Dmitry Vlasik. GES-2 Opera

8 Apr–30 Sep 2022

Dmitriy Vlasik’s sound installation for GES-2 House of Culture has a long history. In 2015, as part of V–A–C Foundation’s GES-2 Data project, the director Vsevolod Lisovsky recorded conversations with former power station employees. The poet Andrey Rodionov then thought up a means of transforming these conversations into a poetic work, or “poetic verbatim”.

This poetic verbatim went on to serve as the basis for the libretto to GES-2 Opera. The opera follows the boiler worker, Ilya Vlasov, as he recalls his daily routine, the process of checking equipment, an accident in which a number of plant workers were killed, and explains why he and his colleagues had such difficulty letting go of the past. Dmitry Vlasik’s score, written with Alexandra Serikova, centres itself on the complex sound palette produced by the hum of the turbines of the GES-1 power plant on the Raushskaya Embankment, which once formed a joined enterprise with GES-2.

These same turbines served as the foundation for Vlasik’s new sound installation, GES-2 Opera. The hum of the turbines was put through a thorough acoustic analysis and reproduced with the help of classical instruments—cello and voice. In this way, sounds produced as by-products of the generation of electricity—a kind of slag, if you will—have come to form the basis for artistic expression.

GES-2 Opera premiered in 2019, in the constructivist building of the Moscow Energy Institute, where many of GES-2’s employees would once have studied. Today, echoes of this production, akin to acoustic spectres, will sound out in the renovated power station’s Parking.

Dmitry Vlasik (Moscow, 1981) is a composer, performer, and the author of a number of sound performances. He has written music for productions by Dmitry Volkostrelov, Marat Gatsalov, Elena Gremina, Kirill Serebrennikov, and Andrey Stadnikov. He is a soloist at the Moscow Philharmonic Society and a member of the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Image by Anya Todich