Interview with Alexandre Rodichevski, Scientist
Rodichevski: former Scientist at the Russian Academy
of Sciences in Novosibirsk, Statistics Specialist, and currently IT Manager. How
did you decide at a certain point of your life, to start composing music?
seven years of age, at the piano.
Photo Vladimir Rodichevski
All my life
I have been an avid listener of the best of pop, and later of classical music.
As a child I studied piano in a music school in the Urals. I loved music so
much that when I did not have any means to listen to it, I would create it in
my head. Then, at times in the night, I would dream about it. At a certain point
I realized that now and then I did not produce in my mind, music I had already
heard, but created it anew. Recently I started to compose, making use of a
computer and professional programs.
As of today you have composed four CDs
revolving around four distinct themes. Let’s consider them one by one. The
first is Minutes, a collection of – using
the term you gave - «musical "briefs" about everyday life which
reflect a heterogeneous conception of our own time, the rhythms and sounds to
which we are daily subjected.» The album is composed
of 24 pieces: 24 like the hours of the day, whereas 60 minutes make up an hour.
Is there a sort of ratio in this?
eight years of age, listening to a cable radio station.
are arranged in such a way as to encompass an entire day and can be interpreted
in different ways: it is the day a community lives, where a minute was taken
from every hour, or else, can stand for 24 moments in a person’s life.
The second CD
What concept of the cosmos emerges in this album?
I see the Cosmos
not only as the space encompassing all the galaxies, but as three “containers” that
lead the listener from the macro to the microcosm: the Universe, the Earth and
the living being. The titles clearly reveal that each concept has been placed
in comparison with other contrasting or complementary concepts: the Big Bang with the Big Crunch, summer
and winter, female and male, etc.
The third CD Ars mathematica is the most unique. What interior relationship is there between music
relation between mathematics and music goes back to ancient times. The Pythagoric school for example,
discovered that the tones of the musical scale were linked to the ratio between
whole numbers. More recently, this was applied to particular mathematical
instruments such as harmonic analysis. But this was not all. Mathematics, like
nature, can become the source of inspiration to musicians, supplying examples
of great beauty and offering very rich items, like the Peano
curve of or the fractals. Some mathematical transformations furthermore, like
symmetry, can be applied to musical phrases. This work aims to make the
audience think of mathematics not as an arid matter or for experts, but as a
source of beauty, where it works in synergy with the art of music.
The last CD is
called The Elements of Quietness an example of meditative music. The
album was recently used during a meeting to introduce and disseminate the reiki. What differentiates the type of
music in this CD from your other earlier works?
is free from rhythm and the need to repeat musical phrases. On listening to it
one is carried away by the modulation of the harmonies, scales, and timbre of the instruments. All the pieces of this album present sequences without repetitions borrowed
from the phenomena of nature.
four pieces in the last CD just like the elements. In Cosmologies, there is the piece entitled Five Elements. Are there four or five elements? What does this
piece hold in common with The Elements of
elements are taken up from two schools of thought. In one, there are four
material elements, soil, water, air, and fire. In the other, a fifth element is
added: essence. The piece Five Elements
refers explicitly to the material elements, inserting in the musical weft the
sounds of rolling stones, water flowing, the wind and the crackling of fire.
Instead, in the album Elements of Quietness
each piece is associated to an element: Arcadia (earth), Lotus Flowers
(water), Talking Wind (air), and Northern Lights (fire). However,
the fifth element is present: the whole album is dedicated to the essence which
constitutes the listener’s soul.
Of the four
CDs, the one which supposedly is a heterogeneous compilation is Minutes. The others have a more compact
thematic structure. Why this difference?
album is varied not only in the themes but also in the musical genres. You find
for example, pieces inspired by classical and techno music, thrash metal, blues
and hip-hop. In the succeeding CDs, I wanted to analyze some themes in depth
and concentrate on some methods in composing.
come through in this interview. Do the listeners have other aids?
me is an art of thought: through composition, I develop my philosophical
thought. My CDs are not a collection of pieces arranged in a casual order: they
represent my ideas not only for their content, but also for the order that
binds them. A clear example is Cosmologies:
it starts with a Big Bang and
ends with a Big Crunch. Ideally the concept does not die out when the
piece ends, but continues in the following piece. So, to answer your question,
I retain that it is important to offer the listener a guideline, setting the
music within a context: each CD packet contains a booklet which
illustrates the context the pieces refer to. It is precisely this which creates
a great unity between the pieces, making the album a unique musical work.
do you use in composing?
two attitudes in composing: one is traditional-spontaneous, and the other,
rational-constructive. The first elaborates the harmony and melodic curve
according to the rules of pop and classical music. The second uses the
analogical transformation of the items that are seemingly estranged from music:
numbers, geometrical forms, and colors.
scientific background have an impact on your musical compositions?
both disciplines you need creativity, and the desire to experiment and open out
to new horizons. Besides, to achieve a rational composition I use a systematic
approach along with mathematical transformations. For
example, randomization and equalization of distributions. The music
becomes data to be elaborated with IT tools, like the calculus sheets.
Furthermore, it becomes easy for me – knowing them well – to transform in music,
phenomena such as the Brownian motion.
currently working on two CDs. What are the themes?
The Elements of Quietness
is a collection of pieces I wrote in the traditional styles easy listening, modern
pop, Russian romances, with themes revolving around man and nature. In the
second I am experimenting on new analogical transformations, as I mentioned
I have many
things in mind. Let me talk about three of them. The first is to share my methods
of composition through the publication of a theoretical and practice book. The
second is to see ballets danced to my music, and some pieces of Cosmologies
and Ars mathematica
I had composed them while imagining corporal movements. The third is to write
music for theatre.