Author: Evgeny Beresnev & Anna Ceeh
Published:
REPORT. Magazine for Arts and Civil Society in Eastern- and Central Europe, December 2005

Evgeny Beresnev lives and works in Vladivostok (Russia) and has been active as an electronic musician and collector of electronic music instruments since 1994. He has appeared under the stage name Park Modern since 1999. In 2005 he performed for the first time in the West (in Vienna). His first double CD “Mechanical Interior” (Laton 036) will appear shortly under the Laton label.

Anna Ceeh was born in St. Petersburg in 1974 and is studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She works as a video artist and photographer, festival organiser and music label manager (Laton records).

 

Laton/ Park Modern
Laton/ Anna Ceeh

“UFO over Vladivostok”

On the music scene in far-off Asian Russia

On the music scene in far-off Asian Russia, an email impression between artist Anna Ceeh, who lives in Vienna, and musician Evgeny Beresnev in which the latter tells about his life as an artist on the fringe of Russia, Vladivostok.

Although electronic musician Evgeny Beresnev, aka “Park Modern”, is a Russian, just like St. Petersburg-born Anna Ceeh, the two of them live in very different Russias. Beresnev comes from the city of Vladivostok (which means in Russian something like “Lord of the East”). This city on the eastern edge of this enormous country is only 100 kilometres from the border with China and has a population of 700,000. It takes five days to travel by train from Vladivostock on the Japan Sea to Moscow. If Beresnev wants to apply for a visa for the Schengen EU countries, to attend something such as the recent Radius Festival in Vienna (Laton, on 24. 11. 2005 in the MAK flak-towers) he has to travel especially to Moscow, hoping that he will actually be granted one. Even by plane he needs eight hours for this trip (almost as long as the flight from Vienna to New York). We present below a small excerpt from the email correspondence between artist and festival organiser Anna Ceeh, who lives in Vienna, and musician Evgeny Beresnev in which the latter tells about his life as an artist on the fringe of Russia.

Vladivostok, 1. 9. 2005
Dear Anna,

You asked me in your last email which instruments I play. My equipment consists of a small Barebone computer with a monitor, a keyboard and a Korg Kaoss Pad 2. I can quickly explain the way I perform: I almost always play alone and although from time to time I would like to play everything live, I cannot really do this. On this account I use audio traces that is to say I work with a keyboard that I programme with different sounds. In the far east of Russia the electronic music scene is in a poor state. I have been involved in organising all of the festivals that have taken place so far. To date there have been only four. It is very difficult to get something going in the electronic music scene in Vladivostok, but there are faint signs of hope.
Vladivostok, 3. 9. 2005

Vladivostok, 3. 9. 2005
Hallo Anna!

Thanks for your mail. I want to put this carefully: we all have different ideas about how to organise and hold a music festival. Essentially, our festivals are a joke. As an artist you have to worry for hours about finding a table for your performance and then you end up unpacking your music instruments on a beer barrel or a cardboard box. At the same time you have to fight until the last moment to be able to connect your cable, and after the festival it turns out that no accommodation for the artists has been organized.
At the so-called “Festivals” (which are mostly rock festivals) the organisers do everything possible to reduce the volume and to choke off the performance towards the end. At one festival there was no room on the stage for me so I fought for a space at the side, behind the monitors on a broken down cardboard box and beside the fog machine (which they turned on at full power during my gig). And so my performance (which was cut in length, by the way), with restricted visibility and inhaling fog all the time, lasted a grand total of six minutes.

Wladiwostok, 9. 9. 2005
Dear Anna,

Bad news. The airplane ticket from Vladivostok to Moscow and back costs 30.000 roubles, that's almost 850 euro.

Vladivostok, 10. 9. 2005
Good day, Anna,

No, my music has never been published. Here in the Far East there isn't a single label and the people in St. Petersburg and Moscow don't even touch projects like mine, because it is practically impossible to organize concerts of my music in Central Russia. But on the other hand my music is in great demand on the Internet. For the last four years between three and 17 GB of my music has been downloaded everymonth.

Vladivostok, 10. 9. 2005
Hi!

As far as interesting films are concerned there are also problems here. There are no people here who work with video art. This part of the Far East is absolutely cut off from the rest of the world. Art is dead here. And as far as "music apparatus" is concerned the most you can buy is a guitar. Everything has to be ordered from Moscow. For some time now I have been working with video cutting and I could actually also record something myself, but I can't imagine what.

Vladivostok, 20. 9. 2005
Hi Anna,

I wanted to touch base again. Here there's always something to keep you amused. Vladivostok is at the centre of things, although of course the press as usual is keeping things hushed up. Yesterday a UFO appeared over Vladivostok and half the city saw the thing. Whereupon "our lot" sent up the SU 27 jets and started to fire at it; the entire sky was full of explosions and the UFO quickly vanished from the scene. Today it was over the city again. Obviously during the whole of September they are very active in this area, especially in Vladivostok.

Vladivostok, 31. 10. 2005

It seems that there is a “Park Modern“ fan club in Moscow. They want to raise money to bring me there. The fan club is made up of 15 to 20 year olds. The positive thing is that I have somewhere to stay in Moscow.



(Translated from Russian by Anna Ceeh)