Monday, 18 July 2016

Boris Murashkin - Bio-Energetic Music (composed 1980s, rel. 1991)

A fascinating slab of Russian electroacoustic/choral/prog/krautesque weirdness, this CD should probably by rights be called "This Is Us, O Lord!" after the work that takes up 44 of its 53 minutes; "Bio-energetic Music" is really a genre descriptor, of the composer's own invention.  But anyway, some background (with many, many thanks to Google Translate):

Boris Murashkin was born in Siberia in 1949, and from 1980 worked as a music editor, sound engineer and composer in a film production studio called Novosibirsk Telefilm.  During the 80s he developed what he called "Bio-energetic music", which does sound like some sort of wooly new-age therapeutic proposition, and by all accounts that's what he ended up devoting himself to from about 1993 onwards - there's a couple of 1995 releases out there that don't bode well from their track titles and liner notes - but before that there was this eerie masterpiece.

This Is Us, O Lord! (I also found "It's Us, O Lord!" as an alternate translation, which makes a bit more sense) appears to have been conceived as a film soundtrack. The film, entitled The Transfiguration, is credited (I think) in the CD notes to a director named Yuri Malashkin, and was a 1988 documentary marking the millenial anniversary of The Baptism Of Rus', an event that led to the foundation of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Short of learning Russian and a ton of Cyrillic unicode, I haven't been able find a trace of either film or director online.  The music, however, is more than interesting enough in its own right.

The main sonic backdrop for the work sounds like a cross between the desolate mid-section of Pink Floyd's Echoes and a somewhat less ominous version of Can's Aumgn.  After about ten minutes of this, the first recurring choral fragment is introduced.  Gradually, more incantatory liturgical voices are introduced, along with twanging zither and synth sequences, all echoing around in the ether.  The introduction of an organ and some flutes bring to mind Tangerine Dream's Alpha Centauri, with a hint of Saucerful-era Floyd.  Just after the halfway point there's also a crying baby in the mix, which will come back to haunt us in the final minute, and some bird sounds (assuming the latter are real and not synthesised). 

The second track on the disc, Kama Sutra, sounds at first like a continuation of the main piece, picking up the same flute sounds that have just died away, then the combination of Indian instruments with some electronic burbling make this epilogue sound as if pre-Hosianna Popol Vuh had discovered the sitar early.  All in all, a truly bizarre listening experience not to be missed.

"Это мы, Господи!.."

9 comments:

  1. Wow, this is fascinating! Thanks for the find.

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  2. this is really great, my dad own this on CD!! thank you

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  3. please can you check it > the link does't work. thanks!

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    1. looks like zippyshare might be temporarily down? I'll check it again in a few hours and provide an alt link if necessary. thanks for alerting

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  4. ***original zshare link seems to have got corrupted - have reupped and checked that the link works.***

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  5. Always on the look-out for unknown electronic/electroacoustic music. This looks interesting. Many thanks.

    -Brian

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  6. Always a source of wonder why some people are so affraid of anything spiritual and why "new age" - for some - seems to a be a downright 'dirty word'. For anyone who might be seriously and unprejudiced interested in Murashkin's work I can recommend this link (and the "Points Of Light" album) http://www.world-of-cosmitec.com/boris-mourashkin.html

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  7. Can I buy a copy of this music " this is us oh lord". Can I get a digital copy?? I have Boris' other music. This would make it complete.
    Cathy

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    1. Digital copy is still available here, this is just a blog that links to free downloads of the albums. Click on the Russian text under the last paragraph.

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