Alexander Raskatov: Five Minutes from the Life of W.A.M

composer bio

Alexander Raskatov was born in Moscow, the son of a writer for the satirical Soviet publication Krokodil. He attended the Moscow Conservatory and studied under Albert Leman, graduating in 1978. Coinciding with the fall of the USSR in the early 1990s, the composer’s late 30s led him away from, in his words, “the forgotten Romantic idioms” which he had been exploring in his early work. He began to think of structure in a new way, as a “static non-action” which generated “weaker or relaxed musical forms.” During this period, Raskatov employed avant-garde syntax that was usually utilized as a tool to explore dissonance. In Raskatov’s toolbox, they instead serve to create effects that bear more resemblance to “a symbol of the naïve world of a child” than to the thornier tonalities of his contemporaries. In a 2010 interview, Raskatov expressed that “the modern world’s sound environment reminds me of childhood illusions and requires some escape from the limits of serious academic music making.”

—Josh Davidoff

Alexander Raskatov will be Composer in Residence at Yellow Barn in 2018.