«The Diary 2019 - 2023» is a collection of memories and impressions from the last 4 years.
It consists of art, music, AI-replicated memories, generative impressions, photo documentation, and true stories.
Vladivostok is a magical city. Especially its nature. The city is located on three islands connected by massive bridges. The most unique thing about Vladivostok is the season of fog. It started in the early spring and carry's on for 4 months. During this time you can see every type of fog there is. They are massive, soothing, beautiful, and constantly moving. The feeling of fog moving rapidly toward you is something I never experienced before or after. It is a feeling of awe, and peace I try to carry with me.
When I was a child my favorite cartoon was Aladdin. Looking back, I am surprised at how dark and grim this show is. There is a palace where everything is beautiful. But people live in slums and darkness and evil are everywhere. Vladivostok somehow reminded me of this. And life in Russia in general. I never felt safe there. Like the people of Agrabah, I was trained to expect the worst.
This track is dedicated to going back home. To the apartment, that previusly was my grandpa and my grandma. They are both gone now. My mom and I grew up in. The feeling of safety. The birthplace. Family books & vinyl and art collections. Cozy strolls by nearby lakes. Friends. Dog.
Will I see ever come back? Or I will find a home elsewhere? Time will tell.
In this composition, I used samples of an orcas wales recorded in an oceanarium in Vladivostok. These recordings were given to me by a scientist who later died in Saint Petersburg under mysterious circumstances. He was smart, young, and eccentric and worked on developing a cure for cancer. He liked to dance and was kind.
This composition is dedicated to him.
This was the day of protests against Alexey Navalny's imprisonment. He just gets back to Russia and gets arrested immediately. At the time I was researching the psychology of evil and totalitarianism. I started to see patterns. The trend was obvious and fucked up. I felt my responsibility to make everything I could to stop it.
It was a very cold and sunny Saturdaysaturday day in Vladivostok. When I came to the square I saw from afar, a huge crowd of people walking down the road. People were cheering and elated to get together. Students, elderly people, and all in between were walking and having a conversation. I walked with them, curious.
Suddenly a Police slice the crown in half with paddy wagons. A huge amount of people in black armor get out and form a few lines. They stand in silence with a hand on the shoulder wall. The tension was in the air. The crowd seem hopeful they cheered "You are with us!".
After ten or fifteen minutes, out of thin air, clubs get in the air and police ran into the crowd. I was just one step away from the last cop in line when it started. I was lucky. But many weren't. I used sound samples from this event in this composition, as well as video footage from this day. I stopped filming just before the violence started.
On November 18 of 2020, Vladivostok was hit by a Blizzard. I was studying that day. I had the plan to record a video podcast with my tutor at the time, Dmitry Morozov (vtol). The studio was set up and people were waiting for us. The producer called and said there is no electricity, and we can't make it today. So I decided to go home. The weather was brutal. The road that usually takes me 10 minutes takes something that felt like an eternity. I was constantly falling. The wind blows me off on a rapidly growing layer of ice. When I finally get home I was wet, cold, and bruised. My heart pumped like crazy. My body was full of adrenaline.
The next morning I woke up from crackling noises. I open up the shades and I saw massive branches fall from the trees one by one. The weight on the branches was too heavy. Forest lost almost every branch and many trees. Every piece of grass becomes an ice obelisk. Infrastructure took a big hit too. Part of the city lost electricity and hot water for a week. The bridge that was connecting my iland to the mainland was broken too. I took these two isolated weeks to wander around and explore what happened. As terrifying as the experience was, as beautiful and surreal as it looks after it was over.
I grew up in Kaliningrad, ex Konigsberg. It was a German curatorial city near the sea, which was taken by the Russians after WW2. It is a city where many dimensions collide. Past and present, German and Russia, old and new clash and you can see it everywhere. Old European-style architecture is close to the Soviet-style Xruschevkas and with modern malls and cafes. It is a city of contrast but a very cozy one. One of the best cities for living in Russia.
As in every resort city people are slow. They are not in a rush. They like to enjoy themselves and nature. They are very hedonistic. And to relax with them is such a treat. But this way of living has its side effects, it is hard to do anything.
Love / War
Two weeks before the war in Ukraine started I met a girl. And fall in love. We started dating. 22 February, she called me in tears. She told me the news. She was afraid and asked me if she should leave the county because she was an ex-activist and very politically active. I said she should. I wasn't sure about anything at this point but recommending it was hard because I didn’t have the resources at the time to follow her. She left, and our relationship converted into a long-distance one for almost 6 months.
Later I came to Tbilisi, the place she went to after mobilization started. And we broke up in the first week of my stay there. It was unexpected. And make it all so much harder. But It was the right decision for both of us. I am grateful because it started a new chapter of my life.
Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.
Ilyas Salayev — clarinet, guitar, guidance;
Igor Frolov — BlockChain and NFT advising;
Katerina Kalashnikova — visuals for a live show;
Mitya — for support;
Daria Goffman & Alexandra Qstavinova — photos;
Danil Akimov — album presentation at Sound Around;
Kpol — ai consulting;
Alexander Vasin — design guidance;