Vasilij Kamenskij (1884 -1961)

  1. Vasilij Kamenskij - How I Live (1959)
    From Russian Futurists from the GLM Collection (1920-1959)

  2. L'Usignolo (1916) (2:25)
    Performed by Valerij Voskobojnikov
    Recorded February 1977 in Milan
    from the LP Futura Poesia Sonora (Cramps Records, Milan)

Poem from the album 1918, Tiflis 1917, 0'30". MP3
Voice – Ernest Peshkov
Recording – Miguel Molina, Audio Laboratory of the UPV Dpt, of Sculpture (Valencia, Spain)
Production Date – 2004

Vasily Kamensky real name Vasily Vasilevich Kamenski (b. Perm 1884 - d. Moscow 1961) was an aviator and cubo-futurist poet, crucial to the development of his invention the "ferro-concrete" poem, a unique contribution to Visual Literature: a poem-image in which the position of the words on the page represents the verbal structure, and the meaning. The poem included here belongs to a factitious album of 12 lithographies and collages "1918" by Alexei Kruchenykh, Kiril Zdanevich and Vasily Kamensky. This poem is devoted to the letter "K", carrying through with it a play of sounds using Russian words containing this letter such as: Dagger (Klinok), Chisel (Kirka), Cuckoo (Kukushki)..., and also the poet Kamensky's last name.

K (KlinoK)

KirKa Kolka
Kolet Kam(K)en
taK KukushKi
KriK Ku-Ku
KovKa galKa
KovKa palKa
Ko KamensKy

[transcription by Karina Vagradova)

Vasily Kamensky, real name Vasily Vasilevich Kamenski (b. Perm 1884 - d. Moscow 1961) was an aviator and cubo-futurist poet and part of the Gileja group. He participated in the "First Futurist Tour" between 1913-14. As a poet he invented the "ferro-concrete" (or reinforced concrete) poem, uniting sonicity and visuality. His has also been recognised for his contribution to the genre of biography, which he mixed with autobiography to create a relationship between historic and personal events, viz his book His - My Biography of the Great Futurist. Brigitte Obermayr used this biography-autobiography as the basis for a discussion "between the phenomenological approach on the one hand and that of the futuristic literatura facta (literature of fact) on the other". The work included here is an example of the ambiguous, heterodox nature of autobiography, and is read by Kamensky in a radiophonic recording from 1959.

Vasilij Kamenskij (1884 -1961) was one of the first futurist poets. He was fascinated by modernolarty (he dedicated himself with passion to the futurist art of flying) but also pervaded with anti- urbanization feelings, which, in the context of the group, brought him closer to Chlebnikov. In Kamenskij the attraction of the word as such started in visual terms: thus, in his "Zelezobetonnye poemy "(poems of reinforced concrete) "the visual aspects eliminate virtually all the others, and it is almost impossible to read these poems. aloud" (Markov). But Kamenskij. at the same time also concerned himself with phonic instrumentation, in particular with the possibilities offered by onomatopoetic procedures (which nonetheless led to verbopoietic solutions, but of a very particular nature). Here a melodic line came increasingly to prevail, which, as in the case of "Nightingale" (1916) long exerpts of which are here recited, led to a sort of recovery of the sound of the Russian earth: a form of rustic Eseninism with futurist instrumentation.

In a lecture in that year, at Perm', Kamenskij affirmed that: "The poetry of Modernity... has divided, stands on opposite banks. The poets on one bank use the word only as a means... The poets on the other bank, the left bank, have put forward the slogan: down with the word as a means, long live the self-spun, self-coloured word. If from one bank, the right bank, one hears only songs, from the other, the left bank, songs deafened by music. By the music of the self-spinning, self-colouring, self- significativity of the words. Here each word answers for itself… A link between words is not obligitory, because the chords of music speak for themselves". And in the poem, "Nightingale" (which is concerned with themes and motifs elaborated previously e.g. in the poems "Cjurlju-zurl" (1910) and 'Ya" (1914), one experiences the miracle of a nightingale's trill that speaks in an intelligible way: they are the finest fruits of that refined "zonglërstvo (jugglerism) which was by way of being Kamenskijj's trademark.

Vasilij Vasilevic Kamenskij (1884-1961), futurist poet, was one of the first Russian aviators. Author of a number of small volumes of memories of great interest from the point of view of the history of early Russian futurism, the most curious of which is perhaps the anarchical "Ego-moja biografoa velikogo fulurista" (Ego-my biography of the great futurist, Moscow, 1918). As a visual poet he created a number of poems of refined verbal architecture, with the title "Poems of reinforced concrete."

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