Neskushnij Duet


Morning didn’t work out quite well. In despair, he watched flashes of exploding bombs. From above huge bombers looked like dung flies circling around meat. Nothing came to mind except for banal metaphors – like this last one.

He couldn’t believe he had once created this smoky, grey, full of hatred world. In a second, he turned around from the edge, and without looking back at this gloomy mightiness started running. Only when he reached depths of the garden alleys he stopped. There was music coming through green surroundings of leaves and flowers. Finally, he could breathe. There were angels sitting on the fence, two of them.

Two of them on a small stage. Both musicians have walked a long way of an Artist. Each one of them – the way of his own. Sergey Klevensky is, as you might put it, multi-instrumentalist, he can easily manage with clarinet, bagpipe, fluier, and huruse. Marian “Mario” Caldararu is percussionist who creates sound space, literary and metaphorically. Almost every and each of his instruments he made himself. Both of musicians are established Masters. Therefore, now small almost commune-like audience hall has no chance of not being transformed into common home for thoughts, ideas, and sounds.

Sound of bagpipe drawling like pine tar, and hollow whoop-like drum bits overwhelmed him, cooled him like a jar of cold clear water. No, he didn’t ruin world’s harmony, he created it. And he didn’t teach them to kill their like, but called them into existence. He is endlessly tired of their foolishness, greed, and blood lust. It’s enough, they can spend a day without him. He will have a holiday, and lay table.

Table reflects warm ocher light of handmade ceramic percussion, and flashes of metal gong above. The program is more like an ellipsoid epos; it has you immediately and carries you away. Away with intensity of sound and brightness of images. “Intro” immediately, with the first deep strikes of gong, with the first haircurling sounds of bow rending notes off the traps, rips audience out of their ordinary lives only to never let them go. Bagpipe’s archaic sound turns the whole composition into the parable about endless universe, in dark depths of which our soul wanders as Stalker in search of the golden sphere. For in this sphere you can find “gift of everyone’s free happiness”.

Gift from above (“Well, well,” He smiled) – that’s what these two truly have. Bittersweet music touched his soul. Table was already laid under the apple trees, and silence fell over the edge of universe behind his back. Down there they were trying to cotton on to a new day without him. While he just wanted a break.

Compositions follow each other with no breaks. Mixture of instruments and styles seems natural and unquestionable. Audience doesn’t have a chance to realize what’s going on, but it has a chance for catharsis. In “Arabesque” powerful sound of electronic clarinet opposes drums: chatoyant riq, squeaking cajon, and Eastern doira with its sweet yet a bit dry sound. Harmonizer and loopstation, being used in composition, condense music space up to blackness of Sweden Glogg. That’s why we long, wish, wait for such a natural and expected shift for “Shvedskaya notka” (Sweden note). Arabian daf and Sweden bagpipe rebalance universe.

Musicians use contrast a lot. Two centres – two stories, Arabian and Sweden – interact with each other, creating oval around themselves, always keeping audience inside, in this beautiful fantasy and cocreating state.

Doing nothing was a new state for him. The company at the table was strange and so varied. He called neither of them. They came on their own. The righteous men usually gained place in his garden after a difficult journey of guiltless life. They came with feet dripping with blood from the stones of their own sins and doubts. But this bright crowd of children, jesters, musicians, and doctors appeared in evergreen booths on its own, perhaps, through some special gate in eternity, and he was just happy by the fact it did. Their noisy crowd filled the table with colours, and the gardens with unusual here carnival hum.

Carnival sound palette of “Uzhin v Rio” (Dinner in Rio) is intensified by loop station. It seems Musicians are simply hanging the sounds on the nail of Universe.

Sounds, resembling Chamisso’s shadows, start living their own lives. They make faces, drag admiration, and beat our nerves with claves’ juicy sound. Klevensky and his ritzy-sweeping improvisations cut in Caldararu’s rhythmical space (shaker, cajon, samba-whistle). Variety of colours gives birth to common music space.

Meanwhile he could hear different languages here and there in the garden space. He was watching this colourful patchwork-like crowd with distracted (question of image) yet warm (due to his current inner state) feeling. For the first time in many centuries, he felt well – exactly as he felt back then, on the seventh day of creation. He was happy and satisfied then, and garden smelled of sweet Moldavian apples.

“Fluier’s Choir” starts sounding right in us. It is like “branch full of flowers, smells, and leaves” (Yu.Oleshe), and juicy apples. Two Moldavian melodies mix, adding to the sound of each other. Audience admires and takes rather naturally Marian Caldararu’s dominion over them. Sergey Klevensky’s authentic and accurate fluier improvisations (and he’s Arbat virtuoso!) prove once again that talent is beyond nationalities and races, and is understood without words. When you get that, you can finally breathe. Our musicians are experienced storytellers, with their next composition “Huruse” (Sergey Klevensky – huruse) they take us high into the sky of their imagination. Mario is creating background sound (cowbells, ocean drum), bringing in the thought that wise people are not exactly searching “solitude but mainly avoid fool-created fuss.”

No fuss and no noise at their table, just peaceful talks. Children playing with apples in the green grass, jesters playing bells on their hats, doctors making jokes on spirit’s health, and musicians…well, musicians just playing. The only thing bothered him – silence from beneath the edge, silence of the abandoned planet. This silence bored a hole in him.

Drawling sound of electric clarinet straightens up the audience, new emotional wave is on its way. Mesmerizing daf’s solo and sudden lawless bagpipe. Harmony of contrasts is a peculiar feature of this duet. They don’t want to surprise, they just live in harmony with the world. It is the secret of such a smooth transition into “Naigrysh” (Folktune), where Sergey’s whistle “talks” to Marian’s barabanka, and daf sings along with bagpipe.

He talked to no one at the table, there was no need. It was enough for him that he lives in their hearts. No bows, no candles, no incense – for them he was something natural, as air they breathe and water they drink. Exactly as he dreamt on that memorable seventh day. Well, it is also the reason they all were here, and not at the steps of cathedral, he and his fellow musicians had once been refused entry to.

They don’t let audience go, simply catching it in the sound trap of their music. Here comes the flute calling out a new music journey, this time – with the Northern mood (composition “Severnoe Nastroenie”). Ceramic percussion comes out of nowhere with catching breath passages.

Composition after composition – concert speeds up, narrative threads become one music carpet. Lightness of the flute (or maybe dexterous fingers of the artists themselves?) takes us into “Keltskaya” (Celtic song).

It seems this bitter sweetness will never end. So cool calmness of electric horns and light rhythm of ceramic percussion in “Tanets dikogo mandarina” (Wild Mandarin’s Dance) is just a chance for us to breathe out and prepare for the final chords of this virtuoso performance.

Everyone was long gone, and only these two were still playing. He listened to clarinet, and saw huge planes looking like silver flies from above. Cajon sounded like the countdown of last heartbeats of humanity. He stood up and walked back to the edge.

On the day when God decided to return to the Earth, angels were sitting on the fence. There were two of them.

Author of the publication:


Evelina Killing-Biryukova

Creative director of the eArt GROUP producing centre