Vladimir Rannev. Tuning

8 Apr–30 Sep 2022

Vladimir Rannev’sTuning is composed of 115 final notes taken from 115 musical works of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Rannev’s Tuning is founded on a paradox. We are taught to value musical compositions of the Romantic era, which stretches from Mozart to Maler, for their inimitability and the uniqueness of their artistic ideas. Yet a common thread runs through all these compositions—their final notes. And although one would hardly argue final notes to lack signs of authorial will, fantasy, or inspiration, we nevertheless tend to expect one and the same thing from them: a major or minor chord in a limited number of dynamics, registers, and timbres. This is how mechanisms of collective memory function, endowing all of us with a symbolic language of perception, the ability to distinguish between sense and nonsense.

One way of understanding the history of music might be to regard it as a gradual tuning of the collective auditory experience. Relatedly, the history of humanity can be understood as a gradual attunement of people to one another as well as to that imperceptible thing which, as Egor Letov sang, “is not to be heard by ears, not to be understood by the mind.” In the words of Vladimir Rannev, “the final note is found on the border of the attainable, after which there is only silence.”

Image by Anya Todich

Vladimir Rannev (Moscow, 1970) is a composer. He graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory and the Cologne University of Music. Rannev won the Sergey Kuryokhin Award in 2013 (for his 2012 opera, Two Acts), the Casta Diva Russian Opera Award in 2017, and a Golden Mask National Theatre Award in 2019 (his 2017 opera Prose won him the award for Best Composer). In 2019, Rannev took part in the DK Zattere project with his sound installation, Kitezh (V–A–C Zattere, Venice). In collaboration with Marina Alekseeva, Rannev is the author the installations In Chocolate (2019), Ready to Repeat (2019), and The Whole Shebang (2020).

Audio engineer: Andrey Titov-Vrublevsky