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Boris Lesnoy: "Opera alibretto: The virtues and pitfalls of joint sonification"

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Saturday June 17-- 9 am Pacific Time (Public Session)

Boris Lesnoy:

Opera Alibretto: The Virtues and Pitfalls of Joint Sonification



Featuring the Phonema Choir, this workshop will be conducted in the form of an online recording session. We will bring in a posthumanistic modus operandi and approach the community choir as human synthesizer. A peer-to-peer and error-welcome examination of viable perspectives for re-signification of noise and its volatile essence will be presented during the session. Participants will engage in a row of sonic etudes that question randomness in terms of resilience and decolonial agency. With a snippet of the program, that comprises a particular curriculum, a catalogue of extended vocal technics, a record archive, musical scores and sonic games, we will delve into alternative forms of communication beyond natural language, common linguistic structures, biases and hierarchies. What outcome does the emancipation from speech provide? Nevertheless, we are facing a list of questions regarding noise:

How can we frame or shape noise? What form is noise prone to take within diverse conditions? Can we distinguish the shades of noise and derive meaning from it? Can we imagine anything beyond noise and what would that metanoise perspective reveal to the emancipated observer? What discourse would help square various representations? Ultimately, how can we implement unpredictability to mitigate power structures and grapple with centralization?


These questions account for the opera alibretto as a novel music genre that tends to avoid either any textual strategies or literary narratives. Conversely, it takes advantage of global phonemic variety and general articulatory abilities of a human body as pure sound phenomena.


Phonema Choir

The Phonema Choir is an evolving association of experimental music amateurs. The Phonema Choir practice is an immersive and collaborative process shaped by egalitarian principles, cultural diversity and inclusiveness. It aspires to develop such universal creative network that is capable of expanding international dialogue and fostering the sense of global citizenship. It aims at transcending national boundaries through setting up a collaborative process based on social engagement, improvisation and attentive listening.


Photo by Evgeny Vtorov

Boris Lesnoy Boris Lesnoy is a composer and a sonic activist. He emerged from the Moscow Conservatory circles of young dissident composers and has been brewed in the pot of free improvisation practices, sonic performances and unconventional composition. Lesnoy attempts social engagement, creative exchange and ecological dissemination in terms of meaningful urban development and sustainable public dialogue.

His piece 'Daughter&dots' for a violin and two voices was premiered at the Third Practicum for Contemporary Performing Art among other works of Tristan Murail, Sofia Gubaidulina and Salvatore Sciarrino. His piece of opera alibretto was performed at the Odd Convergences exhibition by Jean-Hubert Martin in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. His multi-instrumental music project released on Tawpot label was listed in the Attic magazine's Staff Picks November & December 2022.

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