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Thirst for Music

by Valery Tzytz


   In the late 70s, as a teenager, I listened to music only occasionally. At that time, there were groups such as Boney M, ABBA and the like in the disco style. In those years, in our province, it was difficult for an ordinary teenager to get any foreign records - it was almost impossible. The purchase of branded records and turntables was not even dreamed of. The boys, who were more lucky, had monophonic cassette portable tape recorders. It was on such a device that I heard, for the first time, the music of Kraftwerk, Space, Visage, Rockets, Electric Light Orchestra, Jean Michel Jarre and some other bands whose approach to music I found interesting and appealing.


   Now, by the 1980s there was a technological breakthrough in the recording of music and its creation. As Brian Eno said, “it was possible to paint music like an abstract painting.” In the early 80's, I enjoyed my older brother's recordings for the first time. He had recordings of Pink Floyd, Queen, Ultravox, Manfred Mann's Earth Band and some other rock bands. This music left me with indelible impressions and the electronic ripples of these groups have remained with me to this day. It was just a miracle. I couldn't get enough of these harmonies. At the same time, I did not understand the words in a foreign language and the vocals I simply perceived as another musical tool. Music was for me in isolation from the musicians and their instruments, on which they played. When listening to these melodies, they lived in my head, invisibly touching something in me. These musicians and their recordings became my invisible friends, ready at any time to support in joy and in grief. Music was like an essence, elusive, but real.

   Since western music was very difficult to get, almost every purchased record was listened to so much that the vinyl grooves wore out and in the end, each album always became a favorite. I got a lot of pleasure even catching bits of information from the few snippets of the music press about my favorite bands. Information hunger was like a thirst.


   After my service in the army, in the 1990s, the situation with the music in my part of the world, began to improve. It became possible to buy normal turntables and tape recorders for playing music. I have also been able to meet people who were actively pursuing musical passions.


   I think this was when I finally became a music junkie. Imagine, for almost 40 years I listened to music almost every day. Many events in life are already strongly associated with certain songs that sounded at certain moments. Sometimes it seems to me (and most likely it is) that without my favorite music I would be a completely different person. Maybe even better (just kidding)


   Sometimes I feel a lot of sadness because the ' 80s aren't coming back. To me, these years were such an amazing time. Although this may be simply my own subjective impression but the music of the 80s will always be a big influence in my life.

   Many years have passed since then. It seems that most of my peers have long lost interest in music or listen to the background radio. Now, I listen to mostly independent performers, as they are not constrained by all sorts of conditions. Also my passion for sound in recent years has received a powerful second wind in the from designing melodies on the computer myself. I didn't even dream about it six years ago. It was just a fantasy. Now I create and compose music myself. And I can listen to my own music :)


   I am my own worst critic. Apparently, this is true for most composers. No one else can hear all the nuances in his work because, after all, he worked on it for a long time, and knows all its details. Apparently, we make music more for ourselves. If someone likes it, it is a passing, motivating and pleasant bonus. The main idea that I try to use to create my music is this: melody, chaos, and machinery noise (ambient sounds). I am still trying to mix these elements in my music. I'm not original in this idea, of course.


   These are a few of my ideas about music from my own personal experience growing up in Russia. I'm happy to leave this text with Terry, my distant friend on the other side of the globe with whom I have connected through . Perhaps my thoughts will be interesting to someone else :)

Valery Tzytz, Snezhinsk, Russia,  August, 2018

Note: All photos n this page are from Valery

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