Sabaneyev to emigration and only recently has become available to the researchers of this country).

The similar method was applied by the "prometeiers" in the performances of 1963-1964 with the instrument "Prometei-2" at the second execution of "The Poem of Fire" with a light score prepared by our Group (ill. 1,2), and also in the making of the light-compositions to the accompaniment of music by M. Musorgsky ("The Catacombs" from "The Exhibition Pictures"), E.Grieg ("In the Mountain King“s Cave" from the suite "Per Gunte"), I. Stravinsky (the fragment from the ballet "Sacred Spring"), F.Yarullin (the fragment from the ballet "Churale") and in the following performances with the desk-size volume instrument "Crystal" in 1965-1967(the electronic music "Tears" by A.Nemtin and "Cosmos" by E. Artemyev, the piano pieces "Dark Flame" by A.Scriabin, "The Structures" by P.Boulez, "Fireworks" by k.Debussy) (ill.3).

The experience of such light-performing of the Group "Prometei" and, more largely, the following light-performances in Kharkov and in the A. Scriabin Museum in Moscow with more perfect projection instruments permitting to draw complex dynamics of light-colored figures - persuasively show that production of light accompaniment by means of color-graphic, color- structural visualization of thematic development permits to reach actually artistic results, the more effective, the more successive is the author of light-composition in bringing of his light part under image integrity with music.

3. "Visualization" of thematic development and dynamics of all elements of musical stuff organically combines these both methods directed to a single goal and presented above. That was just the direction in which, according to the data, Scriabin moved in his dreams about rework of "Prometheus" and at the threshold of "The Precursory Action".

Change of tonalities, orchestration, harmonic development and application of texture variety - all this in music is so informative as logic of melodic (thematic) development. It is a pity that the most part of the authors of light-compositions, especially non-musicians by profession, often limit themselves with a simple presentation of the same light-dynamic image on the screen at the appearance of a certain musical theme. Beyond attention there is left the fact that usually this theme in the piece undergoes substantial transformations - and not only in its melodic and metro-rhyme figure but also goes over from one instrument to another, appears in new harmonic coloring, modulating into various tonalities. The logic of this development, accordingly, has to disclose its own certain reflection in the goal-oriented transformation of "visual" theme figures, their textures , color, size, rapidity of movement etc. - not necessarily in unison and not always synchronically. Light-musicians have yet been assimilating this artistic method of synthesis, but most of them do not have possibility to overcome technical difficulties (for example, to provide an easy change of color of certain visual image etc.), or to draw an integral analysis of content and structure of musical piece. The Kazan Group, including both technicians and musicians, is aware of these possibilities and aims at their maximal employment not only in the performance light-compositions but also in the light-music films ("Prometheus" - to A.N.Scriabin“s music, 1966; "The Miniature Triptych" - to G.Sviridov“s music, 1975), where a certain visual image accords with each musical theme and, along with spatial transformation, changes in color and texture. Limited capacities of the light-devices in use had not let to disclose the advantages of these higher to the genre of light accompaniment methods of synthesis up to the time a more complex projector light-instrument "Prometei-3" was devised, with the help of which in the recent years there have been executed the light- compositions "Dark Flame" -to A.N.Scriabin“s music, "Time, Forward!" - to G.Sviridov“s, "Bolero" - to M. Ravel“s, "Alleluia" - to S. Gubaidullina“s (ill.4). Speaking of higher methods of synthesis we would submit to necessity of application of a solo color and also polyphonic interaction of sound and light. But on the level of the genre of light accompaniment these artistic methods can not find their natural and complete embodiment.

Application of the methods of audio-visual "polyphony", audio-visual counterpoint at producing o r i g i n a l light-music compositions appear to be organic and obligatory. In this case the "voices", both sound and light, are equal and can "twist" not only in synchronic, parallel but in any complex contrapuntal relations, which we are accustomed to observe between image and sound in musical theater, cinema, television. As it is known, Scriabin thought over suchlike synthesis, especially in his plans of "Mysteria". "In "Prometeus" I tried for parallelism, - confessed the composer, - melody, melodic line begins in one art and ends in another. So, for example, in orchestration we often assign a theme at first to clarinet and then it is tackled by violins, so as it is here but in more grandiose scale: melody begins with sounds and then it continues, for example in gesture or begins with sound and continues in symphony or lines of lights... It is so exciting, - confided he, - this endless variety of chances. As if I discovered an unexplored land. But there is a lot of work to be done!.." [8]. Later on S. Eisenstein also appeared for analogous projections, analyzing functions of music in sound cinema.

So like the followers and successors of these two grate revolutionaries in art, the staff of the Group "Prometei" has been asserting and developing the given principle from the very beginning of its activity. To be true, practically it was a success only in the application of elements of "audio-visual polyphony" in some of its compositions executed with the help of "Crystal", "Prometei- 2" and "Prometei-3" and also in the films "Prometeus" and "The Miniature Triptych". But the sound part of these pieces had yet had a capacity of being received all on its own account, without light, what would be impossible in the case of actual polyphonic synthesis in original compositions with specially written music. As a palliative, intermediary "on the way to polyphony" experiment, in 1969 it was undertaken an attempt to produce a light-music composition by means of "counter-way", preparing a mute soundless film-composition with certain development of colored forms and designed for consecutive assignment of it to a composer. It was supposed to give him the right to leave light as solo or to arrange sounds not only synchronically with it, in unison, but also in counterpart. On account of difficulties (absence of musicians willing to take part in this free "amateur" experiment), the film- composition "Eternal Movement" appeared to be eventually realized only in sound consistence with the musical piece "Electronic Poem" by E. Varese. We faced the same difficulties also in the course of work on the film "Cosmic Sonata" (1981) where the electronic music by S.Crachy and A.Nemtin was used.

Nevertheless, the Group continued to deepen theoretical researches in the direction of cognition of nature and possible concrete manifestations of the most comprehensive, reliable and high form of reflection of reality in light-music. Just this appears to be "audio-visual polyphony", if we refer to the criterion of system analysis. Only at polyphonic "fusion" complex of relations between synthesized elements assumes a character of structure of "an organic whole". Philosophy asserts that only on the accomplishment of this level of integrity ( not simply "addition", not simply "aggregate") the system created by means of synthesis acquires a capacity for self-development. That is only in "polyphonic“ embodiment light-music can claim a status of self-sufficient art and function in art culture as an equal right member of muses“ family. Once again in a more profound analysis there are deepened and approved the prognoses of Scriabin and Eisenstein - those violent prophets of the ideas of contrapuntal synthesis [9].

Keeping light-music creative work as its main goal, the Group "Prometei" extensively carried out experiments also in the contiguous fields of audio-visual synthesis, including application-oriented, that, besides their self- sufficient value, gives an opportunity of more precise determination of the place of light- music in the system of new forms of art comprehension of reality.

First of all, the "light architecture" projects should be marked. Of course, the reality appeared to be far from Scriabin“s dream of including of nature phenomena into synthetic action: sundown, rising of the sun, dreams of "fluent", "luminous" architecture that he desired to see in "Mysteria", but the very idea of "coming out" with light onto open space was predicted by him fairly. So, to speak of the "prometeiers“" works, in 1967 an automatically controlled equipment designed to project beams of light through red filters as the clock of the tower strikes was installed to make visible the old Russian metaphorical expression "crimson chime". In 1968, for the purpose of illumination an exterior wall of the Kazan Circus building, we installed a system of floodlighting equipped with filters of different colors that could be changed in response to the changes in temperature, wind speed and humidity out-of-doors. Later there was proposed, worked out in a model and tested in the concrete experiment a project of transforming a facade of a glass-and-concrete building into a large light-musical screen. A few years ago together with the Kazan artists it was carried out a reconstruction of a model of the "Light Memorial to the Revolution" by G.I.Gidoni (created by him in 1925 and lost nowadays). By the way, Gidoni himself planned to consist its demonstration with execution of Scriabin“s "Prometheus".

In Kazan there was constructed a potent complex of automatic devices to control light- music water fountains - is not it a real "fluent, light architecture"? The Kazaners“ experiments of that kind link to the modern genre of monumental, fine and applied art form that is brought to life by science-technical revolution - that is so called "kinetic art" providing a production of "controlled artificial environment" for arts“ purpose. Scriabin dreamed of expansion of that environment to the universal, cosmic scale.

But let us return to the earth. The psychedelic electronic music-and-light consistence devices are close to this trend. Scriabin hardly could foresee a birth of a genre of that kind. But, taking into account his reaction to the first mechanistic ideas of "translation" of music into light, it can be supposed that he would also accept their specially applied character. Their operative principle is based on synchronization of previously prepared light-dynamic compositions of cyclic character that have their own substantive significance even without music. The light-dynamic compositions of this kind are produced by an artist in each particular case in its own specific image clue. They are elements of "artificial surrounding" and the music, along with its direct effect, functions as some sort of outer signal that changes the condition of this "surrounding". And, in contradistinction to the music of performance reproduction, the similar electronic light- devices that can be consisted with any musical composition are half not assigned to listening to its "from beginning to end" sounding as they are included in image system of not only light-music but also decorative art. The "prometeiers", taking into consideration their applied character, designate such compositions as "functional light-music" that can be used for architectural decoration, in industry, at leisure time entertainment (in the special restoring rooms on the plants and factories with monotonous industrial process, in the rooms for aesthetotherapy, in the classes for intensive teaching, on stage, in the dancing halls etc.).

A quite reasonable question can arise: do all this have any reference to Scriabin“s pharos- like Prometeian conception? If someone is permissive in his accounts, he may see that this course goes into the tendencies of "life- building" in art, that were predicted by Scriabin, and at least does not contradict them, for there it is spoken about aesthetization of man“s surrounding, man“s life. But such references appear to be cold comfort when in dominate conditions of the mass-culture of nowadays the miserable disco "light-music" is proclaimed as realization of Scriabin“s ideas - and not only in the West but also in this country! To limit the resources of the new art with domestic electronic psychedelics - it means to liken to a sad story in Andre Gede“s novel "Amiss Chained Prometeus", in which there a mythical hero finally sells... matches in the streets of Paris.

How can we explain this situation, how to behave in it? Let us remember the misterial scheme of evolution, so accommodating to Scriabin“s hear: "spirit - matter - Spirit". On this stage of development of the new art (and culture on the whole) apparently there manifests a necessity of "overthrow into matter" predicted by Scriabin, greatly deep at that, alas. Overall, in this country, which is native for Scriabin, social order is almost completely switched to electronic psychedelic namely. A sort of comfort it appears be understanding that without this "overthrow into matter" the consequent in Scriabin“s scheme "triumph of Spirit" is impossible.

The "prometeiers" also had to "peddle matches", but at the same time they clearly understand their unabiding "low materiality", so and the electronic psychedelic itself is not as low as at disco-parties. Since 1970 in the Tartarstan hotel in Kazan a music-kinetic art "light wall" whose picture responds to the music from an orchestra. A music-kinetic art device called "The polar northern lights" (1971) and "Cosmos" (1982) also have great capacity and are used at the planetarium in Kazan and the museum of Kazan Aviation Institute (either of them differ in artistic solution). Smaller in size but more complex devices of "Idel" type (1970), "Yalkyn" (1977) are appropriate for decorating of chambers“ inner environment. The "Idel-1" was given to the Russian cosmonauts in the days of celebrating of 10th anniversary of Y. Gagarin“s flight; the devices "Disco" and "Kaleidoscope" are used in the theaters in Kazan.

Somehow, at the constant orientation to the "triumph of Spirit" even the "overthrow into matter" appears to be able to bring its spiritual benefit. Widening a range of their experiments, drawing new technical tools [10], the "prometeiers" obtain a possibility to widen also a sphere of creative experiment in other art fields: beyond light-music but in adjacent to it in the renewed system of arts [11]. At the same time it appears that many of them were predicted, though by hint, in Scriabin“s aesthetic prognoses.

So, as far back as in 1970 there was executed -according to the project and in the "prometeiers“" production - the first in this country histrionics in the open air, that of  "Sound and Light" type and called "Forever in the People“s Memory". Scriabin“s mysterial idea of universal synthesis of arts with its breakdown of the borderline between footlights and audience. The specialty of similar performances lies in that a stage action is played not between actors but between voices moving around in the space, in the stereophonic atmosphere of concrete sounds, in the accompaniment of music and dynamic light that illuminate the natural decorations (architecture, landscape). Presently, projects of analogous performances in the Kazan Kremlin and in the old capital of Tartar - Bulgary - are being developed.

Scriabin thought over bringing some "chimes" coming from the sky into his "Mystery". Since 1974 in Kazan there have been carried interesting experiments on the execution of so called "space music" based on application of the effect of controlled movement in any locus of sounds of certain instruments according to a score and in submission to a certain art conception (perhaps, also in combination with the movement of light - in unison or contrapunt) [12]. Special instruments were developed and performances of "space music" held. The experience showed that the most natural is the movement of sound for electronic music with its all-time colorific timbers. By the way, also in the electronic music itself many people see genetic impulses "from Scriabin", from his experiments with "harmony-timbers" [13].

In Scriabin's futurology of "uniart" one can see a declaration of new, unknown forms of union of music, art and poetry. The modern practice suggests its own concrete ways of their realizations. In the last years the Group“s attention was drawn by a special genre of "film-strip" (compositions rendered in a "fadeover" regime from two or more projectors on a screen, commonly in combination with music). There are produced compositions with music by G. Sviridov ("Romance"), C.Debussy ("Clouds"), F.Schubert ("Ave Maria"), Beethoven (The final of 9th Symphony), R. Pauls ("Sadness"), "Pink Floyd" etc. In the season of 1987 - 1988 in the Assembly Hall of Kazan Conservatory the method and technique of "film-strip" was used in combination with poetry in an organ cycle "The World As a Big Symphony". It included audio-visual performances ""Ave Maria" in the World“s Art", "The Garden of Delight" (Bocsh - Messian), "Faust" (an attempt of synthetic treatment of the theme), "The World As a Big Symphony" (on Chiurlionis“ creative work), "The Colors of Old Russia", "From Kurai to Organ". The culmination of these "Prometeian" concerts "Music, Poetry, Art" was the multimedian performances during the Kazan Scriabin“s Festival in April 1990 where the composer“s late sonatas were executed in a "union" with the art of M. Vrubel and the poetry of Balmont, Baltrushaitis, Vyach. Ivanov. This experience helped us to carry out in 1996 a unique performance of Scriabin“s "Poem of Fire" with picturesque slides of V.Kandinsky (ill.5).

The most part of art experiments of the Group "Prometei" been cumulated for many years was presented on the All-Union Festival "Light and Music" that was organized in 1987 in Kazan [14]. Not so wide but interesting demonstrative programs were included also into other conferences, seminars that were held within the framework of "Prometeian readings" that had become regular in the capital of Tartarstan [15].

Appreciating how important is consolidation of all those who are aspired to "see" music, the Group "Prometei" labours for propaganda of Scriabin“s ideas, the ideas of new art, for cooperation within the country. About thirty books and digests, hundreds of papers, including entries in musical encyclopedias, in this country and abroad are published, rare bibliographical material is accumulated [16].

The Group has been and, as far as possible, is consistently searching - through the press, in the archives - for materials about works of their predecessors and like-minded persons in the period from Scriabin to nowadays, in order to reconstruct objectively and amply an outlook of home school of light-music art that stems from "The Poem of Fire". The most interesting materials that we had managed to search out and cumulate were presented by the "prometeiers" in a museum of light-music that had been created by them and situated since 1979 in the Youth Center in Kazan, was eliminated in1991 during the notorious "restoration of capitalism".

...Strange and obscure is the time we live in. In the apogee of Perestroika when everything seemed to destroy (and I even "bade my farewells" to colleagues through a home central musical journal [17]), suddenly a "bell" rang from somewhere "above" and... eventually instead of the self-active group there was formed, let it be modest, but Academician Institute of Scientific Researches with the same name "Prometei", and a new studio of light-music at it! Was it the sovereignty of Tartarstan that helped, or was it auspices of Scriabin“s spirit (all the more so it appeared that this surname has our native, Tartar base [18])? Perhaps, all in one. It is hard to concern oneself with an "art of cosmic century" and realization of "mysterial" ideas - for the sake of "yellow devil“s feast-day". But freedom came at the same time. Could we ever dream of participating in the international festivals, submitting reports of Scriabin“s "light symphony" in Holland, France, Germany, publishing in the USA a special "Prometeian" issue of "Leonardo" journal (the primary "international journal for the arts, sciences and technology") [19]. Could we ever imagine some few years ago that computers and powerful lasers would be available and we would be able to draw complex graphic images with a thin candescent beam - on the facades of skyscrapers or even on the clouds? In the last years in the "Prometei" Institute a series of light-music films was produced with the help of previously unbeknown video-technique, and our rare collection of abstract and computer films concerning with music has been filled that much that it has become the richest in this country and, perhaps, in the world, also as a library of literature on Scriabin“s "light symphony", light-music, synesthesia - lot of hundreds of thousands pages in different languages of the world. We believe that all this yield in the whole that has been worked out by our Institute which carries a proud name of "Prometei" would be collected by a renewed society on a following spire of evolution: "spirit -matter- Spirit!" Not a little has been done and not everything as it was desired. There are much more problems that have to be solved. The best reward to the Group would be an opportunity to build a special audio-visual body with a light-music hall spherical in shape -this is exactly what Scriabin dreamed about (a design has been prepared long ago), - where the most up-to- date achievements of home and foreign techniques, including the "Prometeian", would be applied. Building of this body could be regarded as a final accord of the first, search phase of activity on the path "spirit - matter - Spirit" after which it would be possible to proceed from the experimental stage of creative work to an orderly, professional, with wide way out to the audience.

...Long ago, way back in the 20ss one "revolutionary" writer I. Kremnev, who amateurly concerned himself with aesthetic futurology, predicted in his fiction that in 1984 all the bells of "white-stone Moscow" would ring Scriabin“s "Prometeus". Would not it be the best dole for Scriabin“s "Prometheus" to relay "The Poem of Fire" by all the broadcasting stations of the world meanwhile the gleaming flares of the polar northern lights, supported by powerful laser beams, would be flashing synchronically with the music in the starlight night sky - amenably to the will of a light-musician? Would the "Prometeiers" some day be able to take part in such cosmic light-performance worthy of the mystertial conceptions of the composer. And for the present, in the museum of the home Aviation Institute there is an operable device "Singing Cosmos" on the screen of which above an outline of Kazan there are light-music clouds floating, flaming, pulsating to music of the sun...

References:

  1. Galeyev B. Scriabin and Development of Visual Music Ideas. In: "Musyka   i  Sovremennost", N6. - Moscow, 1969, pp.77-141.
  2. Galeyev B. Whatever Is This, Light-Music? - "Musykalnaya Zhizn", 1988, No 4.
  3. Galeev B  Light-Music: The Formation and Essence of a New Art. - Kazan: Tatknigoizdat, 1976, 272 pp.
  4. Vanechkina I. "Luce" - a Beam Lightening Scriabin“s Later Harmony. - In: Scriabin: Man, Artist, Thinker. - Moscow: Scriabin“s Museum, 1994, pp. 137-146.
  5. Leontiev K. Music and Color. - Moscow, 1961. The Color of Prometheus. - Moscow, 1965.
  6. Galeyev B. The Concord of Senses and the Synthesis of Arts. - Moscow: Znanie, 1982, 64 pp. Man, Art, Technology: The Problem of Synesthesia in Art. - Kazan: KGU Press, 1987, 264 pp.
  7. Vanechkina I. "Luce" - a Clue to Late Scriabin“s Harmony. - "Sovetskaya Muzyka", 1977, N4, pp.100-103.
  8. Sabaneyev L. In: "Reminiscences about Scriabin". - Moscow, 1925, pp. 205-206. Some people are intent not to trust Sabaneyev regarding lot in his reminiscences to be fiction, but this hymn to Žaudio-visual polyphony- almost word for word is repeated in Scriabin“s interview. (Various sources. "Russkaya Muzykalnaya Gazeta", 1914, N30-31, p.650).
  9. Galeyev B. Scriabin and Eisenstein (Cinema and Visual Music). - ŽVolga¨, 1967, N7, pp.150-162. Vanechkina I., and Galeev B., Poem of Fire: An Interpretation of the Light - Musical Synthesis of A. N. Scriabin. - Kazan: KGU Press, 1981, 160 pp.
  10. Galeyev B., and Andreyev S., Principles of the Construction of Light- Music Devices. - Moscow: Energia, 1973, 104 pp . Galeyev B., and Saifullin R., Light-Musical Devices. - Moscow: Energia, 1978, 176 pp. . Galeyev B., Zorin S., and Saifullin R., Light-Musical Instruments. - Moscow: Radio i Svyaz, 1987, 128 pp.
  11. Galeev B. Light-Music in the System of Arts (manual). - Kazan: Conservatory Press, 1991, 88 pp.
  12. Galeyev B. Dramatic Performancies: "Sound and Light': in the Open Air (manual). - Kazan: Conservatory Press, 1991, 80 pp.
  13. Galeyev B. Soviet Faustus (Lev Theremin - Pioneer of Electronic Art). - Kazan: Supplement to "Kazan" magazine, 1995, 96 pp.
  14. The All-Union School Festival of Light and Music, 1987 (catalogue). - Kazan: KAI, 1987, 52 pp.
  15. Light and Music (conference theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1969, 95 pp. Papers from All-Union School of Young Scientists and Specialists on the Problem of Light and Music (3rd Conference). - Kazan: KAI, 1975, 284 pp. The All-Union School of Young Scientists and Specialists on the Problem of Light and Music (theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1979, 175 pp. Light-Musical Devices as Consumer Goods (seminar theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1986, 92 pp. Synthesis of Arts in the Era of Scientific-Technical Revolution (seminar theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1987, 160 pp. Functional Light-Music in Industry, Medicine and Pedagogics (seminar theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1988, 120 pp. Light-Music on Cinema and TV Screens (seminar theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1989, 88 pp. Light and Sound in Architecture (seminar theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1990, 127 pp. Light-Music in Theater and Variety (seminar theses). - Kazan: KAI, 1992, 136 pp. New Technologies in Culture and Art (seminar theses). - Kazan: Institute "Prometheus", 1995, 145 pp. Electronics, Music, and Light (conference proceedings). - Kazan: FAN, 1996, 299 pp.
  16. Galeyev B. Singing Rainbow: Stories about Light-Music and Light-Musicians. - Kazan: Tatknigoizdat, 1980, 120 pp. Light-Music Experiments of Design Office "Prometheus" (1962 - 1978) (Bibliography). - Kazan: KAI, 1979, 34 pp . Light-Music in Russia and the USSR (Bibliographical Index [1742-1982]). - Kazan: KAI, 1983, 45 pp.
  17. "Farewell 'Prometheus' Readings or Is It a Time to Throw the Stones about?" - "Muzykalnaya Academia", 1992, N3, p.139.
  18. Khalikov A. "500 Russian Surnames of Bulgar-Tartar Origin". - Kazan, 1992, p.156.
  19. Prometheus: Art, Science and Technology in the Former Soviet Union (Special issue). "Leonardo", v.27, 1994, N5.

This article was published (in Russian) in: "Transactions of Scriabin Museum" - Moscow, 1998, No 3, pp. 52-71. (The issue contains incorrect illustrations).

The list of illustrations of the article "Light-music today. The development of Scriabin's ideas" by B.Galeyev. (see also bondar.doc).