Lermontov’s “When a harp rings out boldly” read by Thomas “Riffmatch” Beavitt and interpreted by Valeria Kudrina. Music by Andrey Bokovikov and Nikita Nikitin. Original sand animation by Ekaterina Sheffer. Stage show directed by Evgeny Zaev. Video montage – Ivan Usoltsev.
‘This Particular Entanglement’ read by Thomas “Riffmatch” Beavitt and interpreted by Valeria Kudrina & Anatoly Raskin at the Kamerniy Teatr, Ekaterinburg, on the 26th January, 2022. Stage show directed by Evgeniy Zaev. Music by Andrey Bokovikov and Nikita Nikitin. Video montage by Ivan Usoltsev.
‘Lovely Jubilee 2020’ read by Thomas “Riffmatch” Beavitt and interpreted by young actors from the Verkh-Isetsky Centre of Culture and Arts Theatre Workshop at the Kamerniy Teatr, Ekaterinburg, on the 26th January, 2022. Stage show directed by Evgeniy Zaev. Music by Andrey Bokovikov and Nikita Nikitin. Video montage by Ivan Usoltsev.
‘The Law of Noncontradiction’ read by Thomas “Riffmatch” Beavitt and interpreted by Anastasia Fayzulaeva at the Kamerniy Teatr, Ekaterinburg, on the 26th January, 2022. Stage show directed by Evgeniy Zaev. Music by Andrey Bokovikov and Nikita Nikitin. Video montage by Ivan Usoltsev.
‘Vitruvian Woman’ read by Thomas “Riffmatch” Beavitt and interpreted by Darya Eltsova at the Kamerniy Teatr, Ekaterinburg, on the 26th January, 2022. Stage show directed by Evgeniy Zaev. Music by Andrey Bokovikov and Nikita Nikitin. Video montage by Ivan Usoltsev.
Global Village Bard, in association with the Institute of International Relations in Ekaterinburg, Russia, is proud to hold the first ever competition to translate “rappable” verses from English into Russian.
- The competition will be launched at a special event held at the Kamerniy Teatr, Yekaterinburg, on 26th January, 2022
- The judging panel will be composed of:
- Mikhail Feygin (President)
- Thomas Beavitt
- Julia Komissarova
- Svetlana Remizova
- Mikhail Brodsky
- All entries should be sent as attachments (.doc, .rtf or equivalent) by email to email@example.com by 31st March, 2022
- Entrance is free and unlimited (one translator may submit a maximum of five entries). No distinction is made between students, professional translators and amateur enthusiasts.
- The source material to be translated consists of five songs (“raps”), written and performed by Thomas Riffmatch, and presented as part of the new album ‘Heraclitus Flow’.
- The source material is made available in the form of lyric texts, audio with rapped English vocals and backing tracks without vocals (“minusovkas”). The English versions are presented in a playlist on the album webpage. The texts and separate audio files (English vocal and backing track versions) are presented on separate pages:
- The material should be translated into metrical, rhymed Russian, aiming to capture the rhythm of the source in such a way that it can be confidently “rapped” to the same backing track.
- However, this does not necessarily imply a strict syllable-to-syllable correspondence; rather, translators are encouraged to make full use of the phraseological and rhythmic resources of the Russian language and not stick rigidly to English versification conventions.
- While a successful translation will preserve the central meaning of the original text, as well as capture some of the key images, translators are encouraged to adapt the original metaphors to ones that will be closer to the target (Russian) audience’s experiences. Marks will be added for imaginative transformations!
- While modern rap has some features not present in traditional verse, most of the principles of translation are the same as those set out in Korney Chukovsky’s ‘A High Art’ («Высокое искусство») and other classic works by Marshak, Gumilev, etc.
- Prizes will be awarded for the “most rappable”, “best literary composition” and runner-up categories. The prize for “most rappable” will be a professional studio production session recording the winner’s voice rapping his or her own translation to the composed backing track (or his or her nominee). Other prizes will be announced later.
- Summing up and announcement of the results of the competition will take place on 15th April, 2022.
- All copyrights, including source texts, translations, as well as musical compositions and arrangements, remain the property of their respective creators. However, the creators grant each other permission to make non-commercial use of the materials so long as full acknowledgement is provided (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC). In the event of any commercial exploitation, permissions from the corresponding copyright holders will first be negotiated.
On the 26th of January 2022 at 19:00, a special event “When a harp rings out boldly…” will take place at the Kamerniy teatr in Ekaterinburg (18 Proletarskaya street).
Along with songs from the new album “Heraclitus Flow”, the concert performance will feature a recital of the poem “When a harp rings out boldly in eternal halls of fame” (Lermontov, in the original Russian) by Thomas Riffmatch (Beavitt) to original music specially composed by Nikita Nikitin and produced by Andrey Bokovikov.
Commissioned to translate Lermontov’s youthful poem for a film project, Beavitt noticed a flowing style that seemed to suggest a rap performance. Although the piece was originally performed in the English translation, accompanied by the composed backing track and a sand animation by Ekaterina Sheffer, this will be the first time that the piece will be performed in the original language. In this performance, directed by Evgeny Zaev, the soul of the 17-year-old young poet will be represented visually by the dancer Valeria Kudrina.
The second part of the concert will feature a presentation of songs in English from the album “Heraclitus Flow”. The concept underlying the album was inspired by the thought of the philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus – “No man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and it’s not the same man.” Thus, the idea of flow informs both the performance approach and its content.
Admission by tickets and invitations. Buy a ticket
A live broadcast will also be available via the link: https://youtu.be/uqTckYZVAO8
Rapper Thomas Riffmatch’s latest single takes the form of a love song from one entangled particle to another. His advice? Keep on moving into the light, don’t fall into a black hole and store some salt on dry shelves. Everything will be ok… at least, until the inevitable wave-function collapse. Orgasms are simulations… or not!
Backing track (minusovka)
Since, at birth, we were not strangled And by chance became entangled, All that matters is our energy To realise possibility. In general, everything falls: States have borders, cells have walls; Confusion reigns, disorder increases – All must dance to fate’s caprices… But this is a particular case For our limited human race; And, although this quality is rare, I can be certain that you care Whether I’m up or down, left or right. Keep on journeying into the light – For you have too lovely a soul To let it fall into a black hole. You and I defy such gravity And don’t think it depravity To store some salt on dry shelves. Then, should we find ourselves At opposite ends of the universe, It’s a blessing, not a curse, To have limited interactions With irreconcilable factions, Being entangled in this world Into which we’ve both been hurled. And, although there may be others – Fathers, sons, brothers, Mothers, sisters, daughters – I can feel you in my waters… Though never stepping twice, The feeling's quite precise And absolutely real, This sensation that I feel… From your equal and opposite spin, I know exactly the state you’re in. This particular entanglement Can convert our angular Momentum into linear, Our paths becoming skinnier; With you, I’m eternally at home Somewhere in the glome. And this spooky action at a distance Can combine with the insistence That you’re mine and I’m yours; That, together, in what nature abhors, We’ll pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps Until the inevitable wave-function collapse.
©Lyrics written and performed by Thomas Riffmatch to a backing track composed by Nikita Nikitin, recorded and produced in Ekaterinburg by Andrey Bokovikov.
The Law of Noncontradiction is the second single from the forthcoming album ‘Heraclitus Flow’ by Thomas Riffmatch, produced by Andrey Bokovikov and featuring the electronic compositions of Nikita Nikitin. The Law of Noncontradiction also features backing vocals by Primavera.
The idea behind the song is that the logical law of noncontradiction is primarily experienced by us in terms of relationship. The position “If I’m right, then you’re wrong” is something familiar to all of us who have engaged with each other on social media or in the context of familial or intimate relating. This “excluding the middle” is what gives us a sense of our own essential “rightness” and feeling that we proceed from a “moral conviction”. However, it’s obvious that nobody has a monopoly on “rightness”! As my dear mother likes to jest: “When they said I had finally met Mr Right, I had no idea his first name was ‘Always’!”
This theme is central to the concept behind ‘Heraclitus Flow’: no man steps into the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and it’s not the same man!
Backing track (minusovka)
Although people say I’m a bit of a one, to tango or foxtrot takes two; Still, having the same sense at the same time, both of us cannot be true; For a state to willingly give up its sovereignty, that would be gross dereliction: On behalf of the crown, I therefore lay down the law of noncontradiction. For every system that’s sufficiently expressive, there’s a provable – or not – proposition; If I’m right, then you’re wrong – that’s the dialectic that structures our personal mission; But all analytic statements are somewhat tautologous: is it a fact or a fiction? I don’t care what you say if you don’t disobey my law of noncontradiction. In violating each other’s identities thus, we find ourselves in a situation; We run to extremes, excluding the middle, to obviate equivocation; We aim to be justified, strive to always proceed from a moral conviction; Though blissful, such ignorance is no defence against the law of noncontradiction. If 'fire' and 'not fire' are thought to be equal, the thinker’s subjected to burning; Since feasting and fasting are one and the same, the student through hunger is learning; We’re all of a surety lacking security, all of us facing eviction; But, on my high horse, I still have to enforce the law of noncontradiction. Like the self-amputation of a broad-snouted caiman undergoing a caudal autotomy, Or the diachronic change in a epileptic’s brain following a frontal lobotomy; Dividing into two antagonistic parts results in a vasoconstriction: Permission dispensed to go up against the law of noncontradiction. We are and are not what is now or to come, in a constant and fixed state of flux; Though the road up and down are one and the same, both entail the giving of fucks; Our action consists in the mills and the grists to work up the requisite friction To find an explanation for each and every violation of the law of noncontradiction. The one that is and ever must be is a truth that is always immutable; The other that’s not – and must always not be – is a path that is wholly inscrutable; For you cannot know what is not, or is so, to refute my despondent prediction: All that’s desired must be paid for as required by the law of noncontradiction. Respect things that are in the sense that they are, preserving the ship and the treasure; Show all proper deference when making reference to that of which man is the measure; Take on this handyman to feed the biters, all due to his excellent diction: The collection of rent is ninety percent of the law of noncontradiction. It’s both mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive, now that I’m giving the flag salute; But everything must be absolutely relativised in order to relate to the absolute; Elenctic negation results in stagnation, all due to a chronic addiction To think yourself better than the spirit or letter of the law of noncontradiction. Restricting reaction in the same part or relation, a utopian state is thus frozen; At the same time, on the contrary, somehow, must always an action be chosen; To be fixed like a hero on the frieze of the Parthenon’s to suffer a grievous affliction: Till the day that I die, I’ll never comply with the law of noncontradiction.
©Lyrics written and performed by Thomas Riffmatch to a backing track composed by Nikita Nikitin with backing vocals by Primavera, recorded and produced in Ekaterinburg by Andrey Bokovikov.
On August 28, 2021, at Ostrov Manor, Leninsky district of the Moscow region, as part of the Music under the Sky festival, Scottish bard Thomas Beavitt will perform a selection of Lermontov’s poems set to original Celtic-inspired music and accompanied by the Novaya Skazka orchestra.
Mikhail Lermontov is the descendant of a Scottish soldier of fortune, George Learmonth, whose restless spirit brought him to Russia at the beginning of the 17th century.
George’s probable ancestor was Thomas “the Rhymer” Learmonth, a 13th-century nobleman from Erceldoune whose genes and artistic oeuvre combined Anglo-Norman and Gaelic cultures. His rhyming prophecies were preserved in the form of oral traditions and several Middle-English manuscripts dating to the fifteenth century.
During the first part of the concert at the Ostrov Manor, audiences will hear the musical version of Thomas the Rhymer’s mythical meeting with the Queen of the Faeries in Mikhail Fegyin‘s poetic Russian translation.
Thus, it was that, following their implantation in Russian soil, these Scottish roots produced the flower of Russian poetry – Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov.
Thomas Beavitt performed for the first time in front of a Russian audience in 2009 at the festival organised by Ivan Dontsov’s “Veresk” Foundation. This was followed by a concert at Moscow’s House of Music in honour of the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns, which brought together a full hall of new fans.
The subtle interweaving of Russian and Scottish cultures resulted in a joint international project “Lermontov”, leading to the installation of a bronze bust in the Scottish village of Earlston to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the poet. According to the centuries-old manuscripts, this was the place where Thomas “The Rhymer” Learmonth made his home.
“I wanted to come to Russia because I felt its culture pulling me by the sleeve!”, recounts the modern bard Thomas Beavitt.
His first poetic translations were based on the work of Vladimir Vysotsky, whose birthday fell on January 25 – coincidentally, the same birth date as that of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. This coincidence inspired Thomas to conduct several musical performances in Russia with musical reflections on the work of the two poets from different eras.
“By 2009, although my Russian language was still rather basic, I had already started translating Russian songs and poems into English. The first song I translated into English was ‘Liricheskaya’ by Vladimir Vysotsky”, said Thomas Beavitt.
Thomas has been living in Russia since 2013 – first in Moscow, then for 7 years in Yekaterinburg, and now recently moved with his wife to Crimea. Now, as well as a bard and poet, he works as a professional translator of scientific articles and books.
Konstantin Uvarov, artistic director of the Novaya Skazka project, said:
The same Ivan Dontsov who produced the Novaya Skazka project introduced us to Thomas’ work. And we just fell in love with Thomas and his music! We hope that this concert is just the beginning of our collaborative work with Thomas – we plan to create a great musical fairy tale together.
At the Music under the Sky concert, Thomas Beavitt will perform songs based on poems by Mikhail Lermontov set to music of his own composition, highly appreciated by professional musicians. The sound of Celtic motifs played on classical instruments will leave a special impression on the listeners of the second part of the performance by Thomas Beavitt and the Novaya Skazka Orchestra at the Music Under the Sky festival on August 28, 2021. The story of the great Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, as told through his own poetic voice, will be performed in Russian for a Russian audience.