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Experimental Sound Gallery Saint-Petersburg

Release date: 13.05.12
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Wooden Plants:


Ilia Belorukov (b.1987) is a saxophonist from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. He works in the direction of free improvisation, noise and electroacoustic music. He’s a member of different projects such as Wozzeck, Wooden Plants, Punktieren and others. He collaborates with musicians who work in other genres (from hardcore to academic contemporary music).
Also he is a founder of label Intonema; organizer of events and co-organizer of the Teni Zvuka festival. Ilia had played with such musicians as David Stackenäs (Sweden), Radu Malfatti (Austria), Lucio Capece (Argentina), Ignaz Schick (Germany), Darius Ciuta, Arturas Bumšteinas (Lithuania), Topias Tiheäsalo, Janne Tuomi (Finland), Edyta Fil, Rafal Mazur (Poland), Thomas Buckner, Eyal Maoz (USA), Yuriy Yaremchuk, Alla Zagaykevich (Ukraine), Vladislav Makarov, Roman Stolyar, Alexei Borisov, Vyacheslav Gayvoronskiy, Sergey Letov, Alexey Lapin (Russia) and many others.

Dmitriy Krotevich (b. 1983). Musician from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. He plays trombone and use electronic devices Tenori-On, Sony PSP, computer. He played with many bands like Ptherodaktile Voice (avant-rock, modal jazz), The Soaps (funk, jazz), Dots & Lines (free improv, free-jazz). Now he works with trio Wooden Plants (contemporary improvised music) and with duo Punktieren (abstract electronic).

Andrey Popovskiy (b. 1980) - musician from Astrakhan currently living in Saint-Petersburg. He is the art-director of Experimental Sound Gallery and the director of the Teni Zvuka festival. He writes articles about improvisation. Also he is the founder of Miro project with about 10 various programs, started from modal jazz to a musique concrete. He plays in groups such as Dots & Lines and participates in projects with Vyacheslav Guyvoronskiy, Alexey Lapin, Nikolay Rubanov...


History of the project:


"The Wooden Plants Trio started up in March 2009 with a debut album released on the Italian label Setola Di Maiale and recorded at the first rehearsal. Mainly saxophonist Ilia Belorukov was playing free improvisation music with guitarist Andrey Popovskiy. But they started to think about further evolution of music at that point. So they decided to invite Dmitriy Krotevich (trombone) and to start performing more calmly and focused on shades music; to investigate not only the instruments it’s selves but their surfaces for extraction of new sounds."

"The second album was recorded in June 2009 and released on re:konstrukt Istanbul (2008-2011). Then Wooden Plants had performed at The Shadows of The Sound - the first festival of improvised music which took place in Saint-Petersburg the following year. The next album – a compilation of different recordings with aim to silence and reductionism - was released last year on Insuborditations (CH). Specifically on that material the Trio is concentrated at their latest rehearsals, discussing what played\unplayed was and what else could be found in sounds and silence."


Why Improvised Music?


Ilia Belorukov:
"I'm interested in improvised music because it's 'alive'. This means constant changes inside this music, processes that depend on musician and on outward things such as audience, place and outer sounds. When you play improvised music you react not only on sound you make, sounds of partners but on everything else around. It's obvious that every musician plays only that he has and had prepared. But every time he builds an improvisation in a new way, choosing which element to play in actual moment. This reminds a construction kit: you can build that house using the manual. But it's a way more interesting to build something personal from the same blocks. On other side an important role in improvisation plays the sound itself and researches in this area. You find the new elements when you practice. And you start to use them while performing. Often a new sound could be born from a mistakenly taken a well known sound. These kinds of surprises – that improvisation music is all about. And they are a part of what I was named before as an 'alive' music."


Musicians and propositive sound projects in Russia:


First one is Alexei Borisov, he is most active noise musician from Moscow. Also his main project last couple of years with Olga Nosova. He is main organizer of concerts and festivals in Moscow.
Kurt Liedwart from Moscow, owner of Mikroton label

Very nice people from Petrozavodsk – duo Love Cult and their label Full of Nothing.
Pavel Mikheev from Saint-Petersburg. Links: ejectyourbrain | psychoactivity

One famous free jazz musician from Moscow is Sergey Letov
Another one great free jazz musician is the piano player Alexey Lapin from Saint-Petersburg.

One of first musicians in USSR, who started to play free improv was the cello player Vlad Makarov from Smolensk

The Jazzcore bands from Moscow: ByZero and Brom (only Russian..)

Moscow bands Usssy and their side-project Kruzr Ken. New friends from Kemerovo, Siberia and their page: Siberian Improvisation


Recommendations or communities for experimental music and venues in Russia?


Actually is very difficult to tell about russian scene of contemporary improv. Wooden Plants, Kurt Liedwart from Mikroton and Alexei Borisov plays sometimes something like that. Of course, much more free-jazz/free-improv musicians.



Our label of course: INTONEMA

Main place for experimental music in Saint-Petersburg:

Siberian website about local musicians:

Website-blog about free improv, etc:

Forum about jazz and improv:

Website/label/distro, in general about industrial/noise music:

Mikroton label and something around:

Paper magazine called "Contemporary Music" and website:

Russian sound artists:

Community of Moscow-based musicians:


For Reviews:




Ilia Belorukov, April 2012





Experimental Sound Gallery Saint-Petersburg




Ilia Belorukov, alto saxophone, objects.
Dmitriy Krotevich, soprano trombone, objects.
Andrey Popovskiy, acoustic guitar, objects.

Recorded live at Experimental Sound Gallery, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, on 19th September 2011. Recorded by Nick Soudnick. Mixed and mastered by Ilia Belorukov. Picture by Mikhail Ershov [Intonema]. Design by Aniana Heras.