Saturday, February 5, 2011

3 QUESTIONS : dmitry morozov of ::vtol:: synths

Dmitry Morozov is a young circuit-bending electronic instrument designer who resides in Moscow. He is also possessed by an ever-evolving creative spirit and genius that provides the catalyst for art installations, glitchy musical presentations, and a seemingly endless ability to create his ::vtol:: line of synth/noise generator/effect processors that produce a glorious cacophonous din. I met him in April 2010 at Brooklyn's Bent Festival and found him an affable young artist with a quick wit and an easy smile. I've purchased a number of his instruments and have kept in touch, watching his creativity grow from afar. I interviewed him via email.

As an ever inventive artist/musician/instrument designer, what in your background has allowed you to evolve into a kind of 21st century renaissance man?

I was born in very humanities-oriented family - both my parents were historians, but both grandfathers and grandmothers were engineers (technical education was much more popular and prestigeous during soviet time). And all my grand parents had a big role in my upbringing; that's why I had both influences - technical and the humanities. Since I was 8 years old I was big fan of airplanes (one of my grandfathers is a aircraft designer. I started to collect models, photos,and books and visited special shows, museums etc. I was really bewitched by these huge and beautiful machines (as I still am), but I was not very skilled in exact sciences; that's why in my teenage years I started to search for something else. Airplanes supplied me with a big lesson, that is, that technical ideas should be beautiful and rational at the same time. But only later did I understand how important this influence was, and started to understand why I like Futurism and the Russian Avant-garde so much. When I was 15 years old I started to learn guitar - I was always a big fan of electric guitar music - from rock to jazz. Pink Floyd and the guitar helped to open a new door in my life - the world of sound.

A Russian university education gave me very good but very specialized education. When the time came to chose my profession I had no idea what I wanted to do - so I decided the smartest choice in terms of specific specialisation was Art History...and I was right!

I want to say that my Russian University education gave me a very good but also very particular specialisation, as it is in so many specialisations, but I didn't want that!...and that's why I choose Art History which gave me a very broadly defined education! If you study math you will be good only in math; if you study philosophy you will only be good in that in Russia. I wanted something more universal like a classical university education in Europe during the 18th century when study encompassed everything at the same time.

So thats how art, music and technical ideas connected together for me. In art I was always interested in "straight corners" (architecture, Mondrian,the Russian Avant-garde ), With my interest in airplanes I started to study the history of mad projects and non-realized fantastic ideas and in music I started to use all my background to connect art, engineering and my love of experimental music.

Russia has played an important role in the history of electronic music with the theremin and the mysterious ANS synth; what effect has this history played in your artistic development?

Well I know Russian history very deeply - as I said I was born into a family of historians. And I was always interested in understanding all these paradoxes of Russian life - they are everywhere - contrast between poor and rich, smart and stupid, brave and cowardly... It was always very hard to live in this country because of these paradoxes… The lives of both Lev Theremin and Evgeniy Murzin(inventor of the ANS synth) was full of these paradoxes - I have read many books and articles about them - and of course I'm very impressed and inspired by them - they both are real Russians; they had very hard and interesting faith, real genius!

What does the future hold for you as a sound artist and your fine ::vtol:: synths?

Hard to say - but I am 100% certain that I will create something no matter if it will bring me some money or not! I have many ideas for new synths, performances and art installations. I hope I will have enough time and strength to realize them all and generate new ones. I always have the feeling that I'm just in the beginning - I don't look back; I just try to always move forward vigorously.

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