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  • Earthling 7:59 pm on 31st May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexander Scriabin,   

    Alexander Scriabin 

    Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (born December 25, 1871, Moscow, Russia — died April 14, 1915, Moscow, Russia) was a Russian composer and pianist known for his originality and mysticism. His career began with Romantic-style works in the vein of Chopin and Liszt, and his later works increasingly involved a personal brand of mysticism and a distinct “atonal” style, which he developed independently of Schoenberg and the Second Vienna School. He also wrote poetry and considered himself a philosopher and spiritual reformer, although these occupations were not met with the same widespread acclaim as his music.

    Alexander Scriabin’s mother, Lyubov Petrovna Scriabina, was a successful pianist. She died when Alexander was one year old. Alexander’s father, Nikolai Scriabin, was a successful diplomat who spent most of his time abroad.
    Scriabin was raised by his grandmother and aunts. He went to cadet school and studied music on the side. Later, he underwent rigorous musical training. He was taught first by the composer Georgy Konyus, and then by the famous teacher Nikolai Zverev. Scriabin learned alongside his contemporary Sergei Rachmaninoff, who also went on to become a famous composer. Scriabin later went to the Moscow Conservatory, still alongside Rachmaninoff, and they learned from Sergei Taneyev, Vasily Safonov, and Anton Arensky. It was under the tutelage of these composers and teachers that Scriabin began his career as a composer, producing works that notably followed in the footsteps of Chopin and Liszt. They also studied the works of Wagner, which Scriabin would later draw inspiration from in his own works.
    Near the end of his schooling, Scriabin injured his right hand from practicing the piano too much. His hand was paralyzed to the point where he could hardly use it. He considered this event as a great tragedy and turning point in his life, wherein his faith in Orthodox Christianity was shaken. He developed a deeper interest in philosophy, reading Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and others, and feeling especially drawn towards Nietzsche. During this period he composed his first sonata, featuring a tragic funeral march as its finale, as well as the famous Prelude Op. 9 No. 1 for the left hand only. He developed a strong musical ability with his left hand, which manifested itself in the complex left-hand parts of his future works.
    Scriabin graduated from the conservatory in 1892 and embarked on his career as a professional pianist-composer. He also spent a lot of time socializing and became a notorious alcoholic. Later on he stopped drinking alcohol, but his former teacher Safonov remarked that he drank so much during this period that he became permanently drunk. Scriabin agreed with this remark, and added that he was drunk in a spiritual way.
    Scriabin gave successful concerts in Russia and Europe. In 1897, he married Vera Isakovich, a successful pianist who supported Scriabin’s career and performed his pieces. In 1898, he became a piano professor at the Moscow Conservatory. He taught his pupils a style of playing that has been described as “neurotic”. He was known for criticizing some famous composers whose works he did not highly value: Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, etc.; his fatigue with their music was one of the reasons his quit his post at the conservatory in 1902.
    By the turn of the century, Scriabin had decisively split with Christianity and embraced a Nietzsche-inspired art-centric philosophy. He also began to conceive of what would later be called the “Mysterium”, a hypothetical perfect and all-encompassing synesthetic work of art that was intended to bring about universal salvation and enlightenment for mankind. His personal philosophy revolved around art, and especially his own art, as an embodiment of the divine and a means of liberation and enlightenment.
    After leaving the conservatory in 1902, Scriabin moved to France in 1903. In 1904, Scriabin left his wife and their four children. Vera continued to perform Scriabin’s music until her death in 1920. Scriabin began a common-law marriage with Tatyana Schloezer, and he also had other affairs on the side. Scriabin and Tatyana had two children, including Julian Scriabin, who followed in his father’s footsteps by composing four piano preludes. Julian died young in a boating accident shortly after his father.
    In 1905, Scriabin developed an interest in Theosophy. His idea of the Mysterium consequently changed. Previously, it had been conceived of as a one-man act that would be carried out by himself. After entering his Theosophist phase, Scriabin began to consider the Mysterium more as a collective project requiring everyone’s participation, although Scriabin would still have the central role. He also became more focused on creating the Mysterium, and began to think out the details. It was planned to take place in India at a special temple for the purpose, featuring synesthetic combinations of different arts and senses, and it would ultimately draw in all of mankind.
    After leaving the conservatory, Scriabin’s music became increasingly “atonal” or “pan-tonal”. His last five sonatas are not written in any key. His music increasingly revolved around several chords, and especially the “Mystic Chord”. This chord is prominently featured in his orchestral work Prometheus from 1910. Prometheus was originally intended to be the Mysterium, but it ended up being published as a milestone instead.
    Scriabin moved back to Moscow, Russia in 1910. During this latter part of his life he was increasingly preoccupied with the Mysterium. He began to work on the Mysterium’s first phase, called the Prefatory Act. He also drifted away from Blavatskian Theosophy, or was “driven away” entirely according to his friend Schloezer, due to the musical tastelessness and lack of appreciation of the arts among theosophists. Scriabin instead leaned more towards the Symbolist movement, and was particularly influenced by his symbolist poet friends. Among these were Vyacheslav Ivanov and Jurgis Baltrushaitis, who helped Scriabin improve the poetic text of the Prefatory Act.
    Scriabin died suddenly in 1915 from septicemia as the result of a shaving cut on his lip. The text of the Prefatory Act was largely finished, whereas from the music only scattered fragments have come down to us. His death was widely mourned. To commemorate him, his friend Sergei Rachmaninoff performed a series of all-Scriabin concerts throughout Russia.
    Scriabin associated color with sound in a special way, and it has been debated whether he actually experienced synesthesia directly. He produced a scheme matching colors with tones, and eventually worked this into his Prometheus. Performances of Prometheus today sometimes feature color displays to accompany the music, but this was hardly done during his lifetime. A performance in New York City in 1915 before he died did include a “color organ”. Scriabin’s ambitions went much further than this, as he envisioned his final Mysterium involving every sense, including taste and touch, in a coordinated artistic whole.
    Musical Style and Legacy
    Scriabin is considered a pioneer of atonality, although he did not speak of his music this way or have any relation with Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School. Scriabin’s early music was most notably influenced by Chopin and Liszt. Wagner also influenced him during his middle period, during which he produced three symphonies. During his later “atonal” period, he went in a more original direction driven by his personal mystical vision. This music revolved around several chords, and especially the “Mystic Chord”, or as Scriabin called it, the “chord of the pleroma”. This chord consists of C, F♯, B♭, E, A, and D. It is made up of fourths, and has been interpreted in a variety of ways.
    Scriabin considered himself to have substantially achieved his musical goals, which he described as “expressing the inexpressible”. He regarded his music as vastly superior to that of other composers. He said that “melody is harmony unfurled”, and reflected this in his later music by blurring the distinction between the two.
    Scriabin’s philosophical, spiritual, and mystical ideas are expressed in his musical instructions and in poems he wrote to accompany some of his pieces. Scriabin considered artistic creativity to be inherently linked to sexuality. Eroticism and sensuality prominently feature in some of his music, and most notably in his “Poem of Ecstasy”, which was originally called “Orgiastic Poem”. Other such pieces include “Desire” and “Danced Caress”. Other pieces of his have been described as “dark” or even “satanic”, such as his sixth and ninth sonatas, whereas his seventh sonata has been described as an “exorcism”.
    Scriabin wrote five symphonies (including the Poem of Ecstasy and Prometheus), ten sonatas, and dozens of preludes, “poems”, and etudes. His music is widely performed and appreciated to this day. Composers notably influenced by Scriabin include Nikolai Roslavets, Samuel Feinberg, and Alexander Nemtin. Nemtin produced his own interpretation of the Mysterium based on Scriabin’s sketches.

    Scriabin: A Biography (New York: Dover Publications, 1996), by Faubion Bowers,
    The New Scriabin: Enigma and Answers (New York: Dover 1996), by Faubion Bowers
    Scriabin: Artist and Mystic (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), by Boris Schloezer, trans. Nicolas Slominsky
    “Scriabin and Russian Symbolism.” Comparative Literature 31, No. 1 (1979), Ralph Matlaw
    The Mysterium of Alexander Scriabin, by Zebulon Goertzel (Dissertation for Marlboro College)
    Article written by me for Lunyr (https://lunyr.com/article/Alexander%20Scriabin)

  • Earthling 4:23 pm on 31st May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: digitalization of small settlements, Expansion of internet access in Russia, Fiber optics in Russia, , internet access in Russia, LDPR Russia, Liberal party, On Communication Article 57, Putin Six-year Internet Plan, Putin's internet plans   

    Russia: Government to address limited internet access in remote places 

    Representatives of the LDPR (Liberal Democratic) party proposed a way to increase the digitalization of small settlements, expanding the possibilities of installing means of collective internet access for settlements of at least 250 people.
    The corresponding changes to Article 57 of the Federal Law “On Communications” were sent to the State Duma for consideration by a group of deputies from the LDPR, headed by the deputy speaker of the Chamber, Igor Lebedev. In the explanatory note to the bill No. 475951-7 “On Amending Article 57 of the Federal Law On Communications”, it is stated that under existing legislation at least one internet access point is guaranteed to settlements where at least 500 people live. As for telephone services, according to current legislation at least one access point must be provided for settlements with a population of 250 to 500 people.
    To overcome the digital inequality, the MPs propose “to amend Article 57 of the Federal Law, to reduce the required number of people residing in settlements for provision of internet access from 500 to 250 people, and the required number for provision of access to telephone services from 250 to 100 people.”
    In early March this year, in his message to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised that within six years Russia will be provided with fast internet access. By this time, according to Putin, the construction of fiber-optic lines in settlements with more than 250 people will be completed. Also, inhabitants of small settlements in the North, Siberia, and the Far East will receive satellite access. The message of Putin is invoked in particular by representatives of the LDPR party, who suggest that the State Duma adopt the aforementioned bill.
    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39305/

  • Earthling 11:51 pm on 30th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Angara region culture, Antique Russian culture, Boguchanskaya HPP, Floods from Boguchanskaya HPP, Kezhemski culture, Kezhemsky culture, Kezhma, Kezhma culture, Kezma, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnoyarsk culture, old-timers of siberia, Russian culture, Russian pilgrim culture, Siberian culture, Siberian Russian culture, traditional russian culture   

    Russia: Siberian old-timers celebrate 300 years of uninterrupted traditions 

    May 29, 2018
    In Krasnoyarsk on May 29, 2018 there was a festival of old-timers of Siberia. These are those who, at the end of the 16th and the mid-18th centuries, moved to Siberia from different parts of Russia for various reasons, and founded there the first Russian settlements. The event was organized by the Kezhemsky community, which comprises the inhabitants of the village of Kezma and the settlements of the Kezhemsky district, which flooded in 2012 due to the construction of the Boguchanskaya HPP. It is believed that their traditional culture has survived like nowhere else.
    In the Lower Angara, where Kezma was founded, most of the inhabitants settled from the Russian North — from the Arkhangelsk, Vologda, and Olonets provinces. It is difficult to reach the Angara villages, and the locals themselves did not go anywhere, but lived rather closed-off from the world, in isolation. Thus, after more than 300 years, the language, songs, rituals and traditions were preserved in the form in which they were brought here by the original pilgrims. In the territories where they came from, all these elements have been lost. But in Siberia, they were preserved.
    The dialect of Kezma is the dialect of northern Russia. And here it retained its identity, ‘preserved’. It has a lot of narrow regional words, and the intonation is unique. There are also relics of pronunciation, which Lomonosov heard in his native land. Because of its isolation from the world, Kezma retained linguistic and cultural traditions that were lost even in the “mother” territories. Now it’s all going away from us. All this identity is now at the bottom – literally,” said “Siberia.Reality” Doctor of Philology, Professor Galina Belousova.
    The same phenomenon is the case with Angar songs. As the Doctor of Philology Nelli Novoselova explains, in the Kezhemsky district it is possible find song stories that cannot be found now in the whole of Russia. For example, there are many songs about the campaign of Ivan the Terrible to Kazan, which apparently came to the Angara region along with the archers who were part of the old-timer population of Siberia. The manner of singing these songs is special: it’s a chant with complex polyphony.
    These songs were also heard at the festival of old-timer peoples. Among the ensemble that sang were “The Living Antiquity”, “Pimochki”, and children’s folk groups. Girls braided a birch tree and kissed through its branches — this is called “cuckoo”, and serves to prevent quarrels until the next Pentecost. And then they took the birch to the Yenisei. Whatever direction it floated, there the groom would live. The festival ended with a tasting of traditional Angara dishes. By the way, two of them — the bream and the broccoli — can be officially considered objects of intangible cultural heritage, says Lyubov Karnaukhova, the chairman of the Kezma community. Now the community is engaged in the preparation of documents.
    The construction of the Boguchanskaya HPP began in 1974. People from the zone of the alleged flooding of the hydroelectric station bed began to be relocated in the late 1980s. The resettlement continued until 2012, when Kezma was flooded. A total of 29 settlements populated the flood zone of the Boguchansky reservoir: 25 in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and four in the Irkutsk Region.
    Translated from gumilev-center.ru (http://www.gumilev-center.ru/costoyalsya-festival-starozhilcheskikh-narodov-sibiri/)

  • Earthling 3:59 pm on 30th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Belarus digitization, , Medical digitization, Medical information centralization, Medical information digitization, Telemedicine, Telemedicine in Belarus   

    Belarus: Digitization of health facilities in Minsk will be completed in two years 

    The digitization of health facilities in Minsk will be completed in two years. This was reported by the Chairman of the Health Committee of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Sergei Malyshko.
    Over the course of two years, a single repository of medical information will be established.
    “The principle of information following the patient is being implemented. The idea is to maintain a single electronic health database that will share information between hospitals, polyclinics, and ambulance services, and to expand electronic services, to develop mobile applications that will enable us to conduct a survey of Minsk citizens and also inform them about upcoming developments. The introduction of new modes of operation will improve the quality, availability and speed of medical care,” said Sergei Malyshko.
    The official said that medicine in Belarus demonstrates a readiness for new technologies.
    “We have virtually abandoned some paper documents in favor of electronic ones. Through the corporate network, there is a working exchange of medical information between institutions. Telemedicine systems are in place for digital fluorography, mammography, ECG. We are working on creating a “personal patient account,” and remote monitoring of lines in reception rooms, registries, trauma centers, and offices,”said Sergey Malyshko.
    Translated from Digital Report: https://digital.report/v-belarusi-cherez-dva-goda-polnostyu-perevedut-stolichnuyu-meditsinu-v-tsifru/

  • Earthling 9:50 am on 30th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: American Composer, Futurist composer, , Leo Ornstein, Modernist composer, Small-handed pianist   

    Leo Ornstein 

    Leo Ornstein (Born on December 2, 1893 in Kremenchuk, Ukraine – Died on February 24, 2002 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA) was a Russia/Ukraine-born American Jewish composer and pianist particularly known for his modernist or “futurist” works, although his overall compositional output includes many styles. He achieved great renown in the US in the 1920s, then withdrew from public life and fell into obscurity until a renewal of interest in his music in the 1970s. He died in 2002, making him the only known concert musician who survived from the 19th century into the 21st century.
    Leo Ornstein was the son of a Jewish cantor. His uncle was Josef Hofmann, a very famous pianist. Ornstein showed an early talent for the piano, and he went to the St. Petersburg Conservatory at age ten. He studied under Alexander Glazunov. In 1907, his family moved to the US due to severe anti-semitism in Russia.
    In the US, Ornstein went to the Institute for Music Art in New York City (today the Juillard School of Music), where he learned from Bertha Fiering Tapper. He met his future wife Pauline Mallét-Provost here. In 1910, Mrs. Tapper accompanied Ornstein on a tour of Europe.
    Ornstein gave his first public concert in New York in 1911. He became quite popular, performing his own music as well as the music of other avant-garde composers such Debussy, Schoenberg, Scriabin, Bartok, Kodály, and Albeniz. He was known as one of the foremost representatives of “modernist” or “futurist” music. He performed many modernist pieces from Europe that had never been publically performed in the US before.
    Ornstein’s own music was initially not well-received, yet he gained a following. The critic James Huneker called him “the only true-blue, genuine, Futurist composer alive.” [1] The first biography of Ornstein was published in 1918 by Frederick H. Martens: Leo Ornstein: The Man, His Ideas, His Work.
    Ornstein’s early music was often dramatic and dissonant. Some of his notable early pieces include Danse Sauvage (Wild Men’s Dance) and Suicide in an Airplane, both written in 1914.
    In 1918, Ornstein married the pianist Pauline Mallét-Provost. In 1923, he premiered his piano concerto in Philadelphia. He co-founded the League of Composers and joined its board of directors. He also began to introduce late-romantic elements into his music. He became disillusioned with the trends of the latest modernist music, which he perceived as being often preoccupied with novelty for its own sake. He wanted to focus on writing inherently worthy music, regardless of whether it was perceived as modern or conservative. [2]
    In the late 1920s, Ornstein began to withdraw from public appearances. He stopped giving public concerts altogether in 1933. He was quickly forgotten by the public. He founded the Ornstein School of Music in Philadelphia, and continued to teach and compose in private. He retired from the school in 1955, while continuing to compose in private. He and his family move to a mobile home in Brownsville, Texas.
    In 1970s, Ornstein’s began to regain recognition. A number of LP discs with his music were released.
    In 1985, his wife Pauline died and he moved to Wisconsin. She had been his motivator and assistant, so his compositional output decreased. He published his last work, his eighth piano sonata, in 1990. Ornstein died in 2002, at the age of 107. He is the only known concert musician who survived from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. [1]
    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii3oEVz1rVg&w=560&h=315%5D
    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZWZ8XLdr3A&w=560&h=315%5D
    Musical Style and Legacy
    Ornstein wrote in many styles, sometimes combining different styles in the same piece. His earlier music is the most radical and “modernist”, while his music from the 1930s and onward features more Romantic elements. However, he continued to write unique and innovative music, and developed a style of writing music in multiple simultaneous keys or ambiguously approaching keys.
    Ornstein’s music was quite popular in the 1920s, then fell into obscurity when he withdrew from public life around 1930. Beginning in the 1970s, his music began to regain popularity, and this trend continues in the 21st century.
    Ornstein had small hands, which caused him to feel nervous playing the piano. He later reflected that it was madness for someone with such small hands to try to be a professional pianist. [2]
    [1] https://www.allmusic.com/artist/leo-ornstein-mn0001523882
    [2] http://leoornstein.net/leo_ornstein.html
    Article written by me for Lunyr
  • Earthling 10:40 pm on 29th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 315 anniversary of St. Petersburg, Alexander Govorunov, cultural events in St. Petersburg, , diversity in St. Petersburg, ethnicity ball, Exchange Square event, nationality ball, Nevsky Prospect event, St. Petersburg   

    Russia: Over 300 nationalities took part in the St. Petersburg Ball of Nationalities 

    On the 315th anniversary of St. Petersburg, May 27 2018, a traditional annual Ball of Nationalities was held — a procession of representatives of various ethnic and sub-ethnic groups living in the northern capital, as reported by Spbdnevnik.ru.
    Participants in the march were dressed in ethnic costumes of the peoples of the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Baltics, Siberia, the Volga region, and other regions. More than 300 different ethnicities took part in the Ball of Nationalities.
    After the parade on Nevsky Prospect, the Nationality Ball continued on Exchange Square. There, for residents and visitors of the city, representatives of ethnicities offered a concert, master classes, exhibitions of folk art, and photo sessions.
    We are a multi-ethnic city; we preserve the cultures and languages ​​of all the peoples who live in St. Petersburg. We are diverse, but in this diversity is our strength,” said vice-governor Alexander Govorunov, who appeared in front of the Exchange.
    Translated from gumilev-center.ru (http://www.gumilev-center.ru/v-bale-nacionalnostejj-peterburga-pouchastvovali-predstaviteli-bolee-300-narodnostejj/)

  • Earthling 7:58 pm on 29th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bashkir madrasa, Islamic education in Russia, Madrasa in Russia, Naqshbandi-Khalidi Tariqa, Nelyufar Rasulova, Rasulia Madrasa, Shaykh Zeinullah Rasulev, Sufism in Russia, Tasawwuf in Russia, Tatar madrasa, Zainullah Ishan Rasulev, Zainullah Rasulev, Zaynullah Rasulev, Zeinullah Rasulev, Zeynullah Rasulev   

    Russia: The famous Rasulia Madrasa to reopen a century after its closure 

    In the summer of this year in Troitsk, Chelyabinsk region, we will witness the opening, after a forced closure for a century, of the world-famous Muslim educational institution, the Rasulia Madrasa, which was founded in the late 19th century by the great spiritual mentor Zainullah Ishan Rasulev.
    In connection with this truly epoch-making event for Russia and the post-Soviet space as a whole, the Muslim leader Ildar Safargaleev, addressed the participants with an introductory speech:
    “This year in July in Troitsk, Chelyabinsk region, the famous Rasulia Madrasa will reopen. Founded in 1883, thanks to the activities of Zainullah Rasulev, it became an important education center for Muslims in the Russian Empire and a base for the further spread of the Naqshbandi-Khalidi Sufi Order.
    The Rasulia Madrasa’s teachers included Tatars and Bashkirs, as well as Kazakhs and various other peoples of the Russian Empire. It gained a reputation as one of the best Islamic institutions in Russia. The French historian Alexander Benigsen described the Rasulia Madrasa as “one of the best academic institutions in the Muslim world.”
    In 1893, the madrasa introduced a solid training method, a class-based system, as well as the study of secular disciplines. At the beginning of the 20th century, the madrasa had a 11-year course of study. Thanks to the son of Zainullah Rasulev, Abdurrahman Rasulev, who took leadership of the madrasa from his father, the educational program included doctrines, Russian, Arabic, Turkish, calligraphy, reading, memorization and interpretation of the Quran and hadith, mathematics, Russian, Turkish and general history, Islamic, sacred history, theology, Islamic law, ethics, geography, natural science, physics, chemistry, zoology and pedagogy. Classes were conducted in the Tatar language, and Tatar history and literature were studied. The first printing house in Troitsk was operated at the madrasa, and it was there that the first Kazakh newspaper, Aikap (Zarya), was printed.
    The madrasa eventually turned into a center of religious life for the Trans-Ural Bashkirs, and also became a center of Tatar culture. The madrasa had a library with an extensive book fund. But after the October Revolution, in around 1919, the Rasulia Madrasa was closed and turned into a Tatar-Bashkir pedagogical college.
    At long last, in July 2018 during the 7th “Rasuliev Readings” event, it will be solemnly reopened.
    In this connection, it is necessary to pay tribute to the selfless efforts of the descendants of Zeinullah Ishan, and first of all Nelyufar Anvarovna Rasuleva, who is present at our round table. This great-granddaughter of the shaykh, who lives in Chelyabinsk, publishes books and even textbooks about him and based on his books. She deeply feels the connection with her great-grandfather, who perhaps directs her in matters related to the revival of Tasawwuf and the madrasa in which he practiced. Among Sufi Muslims, it is believed that great shaykhs can communicate with and guide people even after they die.
    I was quite surprised when Nelyufar Rasulova proposed to make a video, audio and online course for the future Rasulia Madrasa students, which is to be based on a collection of my modest works relating to Tasawwuf, so that they can get knowledge about the spiritual tradition practiced by Zeinullah Ishan.
    In addition, the great-granddaughter of the shaykh, foreseeing difficulties establishing a permanent composition of teachers during the early stages of reestablishing the madrasa, expressed the wish that I will have the ability to go for short-term (from a few days to a week) trips to Troitsk with a series of lectures on matters of Tasawwuf. It is clear that these are only dreams and aspirations of the relatives of the great spiritual mentor. However, the desire for direct descendants of Sheikh Zeinullah Rasulev is in my opinion not worth it. This is very well understood by those who practice and know what the Naqshbandi Tariqa is, where the souls of the deceased Murshids can take part in the training and education of followers and after their physical death.
    Tasawwuf’s stronghold in the Tatar-Bashkirian environment, in my opinion, is today the memory of his great mentors such as Zeinullah Ishan Rasulev, who was the most significant last Tatar shaykh of the pre-revolutionary past. And the revival of not only the memory, but also the truly unique technique of combining the teachings of traditional Muslim sciences with the training of Tasawwuf in his famous Rasulia Madrasa, as well as the use of opportunities given by the Internet, could really accelerate the full return of these great spiritual traditions not only in the Ural-Volga region, but also in the entire post-Soviet space.
    Translated from gumilev-center.ru (http://www.gumilev-center.ru/o-vozrozhdenii-naslediya-zejjnully-rasuleva/)

  • Earthling 9:57 am on 29th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: influenced by scriabin, Ivan Wyschnegradsky, microtonal, microtonal composer, microtonal music, microtonal piano, pioneer of microtonal music, pioneer of ultrachromaticism, , successor of scriabin, ultrachromatic composer, ultrachromaticism   

    Ivan Wyschnegradsky 

    Ivan Wyschnegradsky (Born on May, 1893 in St. Petersburg, Russia — Died on September 29, 1979 in Paris, France) was a Russian composer known for his microtonal (or ultrachromatic, as he called it) music. He left Russia in the 1920s in search of a quarter-tonal piano, and ended up settling in Paris for the rest of his life.
    Wyschnegradsky was born and raised in St. Petersburg. He studied harmony, composition, and orchestration under Nikolai Sokolov, a student of Rimsky-Korsakov. The most influential figure in his life was Alexander Scriabin, who he considered his spiritual master. [1] Like Scriabin, he also took inspiration from Nietzsche, Wagner, Vedantic ideas, Theosophy, and the Symbolist artistic movement. Wyschnegradsky’s early compositions were debuted in 1914 and earned the interest of Russian avant-garde circles.
    In 1916, Wyschnegradsky had and profound spiritual experience which inspired him to pursue the goal of “Creating a work capable of awakening in every man the slumbering forces of cosmic consciousness.” This inspiration came only a year and a half after the death of Alexander Scriabin. Scriabin had died while in a state of intense preoccupation with the completion of the Mysterium, his planned all-encompassing apocalyptic synesthetic work of art that was intended to enlighten all of mankind and bring about the destruction of this world and its replacement with a new one. Scriabin fell short of his goal, but he left behind some disciples and sketches for the first phase of the Mysterium, titled the Prefatory Act.
    Wyschnegradsky composed this work in 1916 and 1917 and called it La Journée de l’Existence. It was a symphonic work with a poem for a narrator, which shows a clear influence from Scriabin. It was not performed until 1978.
    Wyschnegradsky was enthused for the Communist revolution of 1917 and wrote a number of revolutionary songs.
    Wyschnegradsky decided that transcendence in music requires using increasingly small intervals to approach unlimited density. He set about theorizing musical systems that would use quarter-tones, third-tones, sixth-tones, and twelfth-tones: “ultrachromaticism”. To achieve this, in 1918 he took two pianos and had one tuned a quarter-tone above the other. The experimented with this new mode of music and began composing quarter-tonal works.
    Wyschnegradsky was not satisfied with this piano arrangement and spent around nine years in Europe seeking to have a suitable piano built. He left for Europe in 1920 and settled in Paris in 1923. He married Hélène Benois, the daughter of Alexandre Benois. They had one son and then divorced.
    Wyschnegradsky met the Czech composer Alois Hába, who was also interested in ultrachromaticism. They became close friends. Wyschnegradsky gave a concert using his two-piano quart-tonal system in Paris in 1926. He finally received a quarter-tonal piano in 1929, which was built by the Czech company Förster. He now completely devoted himself to his creative and theoretical work.
    Wyschnegradsky wrote articles for reviews and produced quarter-tonal works not only for the piano, but also for string quartets, voice, and chorus. Although he now had a quarter-tonal piano, no professional pianists were interested in learning to play one. He had to continue to produce music for two pianos, tuned a quarter-tone apart, in order for others to play it.
    In 1937, a Festival of Quarter-tone Music was held in Paris at the Salle Chopin-Pleyel, and led by Wyschnegradsky. The concert featured his Ainsi parlait Zarathustra (“Thus Spoke Zarathustra”), a four-piano symphony. The concert was well-received, and earned the praise of Charles Koechlin and Olivier Messiaen, among others.
    World War 2 interrupted Wyschnegradsky’s career. He was arrested in 1942 and was compelled by circumstances to stop producing music. His second wife, an American named Lucile, was also arrested. In 1945, Wyschnegradsky held another concert at Salle-Shopin-Pleyel. He then fell severely ill with tuberculosis and did not recover for three years. He used this time to rethink his ideas and work on his book La Loi de la Pansonorite.
    Wyschnegradsky met Julian Carrillo, a Mexican composer who had fifteen pianos in micro-tones down to a sixteenth. Wyschnegradsky wrote some works for these pianos. Nevertheless, he had become obscure. He was friends with avant-garde figures such as Olivier Messiaen and Claude Ballif, who paid him visits.
    In 1972, Claude Ballif arranged for La Revue Musicale to publish a special issue on Nikolai Obukhov and Wyschnegradsky. A Canadian pianist, Bruce Mather, began to play, conduct, and record Wyschnegradsky’s music. In 1978, Wyschnegradsky’s works were performed in Paris, including the first performance of his La Journée de l’Existence.
    Wyschnegradsky’s last work, String Trio, Op. 53, was unfinished when he died in 1979. It was completed by Claude Ballif. He is remembered as a great pioneer of microtonal or ultrachromatic music.
    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnhbks3NzP8&w=560&h=315%5D
    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4dyKXe-fB0&w=560&h=315%5D
    [1] http://www.ivan-wyschnegradsky.fr/en/biography/
    Article written by me for Lunyr
  • Earthling 9:43 pm on 28th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexander Zharov, , , Pavel Durov, Roskomsvoboda, Roskomzadnor, , , , , ,   

    Russia: The Head of Roskomnadzor intends to continue to destroy the Runet 

    The head of Roskomnadzor, which has been severely damaging the Runet especially with its recent Telegram ban, has spoken after a period of silence. Alexander Zharov was silent for almost the whole period of intensive “carpet bombing” of IP addresses, but now has finally begun to give some comments — and they do not inspire optimism.
    Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Forum, the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov finally broke his nearly month-long period of silence, making several statements that greatly surprised the internet community with their pretentiousness and detachment from reality. In particular, Zharov quite optimistically evaluated the work of his agency and the results of “carpet bombing of IP-addresses”, because of which, let us recall, the proper functioning of the Runet has been broken. There was no recognition of the erroneousness of the chosen method of “chasing Telegram”; on the contrary, Zharov considered Roskomnadzor’s actions justified.
    The Roskomnadzor assures us that the “degradation” of the messenger “was within a day from 15% to 35-40% on various smartphones.” The decrease of advertising and users, according to Zharov, reaches 25%. Earlier, the company M13, the creator of the Katushya information and analysis system, which is used by the presidential administration to monitor social networks and the internet, did not observe any “degradation” of Telegram.
    Let us recall also the data of the Telegram Analytics service, a month after Roskomnadzor’s ban was initiated by the Tagansky District Court of Moscow. According to their data the loss for the popular Telegram messenger turned out to be incommensurably small compared to the efforts of the supervisory agency, which in fact led to significant disruptions in the functioning of the Runet. The real decline of Telegram activity in Russia was approximately 2%.
    In addition, Alexander Zharov assured us that major internet companies have ceased to help Telegram bypass the block. “We are continuing dialogue. Microsoft stopped allowing Telegram to use the configuration file of the Microsoft Download service; Google informed us that the provision of IP addresses to Telegram has been suspended. That is, the process is ongoing,” Zharov said.
    It should be noted that Alexander Zharov has long been in the habit of making such statements, which do not necessarily correspond to reality. After a while the head of Roskomnadzor will word-for-word reiterate what he said earlier about his agency being “in dialogue” with this or that company that “is about to transfer its servers to Russia,” or “build data centers,” “agree to ban Telegram,” etc.
    According to Zharov, the blocking of Telegram is “our first experience of blocking not a site, but an application,” and “this is a process,” and “interaction with international companies is also a process,” and Roskomnadzor is in “constant contact” with them.
    The subject of the Telegram messenger created by Pavel Durov has been the theme of several recent speeches by the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zhurov. On May 25, he affirmed the legitimacy of the requirement for Telegram to provide encryption keys from user correspondences. The official called the messenger’s philosophy “absolutely illegal,” as it contains a lot of illegal and extremist content. He added that there is incontrovertible evidence, but did not disclose any in particular. Also, he did not specified which time period is involved.
    “All the recent terrorist acts that occurred in our country and abroad were coordinated through the Telegram messenger. Therefore, if I have to choose between comfort and security, I personally choose security,” the head of the Roskomnadzor said.
    However, neither Zharov himself nor the agency he directs guarantee the security of internet resources. On the contrary, they make an “invaluable contribution” to the process of disrupting the work of thousands of websites whose owners suffer reputational and material losses, and the lives of millions of Russian citizens who experience great inconvenience, sharply plunging from the modern era in the pre-digital era, in which messengers, online cards, ticket sales services, cash desks, encyclopedias, teaching aids and other important services in our time are not working.
    According to Zharov, the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov is a pirate. The piracy, in his opinion, is every attempt to bypass the Telegram block. Telegram, says Zharov, hides behind the live shield of bona fide internet resources, with which it is hosted on some IP addresses: “Unfortunately, at present the application, thanks to the actions of its programmers, seems to be hiding behind a human shield consisting of transnational companies and respectable resources, with which it is hosted on the same IP addresses.”
    Zharov also went after Vkontakte for piracy: “Unfortunately, the philosophy of the creators of Telegram, as well as the creators of the VKontakte network, is in the zone of absolute piracy.” But he also added that the situation with the Vkontakte social network has changed in a positive direction, and mentioned how steps were taken to legalize music and video under the direction of the MailRu Group.
    Arguing for the fight against piracy, Zharov assures us that it contributed to the growth of the legal online video market. He cited the data of TMT Consulting, according to which the Russian online cinema market grew by 60% in 2017, to 7.7 billion rubles, and the paying audience grew by 30% to 2.6 million users.
    Over the past year (April 2017 – April 2018) Roskomnadzor received more than 1,600 definitions from the Moscow City Court on the adoption of response measures to deal with 4,000 internet resources that violate the law in the field of protection of exclusive rights. Access to 380 sites was limited, while the rest of the pirated content was removed. More than 900 pirated internet resources are blocked on an ongoing basis.
    As noted by A. Zharov, the cross-border nature of violations of intellectual property rights in the digital sphere dictates the need for close international cooperation between rights holders, internet companies, and regulators. At the same time, Roskomnadzor “considers first and foremost the support and development of Russian markets.”
    Zharov’s agency is unrelenting in its attempts to block Telegram with many proposals, first undertaken at the dawn of the IP-address “carpet bombing.” “Roskomnadzor is engaging in dialogue with lawyers from Google and Apple on the removal or restriction of access to the Telegram application in the online stores of the companies,” the head of the department said.
    According to him, the lawyers of Roskomnadzor and companies “interpret the third point of the court’s decision in different ways. The third point says that Roskomnadzor and other legal persons should restrict access to the application.” Zharov specified that Google and Apple do not want to recognize themselves as “other legal persons.”
    “They want a direct demand to companies,” explained Zharov.
    Alexander Zharov also returned to his favorite topic – his promises to check Facebook for the implementation of Russian laws (in particular, 242-FZ on the transfer of personal data of Russians to the territory of the Russian Federation). So far, he said, the idea of blocking the social network is not worth it.
    “Depending on the results of the inspection, we can fine them, or obtain legally significant documents from them when they intend to comply with the laws of the Russian Federation. This process will start at the end of this year,” Zharov said.
    Zharov noted that today the “hot topic” is the dissemination of unreliable information on social networks. “False information is literally a scourge. There should be accountability for fake news, but the matter of exactly how requires discussion. Most often this information is distributed on social networks with encrypted traffic.”
    He noted that it is impossible to block only one Facebook account, because of the peculiarities of the platform’s architecture, the whole social network would have to be blocked. “Therefore, we need to discuss other means of punishment — perhaps financial ones,” Zharov added.
    In April, the State Duma passed in the first reading a bill imposing a fine of up to 50 million rubles for refusing to remove inaccurate and defamatory information in social networks. The bill also equates the social network with “organizers of information dissemination” and presumes rather serious sanctions in case of its non-fulfillment. The document imposes a number of duties on the owners of social networks, such as the creation of a representative office in the territory of the Russian Federation, the removal upon demand of inaccurate information described in the bill, the observance of relevant prohibitions and restrictions during elections or referendums, and the establishment of a program for counting certain users indicated by Roskomnadzor, and so on and so forth.
    Alexander Zharov, as we see, does not intend to offer any apologies for the clumsiness of his agency, although it is not only inevitable mistakes that can be seen in the work of Roskomnadzor, but also obvious abuses of authority and violations of Russian legislation. Let us recall how the internet ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev said that the Prosecutor General’s Office should verify the legality of Roskomnadzor’s actions. Also, an entrepreneur who was harmed by the “IP bombing” sued Roskomnadzor for 5 million rubles, although the case has been left without a motion until June 7. The human rights organization Agora announced the preparation of a number of lawsuits, and in addition RosKomSvoboda appealed to business and ordinary users with a proposal to complain about the actions of Roskomnadzor to the relevant bodies. The blocking of the messenger itself has been combated by RosKomSvoboda and Agora, the latter having filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which was registered less than two weeks ago.
    Translated from RosKomSvoboda (https://roskomsvoboda.org/39193/)

  • Earthling 3:03 pm on 28th May 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Heinrich Neuhaus, , Music teachers, Musical pedagogue, , Polish pianist, , Teacher of Sviatoslav Richter,   

    Heinrich Neuhaus 

    Heinrich Gustavovich Neuhaus (Born on April 2, 1888 in Elizavetgrad, Ukraine – Died on October 10, 1964 in Moscow, Russia) was a Ukrainian-born pianist and teacher of German and Polish descent. He taught at the Moscow Conservatory for 40 years and became one of the most loved and respected pianists and pedagogues of the 20th century.
    Heinrich’s parents were both music teachers. His father Gustav was of German descent. His mother Olga Blumenfeld was of Polish descent. She was the sister of the composer Felix Blumenfeld, a renowned pianist, composer, and teacher who taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Heinrich Neuhaus was also the cousin of the renowned Polish composer Karol Szymanowsky.
    Heinrich Neuhaus was precocious and had already become a successful concert pianist by age 17. He was also a polyglot, being fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, German, French, English, and Italian.
    In 1904, the whole family visited Berlin with Felix Blumenfeld and Karol Szymanowsky. In 1905, under Felix Blumenfeld’s advice, Neuhaus went to Berlin to study under Leopold Godowsky. After a brief period of study, he went to Italy. He remained in Italy for two years. Then he returned to Elizavetgrad upon his parent’s request. This greatly depressed him, after a period of productivity and happiness in Italy.
    Neuhaus went to the Hochschule der Musik in Berlin. He studied piano under Heinrich Bart. He also studied music theory and composition. Heinrich Bart was excessively conservative and rejected modern musicians such as Busoni, Liszt, Wagner, Mahler, and Scriabin. Neuhaus could not endure Bart’s approach, and returned to Ukraine. His parents wanted him to finish his education, so they sent him to the Vienna Academy of Music in 1909.
    In 1912, Neuhaus went to Florence, Italy and attempted suicide by cutting his wrist. He was hospitalized and recovered.
    Neuhaus finally went to St. Petersburg, took examinations, and graduated in 1915. He taught in Tbilisi, then returned to Elizavetgrad in 1917. He taught at the Kiev Conservatory from 1919 to 1922. He became very popular as a pianist. His uncle Blumenfeld was also a professor at the Kiev Conservatory. Neuhaus and Blumenfeld were both transferred to the Moscow Conservatory in 1922. Neuhaus remained there for the rest of his life.
    In Moscow, Neuhaus’s fame as both a teacher and a pianist grew. He loved to have many people attend his lessons. His pupils include some of the most highly regarded pianists of the 20th century: Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Nina Svetlanova, Alexei Lubimov, Igor Zhukov, Yakov Zak, and others.
    From 1935 to 1937, he was the director of the Moscow Conservatory. During World War 2, he was imprisoned due to suspicions that he was a German spy. He was released after eight months thanks to the intervention of friends and students.
    In 1958, he published The Art of Piano Playing, which remains very widely used and respected among piano teachers and students.
    Neuhaus died in 1964. His son Stanislav Neuhaus is a successful pianist, as well as his grandson Stanislav Bunin.
    Musical Style and Legacy
    Neuhaus strove to understand the whole and the essence of every piece he played, and he tried to instill this in his students. He tried to approach each composer, each piece, and each student according to their own unique qualities. He is remembered as one of the greatest pianist and piano teachers of the 20th century.

    Article written by me for Lunyr

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