Alexey Syumak: “Beautifully drawn scores and sound beautiful!”
Composers are rapidly getting younger. And they use unusual instruments, strokes and harmonies. I personally was convinced of this by the show of young talents at the Winter International Festival of Arts in the city of Sochi. “I am looking for a new Schnittke,” as the founding father of the festival, viola player and conductor Yuri Bashmet said more than once.
Bashmet is a great friend of the composer Alexander Tchaikovsky, head of the composition department of the Moscow Conservatory. Yuri Abramovich has a thirst for searching and playing new things simply in blood: for half a century, modern composers from all over the world have written music for him, from Schnittke onwards, and many now classic works are strongly associated only with Bashmet’s viola. Just for solo viola, there were not many works.
Every year at least a few new compositions are performed at the Sochi festival – this time several world premieres were also vividly presented. One of them, for example, belongs to the pen of the jury member – 44-year-old Swiss-Italian Oscar Bianchi. In his “Piece for Guitar” on the red “Stratum”, German Niko Cooke masterly played, and Bashmet himself conducted. Amazing piece: how a mixture of Gyorgy Ligeti and Steve Vai! Noise turning into harmony. Very curious. One of the currently fashionable Moscow composers, Alexei Syumak, winner of the prestigious Golden Mask theater award, worked on the jury at all stages, from the selection of scores. And here is what he told stereo.ru about new trends in composer craft and his personal rapid rise to the modern musical and theater Olympus.
“Do you have such a perception: a beautiful score means good music?” “On the one hand, my perception is“ spoiled ”by a very long reading of notes. I learned them in early childhood, and, I remember, at some point it was easier for me to understand notes than the usual Russian text. The notes are like relatives to me – I take the score and immediately hear it, note errors in voice science and so on. Nothing special: anyone can learn, I’m sure it’s just a matter of personal experience. So, I was surprised to find that, indeed, the external beauty of the scores, aesthetics – and after all, they are very beautiful, like paintings and calligraphy! – so, paradoxically, they sound good! It is somehow interconnected. I see the external beauty – and I immediately hear the acoustic. It’s very, very rare that the score looks good – especially in the case of modern graphic scores – but it turns out: there are a lot, but everything is secondary …
– How did you yourself get into music at the age of six – and reached the fortieth century before the Golden Mask award?
– I studied music from the age of five. And even earlier: in our family it is customary to study at a music school and finish it well. I don’t know what this is connected with … But from the age of five, my mother was studying the piano with me, but it all started earlier. Music all the time sounded in the house: grandmother sang, grandfather, although he did not have muses. of education, had a very beautiful baritone and knew by heart a great many arias. He still knows them! Then a teacher began to come, who discovered my absolute pitch. At six years old – I remember this day! – Mom and grandma took me and took me to a music school. I was accepted into the first grade for a violin. In the fifth grade, I wanted to try some other instrument. He asked his grandmother to record me on the clarinet, and finished school both as a violinist and as a clarinet player.
– And then you faced a painful choice … – No: I liked the clarinet so much that I decided to enter the Gnesinsky school as a clarinet player. And then it became interesting for me to study music – not only as a performer, but to try myself in a different capacity … It became more interesting for me to communicate with music theorists. I went with them to classes. In short, in the end, Gnesinka also graduated as a theorist. He came to the conservatory, where he was preparing as a clarinet player, and two months before admission decided that I would act in two directions: wind and composition. And you won’t believe it, but it was in this year that it was announced that a second education could only be paid. That’s where the agony of choice began! I began to wonder: well, just like God will put a soul into my soul … Dropped out – composer. Many were shocked: Sokolov, the head of the wind department, studied with me, and Zhenya Petrov did a lot, but I just did not come to the exam. “Are you crazy, why do you need this ???”, everyone shouted. Well, my fate is such that there is nothing to be done. But I didn’t change the composer thing anymore.
“You, of course, helped to compose the violin and clarinet.” “Yes, I know firsthand how to play by and large any string instrument.” Yes, and on the spirit. And this is a large part of the symphony orchestra.
– Here, in the philistine consciousness, composer education – as, indeed, modern serious music – is something incomprehensible. It is believed that there is a melodic gift, like rock musicians, and nothing else is needed for a beautiful melody. – Yeah, great rock musicians are completely different: I heard a song – and remember it for life!
“So what are you learning, besides the technical stuff?” “Technology.” There are before…