Musical Offering: Soviet Composers Perform Their Works on the ANS Synthesizer


Available on CD for the first time, Soviet composers perform their works on the legendary ANS synthesizer. Recorded in 1971, Musical Offering is six tracks (42 mins) of experiments on the unique machine by: Eduard Artemiev (two tracks), Oleg Buloshkin, Sofia Gubaidulina, Edison Denisov, and Alfred Schnittke. Musical Offering demonstrates a "musical" machine unlike any other and has long fascinated cutting-edge, modern electronic composers, notably Coil and The Anti Group Communications (TAGC)/Clock DVA, that have both released recordings utilizing the ANS. Try to imagine a score sounding by itself without a conductor; an orchestra without musical instruments. This magic is possible by using the musical ANS synthesizer. Created by Soviet scientist Evgeny Murzin over the course of 20 years, ANS is an instrument with which a composer can not only create but also draw their music without notes. You can see the twinkling of different lamps, the rotation of grooved glass discs... The drawings on the glass are "sounding notes". To listen to the drawn picture, press the button and a wonderful transformation will begin. Inside the ANS are five rotating glass discs with 144 tones printed (by hand) on each one. Light is projected through the discs and onto photovoltaic cellbank which converts the light into electricity and sends signals to the ANS's amplifiers and bandpass filters. The ANS can generate 720 tones this way and, unlike a human musician, play them all at the same time. Murzin dedicated his photoelectronic apparatus to Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, hence the name ANS. Scriabin, the creator of the "Poem of Ecstasy", and a famous explorer of synesthesia, used in his works a highly chromatic, new type of harmonic style designed to express his beliefs, views and wishes. These tracks have only ever been available on an LP pressed by the state-run Soviet Union label Melodiya over 30 years ago. Soviet music lovers will already know recordings made on ANS from Tarkovsky's films Solaris, The Mirror, and Stalker, Konchalovsky's film Siberiade, and others. Digipak with the new artwork by Abby Helasdottir, complimenting the ANS process perfectly. Officially licensed from Russian state label, Melodiya.