“The sound of non-existing footsteps …”
Audio installation

Anna Akhmatova Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Ludmila Belova, artist
Alexei Rakhov, composer

The audio installation “The sound of non-existing footsteps …”was created by the order of the memorial museum of Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Punin. Its authors are media-artist Ludmila Belova and electronic music composer Alexei Rakhov. The audio installation does not illustrate the exposition, but unites poetical, historical and everyday life dimensions, creating the sound portrait of Akhmatova world in the time frame.
Sounds “show” visitors to the rooms. Appealing to the visitors’ emotional memory they reconstruct the atmosphere of the communal flat that was at the same time a dwelling of the poet. In the space, created by the artists co-exist several sound layers. Children’s voices, dog barking, banging of the entrance door are intermingled with the scraps of conversations, were the voice of Akhmatova can be distinguished. The sounds of tap-water drops interlace with receding footsteps, Stalin’s speech interlaces with the conversation of Akhmatova guests, snatches from opera arias and soviet time popular songs. This all serves as a background for the Akhmatova poems clearly read aloud or hardly distinguished.
“The sound of non-existing footsteps …” is the second team-work project of the artist and composer. In 2003 Alexei Rakhov composed music for Ludmila Belova installation “Save as…”, based on the memoires and home archives of “Akhmatova neighbors”- tenants of the houses on the former territory of Fontanniy dom. Ludmila Belova is a media-artist, the prizewinner of prestigious “International Media Art Award” ZK, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2000.
Belova is one of the few contemporary Russian artists working with genuine archives and documents. Documentary based art does not have a name in Russian. In cooperation with Akhmatova museum she has created the following works: “Save as..”(co-work with gallery “D-137”), 2003; “As quiet as snow…”, 2004 “To the 60th victory anniversary… two installations” ( in cooperation with Igor Lebedev),2005.
Andrei Rakhov- composer, musician, that worked with the music bands “Strannye igry”, “Den rozhdenia”, “Manufactura”, “Avia”, “Vostok-2”, “NOM”. Rakhov is founder and member of “Deadушки” band- one of the Russia’s best electronic music band, that worked with Boris Grebentchikov and Vyacheslav Butusov.
Authors have also called their project an audio film.
“Usually, they shoot film and then add sound track. With us, it’s vice versa- at first the sound track is made, and then the film is added. We want every viewer “to shoot” his own film.”