Ivan Ignatiev and The Ego-Futurists

  1. The First Spring Concert Of Universal Futurism

Musical excerpt, 1912, 45"
Composed By – Miguel Molina
Pipe, Bells [Aeolian], Ocarina – Gema Hoyas Frontera
Postproduction – Leopoldo Amigo
Production Date – 2006

The Ego-Futurists organized "banquets & soirees", combining sophisticated products (such as "Crème-de-Violettes" liqueur) with refined poetry recitals ("poesas"). It was their way of protesting against the intolerant petit-bourgeois public who rejected the excesses of the Italian Futurists, while getting excited listening to the works of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky or Saint-Saens. For May 1912, through the Petersburg Herald, they programmed a "poeso-concert" announced as The First Spring Concert of Universal Futurism which was to be performed at midnight in the suburbs of St. Petersburg in the park next to Paul the First's Hunting Palace. This event included, alongside the recital of poems, "Pavilions of Seclusion, of Ego-books, of Milk and Black Bread", a "Chalet of Cupid" and an exquisite buffet of "Wines from the Gardens of Prince Yusupov", "Creme-de-Violettes" liqueur, "Gatachino Pink Trout", "Fleur d'Orange Tea"... The park was to be decorated with "lilac illumination" and there were to be "aeolian bells, invisible ocarinas and pipes" (partly included in this recording). It was from these elements that this recording was made since these were the effects that would supposedly have been heard had the event taken place - because in the end the "poeso-concert" was cancelled due to the bad weather in May 1912, and because of disagreements with the management of the Petersburg Herald who finally decided to replace the event with a publication instead. The event was organized by the ego- futurist Ivan Vasilyevich Ignatiev (1892-1914) and was to include Igor Severyanin, I.V. Ignatyev himself, Konstantin Olimpov and Ivan Lukash. After the exclusion of Severyanin, Ignatiev - the new leader of the ego-futurists - had created an Intuitive Association in whose Charter he claimed that, among other things, "God is nature. Nature is Hypothesis. The Egoist is an Intuitive. An Intuitive is a Medium". Thus we understand why this futurist concert was organized for the start of spring: Ignatiev said that the Russian bisyllabic word "Vesna" [Spring] contained the essential and spatial meaning of the arrival of spring, with the phonetic of the letter "s" ("an impression of sunniness") and the "a" ("joy of attaining the long awaited"). With such examples Ignatyev defended various senses in poetry: colour, sound, taste, touch, weight and spatiality, thus "poeso-concert" evenings with food, drink, sounds, colour and poems were another way of carrying forward a Universal Futurism experience, and of bringing together all the sensations at the height of spring. But those experiences were not to last long . Ignatiev committed suicide in 1914, two days after his wedding. From that moment the Ego-Futurist group collapsed.

Russian Futurists from the GLM Collection (1920-1959)
Sound Experiments in The Russian Avant-Garde (1908-1942)