modern classical, neoclassical, instrumental / Novosibirsk "That case when you come out from the concert hall, ...

The Owl

modern classical, neoclassical, instrumental / Novosibirsk
"That case when you come out from the concert hall, and have no will to put on headphones,
and listen to anything in order not to fade the impression. Incredibly beautiful."

Speaking about The Owl, it's an instrumental solo project with strings something like neo-classic. Earlier I avoided this word, showing off a lot, saying that the Owl is not neo-classic but anything else. Now it's not important for me. Call it anything you like, but I'll do what I do, that's all.

I have been accumulating different instrumental things since studying. Probably from the first year and may be even earlier. Initially I just wanted to gather them and record for myself. We recorded it at my friend's home on electric piano. I hadn't planned violins there but then decided to diversify the sound and brought the violin and added some improvisation parts. Then I made VK group and put the music there. I thought, if someone would like to listen to it - why not.

They say if you go from the concept, then this is not from your heart. You set a task for yourself and carry it out. I think if it's your music – how could it not be from the heart? No matter what motivated you if you go from a specific idea, so it inspires you, and if it inspires you, it's all right.

I think it is very important to convey all things exactly how you see it and not as it might be. My new album will be about some Northern country: there will be Scandinavian tales about elves, Northern lights, Scandinavian people. And obviously, it comes not real, actually, but exactly how I imagine it.

I can't say everything for me is so simple – to sit and write it within five minutes and give birth to a hit. But only I make myself apply more complex, more interesting parts in each next composition. Especially string parts exhaust me. I try to make it interesting for the musicians to play and parts to be twisted, polyphonic, contrapunctured. For example, the cello told, then the violins told, then the viola told, and they all are talking to each other.

When I listen to my stuff, I think it's cool. I did it, and – what's done is done, I'm pretty casual about this. Why worrying about it, let's say, in five years, sitting and relistening: "oh, god, what a trash!" and so on. You've got definite ideas in a definite period of time, and you implement them in a way you need it.

For me personally Telescope fits perfectly the album despite the fact that the instrumental staff is quite different there. It was also one of the home sketches, I even tried to record it myself: I have got a wooden lectern, and I attached one thousand ruble microphone to it using adhesive tape, and then sang and played. And of course, I wanted to rewrite this in good quality, so one could listen to it. Well, and I felt regret to throw it away or to separate from something, that's why I included it in the first album without leaving it stretching behind me like a tail.

I'm always nervous on stage. Especially when I realize that now is the moment to come out. And when I start to play, nothing worries me longer, being afraid to make a mistake. It is likely to be an excellent student syndrome, from the musical school times, when you play and think: "if only my hands didn't let me down now, only if my hands did not betray me". These are the psychological damages of musical education. That's why may be noone should study at musical schools.

I don't like when music goes on deaf ears, when forks and spoons are knocking. I had such a concert in Kemerovo: people sat at the tables, smoking hookahs... it's just upsetting that people buried into plates instead of listening to the music and plunge into it. So I try to hold concerts at those places, where people don't eat and drink.

In the conjoint track with Zimne my participation is really little. Haven't you recognized the track? This is Moon Saturday. They liked it and wanted to make some joint work. I just sent the material, Anton cut some places there and finally made it, Natasha came up with the lyrics and vocals. It was really cool. I liked that they treated the composition very carefully and kept the development, consistency and harmony. The worked with delicacy and respect.

There is only one clip. We had started filming it in May and finished in August. This does not mean that we were shooting all summer, it means that we once or twice came out in May, and then one more time in August. You can see even the difference in my hair length. I wanted to express the image of the Owl in this clip - the resident of the forest, its spirit. But it is a very lengthy thing that is difficult to be shown on the screen, so we did almost a detective story with a strange woman in the forest that was laying everywhere: on some dock, somewhere else and staring bugs.

One needs to think about the time to be limited. We procrastinate everything, and so do I, but I still sometimes think, "No. I need to stand up and do something right now". And people procrastinate endlessly – but then death comes. Well, as you will die, then at least do everything possible to be satisfied by your own life and enjoy some things. I think people who quit their jobs and move a desert island come to something like that before resign.

I won't come back to the grand piano hall for sure. I immediately feel as if everything there is too exaggerated, too pompous. Looks as if I am a true composer, just imagine! All this academism is killing me. I used to love it because my life was not like this, so I went out and played grand piano. And then I decided that it should be simpler, for anyone could come without costume and bow tie on; for no-one felt unsuitable at the large hall.

Now there is so much music and it's difficult for the listener to perceive the whole album. Few people think: "the album has been released, need to listen to it", – he sits down, takes a cup and listens to the album from the beginning to the end. Music makers often adapt to save listeners' time. For example, they compose one track and load and immediately into the net. So a neo-classic composer wrote something and posted: "Here's my new composition." Everybody: "Bravo, Bravo, that's great!" And then he joins all these tracks and gets the album. It's okay, it's not bad. But the problem may be that music makers lose a single thread of the album, and as the result it’s just a collection of tracks.

I dream of being invited to Iceland for a concert. Icelanders and their Icelandic children will come in their knitted sweaters, sit and listen silently, and then they will leave with feeling of excitement. And finally I will see Iceland, walk there, they will show how they knit their sweaters and geysers, and then I will wave from the plane window and will fly back to Novosibirsk. Maybe they'll like my music, and they will make me an honorary citizen of Iceland, and I will have a lifelong visa. It's such a vain dream, but let me have it.

I don’t aim for making as complicated as possible, I hate it. I think, making up out of whole cloth for more sophisticated moves, just to amaze someone is not very good. Power is in simplicity. And talent is in simplicity. Therefore, I believe that the most important thing is the ability to retain musicality, melody and do it with some interesting, non-standard harmonies, solutions. You're listening to, let’s say, some composition and you don't get the feeling that there is something complicated, but for real complicated is there. Or you think this harmony is obvious, simple, and it isn’t obvious at all. I think it ought to be done so perfectly that a person won’t have any internal dissonance with this music, that he won’t feel that there is something wrong, strange or unmusical.

Sometimes I perceive my music as if from outside. When you write a new track, all themes are born on piano. Then, when I write parts for the quartet, I don't know how it would sound all together, I’ve got only some idea of how it perhaps will sound. I can hear the result only when I rehearse with the quartet. We can say that this is the birth of music. This is probably the most important moment that I have, the most valuable.

All my notes are handwritten. I always write by pencil only and only for strings. I don’t write notes for piano, although I am often asked: "Give us the notes, we want to play it." I promise I'll do, but I don't want to do it really. First, because I'm lazy, and then, I think: "if they will play bad, and then more – spread the covers?" Or I will see afterwards that my composition was written by Mozart along with Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

I think it’s good to be more restrained on each interview, but in the end I talk a lot. Anyway, I had said so much on interviews, sometimes I re-read in few years and feel shame.

There is nothing more exciting than to show someone the track. Look at a person and think "god, don’t rewind too fast, now there will be such a cool moment!" I always wonder if he or she liked this moment, or it’s only me who liked it. And god forbid, someone will start talking, it will be just karaul (Russian interjection expressing something awful (translator’s note)). What a word - karaul. Haven’t pronounced it for a long time.

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