Elena Guro (1877-1913)




Sound poem (1910) from the book The Three [TPOE], 1913, 1'12"
Voice – Galina Musijina-Nikiforova
Recording – Miguel Molina, Audio Laboratory of the UPV Opt. of Sculpture (Valencia, Spain)
Production Date – 2006

Elena Guro, pseudonym of Eleonora Genrikhovna von Notenberg (b. St. Petersburg 1877 - d. Ousikirkko, Finland 1913), was a painter, writer and poet who took part in the first demonstrations by the Russian futurist movement. She first participated with Nicolai Kulbin's group of impressionists, in 1910 breaking with him to found, along with her future husband Matyushin (musician and painter), the Union of Youth, a futurist group that in 1913 organized the opera Victory over the Sun. In her early poetry she introduced words of "lyrical nonsense" anticipating some aspects of the later zaum language of the futurists. She was also a pioneer in her approach to nature and the organic world. As Matyushin said, "she opposes organism to mechanism", attempting to recover the rhythm of nature. As she suggested: "Try to breathe the way the pines whisper in the distance, the way the wind passes disturbingly, the way the universe palpitates. Imitate the breathing of the earth and the phases of the clouds". This poem called Finland gets close to these ideas, including approaching, phonetically, the sound of conifer branches in Finland while recalling a person through those forest whispers. Her early death occurred on a summer trip to Ousikirkko (Finland) with Matyushin, Kruchenykh and Malevich in 1913, where they had gone to prepare the opera Victory over the Sun. Later, in the 1920s, Mikhail Matyushin directed the Department of Organic Culture in the INKhUK, working on the concept of organic abstraction and the elementary forces of Nature - gathering their latent energies; a continuation of the ideas begun by hi
s wife Elena Guro.


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