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What is symphonic electronic music?

The idea to write an article under such a title did not arise from idleness and not at all by chance, but as an urgent need for a precise and clear definition of the extremely important in my opinion musicological term, due to the lack of which serious problems and difficulties are already beginning to arise in modern cultural discourse communicative and semantic in nature …

SO WHAT IS THIS SUCH – “SIMPO-ELECTRONIC MUSIC”?

Since the beginning of the 90s, M. Landers has been broadcasting “Back to the Univers” on Rox radio, Station radio, Open radio, and when I was in my music. editor of TV – also on RTR quite often sounded my Opus No. 379 “Spirit Lap-I” [19], the large conceptual form of which I then defined the name “symphonic-electronic music”.

Further, when I was the head of the Khimki Center for Electronic Music and Multimedia Technologies [9] [12], in one of the Internet discussions [14] with the Director of the Theremin Center, the head of the electronic music sector of MGK im. Tchaikovsky Andrei Smirnov, wanting to clarify the meaning of the term I use, Andrei asked me:

– By the way, Aram, and what is it, “symphonic-electronic music”, “symphonic-electronic school”, if not a secret?

My answer was this:

– It’s no secret, of course, Andrei … Moreover, here everyone who “hears” these names from me for the first time from me is constantly “catching” me …))

I must admit honestly, as a matter of fact – I myself came up with this terminology, and a very long time ago – already in the 70s, because even then it seemed to me that such concepts for a serious electronic composer should seem to be “lying on the surface.” And only after years I realized that, strangely enough, in reality this turned out to be completely wrong, because at every mention of these concepts in conversation or in correspondence with friends of musicians, these strange concepts almost always aroused among my interlocutors and correspondents sincere surprise and a mountain of questions …

In short, by the term “Symphonic Electronic Music” (SEM) I mean music that is electronic in form and symphonic in content, which, of course, does not mean at all that SEM is a kind of “electronic interpretation” or “imitation” music written for BSO, since, along with the traditional academic apparatus of composer techniques and methods of shaping, the aesthetics of EMS also use the compositional principles of a completely different, “deeply-present” level and quality that are simply impossible to achieve with BSO.

In my interpretation of the concept of SEM (different from other possible, obviously profane), I rely on the artistic and semantic content of the term “symphony”, which its universally recognized author Academician Boris Vladimirovich Asafiev put into this fundamental musicological concept … (end of quote).

And just a few months after the above discussion, I demonstrated my symphonic-electronic work “Spirit Lap-I” at the Moscow International Festival of Electroacoustic Music “ALTERMEDIUM-03” [8], whose representativeness and authority can be estimated even if only by the fact that among its other participants was also one of the pioneers and luminaries of world electro-acoustic music, chairman of the Austrian composers’ union Dieter Kaufmann.

Two parts of “Spirit Lap-I”, shown in a stage-theatrical version, with the participation of performers improvising on theremin, aroused great interest and lively response from many spectators and listeners present at the Festival.

Further, 2 months after the specified Festival, in the journal “Sound Engineer” No. 6 for 2003, my program article “The Age of Electronic Music” [15] was published, in which, based on a musicological analysis of the de facto existing trends in the development of world musical art, the crisis of acoustic music for the first time was explained by me from the point of view of the timbre crisis, the definition of EMS was given and the belief was expressed that it was the development of new symphonic-electronic schools that would already determine today the main way of development of the whole music Kalnoy culture in general.

The thoughts expressed in the article “The Age of Electronic Music” seemed so bold, unusual and unexpected to the music community that immediately caused a flurry of heated polemic discussions and heated musicological debates both at various music forums [10] and on the pages of professional magazines.

In particular, in the next issue of the journal “Sound Engineer” No. 7/2003, he sharply criticized the theses of my article in his counter-article “Who Will Protect Music?” [16] Anatoly Veitsenfeld, a conservative editor-in-chief of this magazine, and a little later, the famous Ukrainian composer and musicologist Andrei Karnak joined this discussion with his rather conformist article “Music of a Different Kind” [17].

Unfortunately, my valiant opponents did not give me all this criticism addressed to me on the pages of the Sound Engineer magazine.

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