Nowadays, art has amazing possibilities and opportunities to create without any limits. The boundaries disappear, I am referring to the limits that yesterday defined with sacredness the genres and the forms of artistic expression. It is wonderfully frightening to today’s artist, the creators of this historical period. Art as well as Humanity is in the period when innovation from everywhere needs not only the new forms to be understandable. In this historical stage we take part in the birth of a new language. And we think in this interview we discovered in one country , in one far away country where people live who hear differently, see differently and do things a little differently. ..And that makes the people of that country create wonderful and unique things. If it weren’t true it could be an incredible story. But it’s true.
TechVangArt: I have to admit something. I discovered something new this year, and it’s not just about Coronavirus. I’ve met you for the first time in 2014 or 2015. I remember that you work on your Iov Opera. But this all years, I know you as Elias Spricht. And now I discover that you are also Illia Razumeiko.
So please tell me Who is Elias Spricht and who is Illia Razumeiko?
Illia Razumeiko: I used Elias Spricht for my independent performances, that I do with instrumental music, with electronic music and, let’s say ‘’pure music’’. And for what I do in Ukraine, with composer Roman Grygoriv artistic group Nova Opera, as working in new music theater and opera, I am Illia Razumeiko.and in all opera posters, music theatre, projects I am Illia Razumeiko. This is my ukrainian name.
TechVangArt: I think you are among the few composers who created music for many operas like Iov, Gaz, Babilon, Aerofonia in tandem with the composer Roman Grygoriv. In General, we as creator are very egotistical with our creation. For me, like a theater director it is very hard to involve someone to conceptualize the idea. The creator tries to make the best Mise-en-scène, that glorious and forte moment that give you Applause and Bis that success which is hard to share 🙂
Illia Razumeiko: It is a really special case, because we are both composers. Special composers are very egoistic persons. They are very individualistic of course.
Roman Grygoriv: There is a special story about us, we are very good friends; we have met in Kiev Academy of Music, we were in the same class from 2007-2012. And during our study, we realized some projects together. We have organized the festival, in west of Ukraine, called Porto Franko. We also wrote music together, such as cinematic projects, etc.
Illia Razumeiko: After 2015, we started working together in Nova Opera and somehow, we found a way to collaborate, creating music and performances together and it was a very productive time, creating in the last 5 years, 8 Music Theatrical Performances and now we are working on the 9th.
It is a special process, because we both have our individual material to bring to our “labor”.
In the process of us working together, we also strongly criticized one another and our materials.
Roman Grygoriv: This is a very important point, I think, because, from the individual point of view, one cannot see his own material and be his own critique.
Illia Razumeiko: You always love your own music, like a baby. You cannot kill it or throw it away. And when there are two composers, the selective process, is stronger, such as in our case.
TechVangArt: In Opera in which you both work, sometimes I recognize your composition sometimes I am absolutely lost. How it happened that both of you are composers, and how you decide together – who does, compose what? (are we talking about different genres?)
Illia Razumeiko: Sometimes, we both do. Roman has a rock background and he used to play in a rock band. And because of this, sometimes, in the rock part of the performance he can lead. In each material, we are mixing our both experiences and sometimes, our materials mix together, or I make the orchestration part or some structural changes in Roman’s material.
Roman Grygoriv: There is always a mixture. It is very difficult to say to whom belongs this or that part of the Opera.
TechVangArt: Besides the mix of visual and auditory forms, it is interesting to note that in working on some operas you have directors, libretto playwrights, choreograph that represents different art schools’ style. For example, in Gaz Opera (anti-utopia Opera) you work With Virlana Tkacz like a director and Simon Mayer like a choreographer. Each Art school of course has some influence on the artist’s technique. How do you work on the show, because Virlana Tkacz was in the USA, Simon Mayer in Austria? How do you manage this type of collaboration?
Illia Razumeiko: The idea of the opera comes from the stage director, Virlana Tkacz. She is an American stage director, with Ukrainian parents but she was born in New York and she was working for a long time in LA MAMA Experimental Theater, in Manhattan. Since 1990, she worked a lot with Ukrainian artists and then she came to us with the idea of creating Gas Opera. A sort of reconstruction of a type of expressionist piece, as Avant-garde Theater for the 20. It was an impulse and we as well had a vision to destroy a piano in the performance, so it was a very strong performance with impulse.
Roman Grygoriv: Virlana suggested we reconstruct one part of Kurbas GAZ production—the explosion. This was a legendary production from 1923 with an avant-garde musical accompaniment based on the work of German author Georg Kaiser and put on at the Berezil Theatre in Lviv. Continuing, it was a very long process, with Virlana, we found the libretto, for which we created a score. In Gaz Opera, the score is relatively a classical one, without much improvisation and a more fixed structure. The music that we wrote and the libretto, we worked on together with Virlana and she wrote also textual parts for us.
Illia Razumeiko: … in our Nova Opera we need a different type of expressivity so, we invite Simon Mayer from Austria to be part of our creative team. In this new vision we need scenic movement, body expression that is not so easy to find when you work with a vocalist, in particular the classical vocalist. Because Bel Canto school concentrates in the majority of cases just on the voice, so we decided to work not just with a stage director, but also with a choreographer, for this performance.
TechVangArt; Gas Opera for me in addition to a musical structure, has several powerful mechanisms of visual expression. The piano to which various pipes are attached. In this opera you use pipes, shapes, spirals and a lot of cold metal. Due to the iron elements and forms, did you want to get a different Acoustics? How does the sound perception change in Opera Gaz?
Illia Razumeiko: The metallic structure, of course it has influence on the acoustic part and we also use a lot of electronics. Sometimes, we use live electronics. All metallic part of piano has this type of acoustic. Sometimes we use live electronics, that we created together with unique ukrainian Artists – Georgyi Potopalskyi
TechVangArt: I love the concept of Re-Create something, that moment in the Opera when people destroy the piano… I understand that the piano plays multiple roles, it’s not just a musical instrument in Gaz Opera… but how is it for you to see and of course to do that?
Illia Razumeiko: It is a special feeling for me, because I play that piano the whole performance and moreover, for every performance I choose the piano I am going to perform at. We are going to buy a used piano, prepare it and it is an instrument that has a relationship with my cultural background, as a pianist, especially.
TechVangArt: and the first image that comes in your hand when you do that for the 1st time?
Illia Razumeiko: It is like you must kill your horse. The night before performance, I always go with the piano, to be with it a little bit, to say goodbye. Every instrument, of course, has something alive.
TechVangArt: How many pianos did you destroy?
Illia Razumeiko: In one year, we have destroyed 6 pianos; 2 in Ukraine, 1 in Vienna and 3 in New York.
TechVangArt: How complicated do you think it is for a classically trained artist to be part of your concept?
Illia Razumeiko: This is a big problem. Classical vocalists are a hard fit for our experimental projects. For example, in our new opera, we worked with folk material and we have a very mixed cast; dancers, actors, singers.
Roman Grygoriv: The classical education creates rigid borders for performance. When we are making our cast, is a challenge to find people, who can sing, move and dance and be on stage and act at the same time. Everywhere it has been challenging to find these types of new actors.
Techvang Art: and our story about these visionaries will continue …. with… their new plan… about… New project – CHORNOBYLDORF and story about how art project can receive accusation of criminal case. So stayed tuned will be coming soon
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