"Sound and Light" ("Son et Lumiere" in French) is kind of "theatre without actors", that realizes the synthetic, "mysterial" longings of the composer A.N.Scriabin, who dreamed about new Gesamtkunstwerk - the union of stage action, speech, music, light, architecture, all of them being introduced into natural environment. More precisely, "Sound and Light" is a modern kind of performance art, stereophonic radio theatre, combined with light architecture. During the performance, which takes place in some relics of the past, the long-ago events are reproduced by means of electroacoustic instruments, usually in the night time. This is kind of radio-broadcasting from the past, time travelling simulation, "collective spiritualistic seance" in the open air. Instead of traditional personages, the play is performed by their moving voices, in stereophonic atmosphere of natural sounds. The voice is emancipated from the actor and becomes a personage itself; the sound leaves the source object and appears as it's "plenipotentiary". The illusion is based upon synesthetic abilities and imagination of a spectator. Moreover, the sounds as if emerge from that very stones which might have heard and absorbed them sometimes in the past. And dynamical light, illuminating natural surroundings (buildings, trees and so on), constantly handles the attention of the audience, uniting with music at culminations to compress ages in minutes...
If to speak in cinema terms, the sound in this new art is arranged with "empty space", more correctly, with the space where the sounding object once had been (has to be), and follows it's imaginery trajectory in space. This creates the astonishing feeling as if one sees the play with invisible personages.
The primary, psychological ground of any new art is relization of miracle. Photo and cinema fix the unique moment of time, thus satisfying "mummification complex" (according to A.Basin). Radio and TV transfer the event through space. Light-music realizes the miracle of shining sound, satisfying "Tsarevna the Frog" complex. The performance "Sound and Light" exploits the miracle of reviving, unfreezing sounds, their return back from non-existence, which has become possible now thanks to white magic of electronics.
"Sound and Light" has its own place in the system of arts, basing itself on the artistic reproduction of the event. Documental cinema (and photography) "transfer" the events both in space and time. Despite all merits of the cinema, it lacks magic impression of the "presence effect". TV can reproduce momentary events, carrying them through space (co-presence in time). The performance "Sound and Light" "transfer" events, which had happened at this place, through time (co-presence in space).
The first performance "Sound and Light" took place in France, Shambor Castle, in 1952 (producer P.Rober-Uden). Soon after that, almost all famous castles of the country had been equipped with light-music machinery. With the assistance of French specialists, regular performances had been established in Belgium (1955). In England "Sound and Light" began to occupy old relics since 1957, in America since 1962, in India since 1965. The "Sound and Light" performances had begun in Austria (1960), Finland (1967), Poland (1975). In USSR the first light-music performances were held in Kazan (1979), Samarkand (1975), Novorossisk (1979).
For "Sound and Light" concerts a variety of "stages" were used: castles and palaces (Shambor Castle and Versailles in France, Tower Castle in London); old relics (Colosseum in Rome, Registan in Samarkand, Pyramids in Egypt and Mexico); memorial places and monuments (Avenue of Poets in Bukharest, World War Memorial in Kazan); famous landscape zones (the forest in France, where Ioanna d'Arc had started her campaign, Normandy shore - place of landing operation in 1944); industrial buildings ("General Electric" office in USA); govermental buildings (Parliament House in Ottawa, Gongress House in Washington, Red Fort in Delphi, Town Hall in Poznan); famous ships at their eternal stand ("Victory" in England, "North Carolina" in USA); the whole cities (ancient capital of Iran - Persepolis, Prague in the project of Czech Scenography Institute); big halls (theatre "Ford" in Washington was used to reproduce a scene of murder of Lincoln).
Scenario is based either on real events or the legend of the place; the script may be prosaic, documental or poetical text. The analysis of the social-aesthetic functions of "Sound and Light" performances reveals a great variety of them, beside obvious artistic merit as new and spectacular form of art. These performances are very emotional and active propaganda tool (usually the premiere of "Sound and Light" is offered as an action of a State level). They may be used in teaching history in obvious and attractive way, both for adults and children. In France "Sound and Light" concerts became a part of basic school program. They also provide an excellent opportunity for better preservation/restoration of old relics (part of the profit is directed to this purpose). Such performances are the best tourist's attraction. Here lays the source of their profitability. Usually the expenses are covered within a year of everyday concerts.
The method inherent in "Sound and Light" is used also in utilitarian and functional way. Let's note here the reproduction of "miracles" by the church priests (Lurd, France); aesthetization and theatralization of political and military ceremonies; "animation" of huge objects in museums in the open air; using this technology in standart autoguide system at the exhibitions; making an appropriate sound environment for training and teaching systems.