La Gol Voice Theatre. Sound Sculptures: Marcel Duchamp and John Cage

Voice as a Strategy. Evenings of Music
29 August 2018


The final Voice as a Strategy event will introduce visitors to the earliest conceptual compositions for voice including rarely performed works by Marcel Duchamp and John Cage.

John Cage once said that there was only "one way to study music: study Duchamp." La Gol’s artistic director Natalya Pshenichnikova has created a program based on two works from Duchamp’s famous Green Box. Duchamp’s experiments marked the beginning of a new era in culture and have influenced artists, composers and performers around the world.

As Pshenichnikova explains, "the first work in the program, Erratum Musical, is a composition for three voices created through chance operations. Duchamp wrote it with his two sisters Yvonne and Magdeleine in 1913. They randomly picked cards with notes out of a hat and wrote them down into a score in the order the notes appeared. Words were taken from a dictionary definition of the word ‘imprimer’—to make an imprint; mark with lines; mold on a surface; impress a seal in wax. Allowing chance to create a melody, Duchamp opened the era of sound landscapes or sound sculptures, where music itself is an imprint of chance or mistakes."

"The second work by Duchamp is also believed to have been written in 1913 and is actually called Musical Sculpture.  It is interpreted through the exploration of acoustic movement of sounds due to the movement of human bodies that produce or carry those sounds."

"The program also includes Song Books No. 67 and 91 by John Cage (36 Mesostics Re and Not Re Marcel Duchamp), as well as mesostics Re Merce Cunningham, which were composed as letter and image-based scores."


La Gol is a voice theatre group founded in April 2016 at the Golos [Voice] Laboratory of Zolotaya Maska Award Theatre Institute. Along with professional singers, performers, and theatre professionals, it consists of dancers, artists, curators, a choreographer, and a theatre director. La Gol are interested in exploring the potential of human voice and vocal practices in the era of post dramatic theatre.

With their main focus on twentieth- and twenty-first-century works such as compositions by John Cage and FLUXUS, the group also finds inspiration in other vocal traditions, including medieval, baroque, and traditional music from different cultures. La Gol works with young Russian composers, performing their work and initiating the production of new compositions. La Gol currently perform compositions by John Cage, Robert Ashley, Dmitry Kurlyandsky, Kirill Shirokov, Kirill Chernegin, Dieter Schnebel, Giacinto Scelsi, FLUXUS, Natalia Pshenichnikova, and Sergey Nevsky.

Natalia Pshenichnikova is a singer, composer and curator, participant of several exhibitions and the founder and artistic director of La Gol Voice Theatre (Moscow). Combining classical and experimental vocals, performance, composition and improvisation, she works across art forms and genres. She studied flute at the Moscow Conservatory while attending ballet and singing classes and taking part in experimental theatre groups.

Together with Alexey Lyubimov, she organized the first Alternativa-? Informal Contemporary Music Festival. She has performed over 300 compositions written for her, including by Giya Kancheli, Helmut Ering, Sergey Nevsky, Dmitry Kurlyandsky, Bernhard Lang, Klaus Lang, Nick Collins, Peter Ablinger, Adrian Mocanu and Anna Korsun. She has collaborated with conductors Teodor Currentzis, Vladimir Yurovsky, Beat Furrer, and Enno Poppe.

The program will be performed by La Gol’s Maria Bekker, Lera Borisova, Aliya Kusepgaliyeva, Aleksey Kokhanov, and Ekaterina Palagina.

how to take part

Free admission with advance registration


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