Music for Dogs, 2021
Dmitry Shubin
A composition created and played in the Museum using authentic signal sounds, which were used by Pavlov during his experiments on conditioned reflexes on dogs in the 30s.
Academician Pavlov’s experiments were carried out in a small room with extremely thick walls, where no other sounds can penetrate. The experimenter was in a separate room and could observe the experimental dog through a special multi-layered small window. There is a remote control next to this window, through which the sounds that are heard in the chamber where the dog is located are controlled. The entire composition Music for Dogs was "played" on this remote control, which was subsequently only technically processed. As a sound row, only signals from devices that have survived to this day were used, which are controlled by Pavlov from a special remote control. Some switches on the remote control no longer work, and one can only guess about the sounds they produced, but most of them are in good working order, and it was these sounds that served as the material for the composition. The set of signals was mainly reduced to very clearly distinguishable and dissimilar sounds — mainly buzzers and bells controlled from the remote control, as well as metronomes with different musical tempos. The control panel was thus used as a kind of musical instrument with a very specific (and limited) set of sound possibilities. The volume of the signals is not adjustable and is constant, while their duration and combination with each other can be arbitrary.