Amongst the various acoustic settings explored was a scupltural belvedere, entitled ‘Arch’, designed by the Russian architect Bernaskoni. Constructed from stacked timber planks, this perforated viewing platform provided an opportunity to experiment with the acoustics of another informal performance setting. Freya wrote a simple contrapuntal piece inspired by her time at Nikola Lenivets which we then rehearsed with a number of other volunteers from the unit and eventually performed inside the structure for our Russian hosts and peers. We saw the Arch piece as another example of how performance can be used as research towards the development of our project.
In November 2014, we spent a week in a small Russian village called Kvizzhi, part of Nikola-Lenivets art park. Working alongside a group of students from the Moscow School of Architecture, the Free Unit took part in a workshop focussed on the refurbishment of a former Soviet-era shop. We took this opportunity to test Freya’s initial sketches for Permutations in a range of different acoustic environments within the ruin of the shop as well as elsewhere in the art park.