Opera-installation "Pavlov's session", 2021
Music: Dmitry Shubin
Libretto: Pavel Ignatiev
Soloists: Anton Morozov, Svetlana Arzumanova, Vadim Tarakanov.
Idea author: Pavel Ignatiev
Scenography: Pavel Ignatiev

It is believed that Pythagoras taught his students from behind a curtain, so as not to distract them from the content of his "akusmat" (Greek — "sayings"). In the 1950s French composer Pierre Scheffer coined the term "acusmatic music", in a broad sense — music, the source of which is hidden from the listener. Usually such music exists only in the form of a recording and is played using loudspeakers without the direct participation of performers. In fact, "Pavlov's Session" is an acusmatic opera installation: it is designed not for "live" performance, but for listening in a specially created space.

Contemporary opera is a complex sound writing, where the laws of the traditional genre are redefined every time by the composer’s decisions. One of such solutions in the "Pavlov's session" was the use of multichannel sound technologies. The loudspeakers located at different points in the space of the installation are designed to create a "presence effect" for the listener, complete immersion in the musical fabric. The linear time of the development of events is replaced by a multi-layered time-space in which different scenes take place simultaneously at different points. The effect of "collage" of the musical fabric is enhanced by the use of fragments of radio broadcasts of that time. The sounds of electronics, musical instruments, voices of the heroes "move" along the trajectories set by the composer, repeat, split into phonemes and syllables reproducing a kind of "noise" of the ideologized language of the Soviet era then accentuating, then leveling to the shy muttering of "akusmata" of the heroes of the opera.