Album of the Week: Valentina Goncharova | Ocean – Symphony for Electric Violin and other instruments in 10+ parts


Valentina Goncharova’s Ocean – Symphony for Electric Violin and other instruments in 10+ parts, recently reissued by Estonia’s Hidden Harmony Recordings, is a singular and monumental work and ranks among my top finds of all time.

The music on Ocean was composed and performed by Goncharova in her apartment in Tallinn, Estonia in 1988 with the help of her husband and his home-brew electronics. This is monumental music, a stunning find and reissue/remaster from the original 6.3 mm analog tapes. I am reminded, most of all, of Hilma af Klint because both artists, Hilma in paint and Goncherova in sound, produce other-worldly art that seems touched by the mystical in a profound and convincing manner. You haven’t heard (or felt) anything like Ocean and that is part of its deep, deep beauty.

From the liner notes:

Ocean is the source of all forms that can receive their life within time and space. Here it is. It has everything: beautiful and terrible, good and evil, self-sacrifice and betrayal. Boundless love and inspired creativity. But contact does not happen immediately. The memory of a bygone civilization is still fresh, and of the dearest things left with it.

My double LP is on order.