Lev Rubinstein (b. 1937, Moscow)
"The sea is agitated. The moon is shining. The kitten is whining. The east becomes red. Time passes." The Russian writer Lev Rubinstein writes his lines one by one on small cards. Here he performs them together with his translator Lars Kleberg - as well as the part of the Swedish people that visited the Radio Theatre studio 10 at SR's Open House last autumn. Is part of Vita nätter (White Nights), Radioteatern, Sveriges Radio P1, 10, 15, 17 June 2001.
Tiden går (Time passes)
by Lev Rubenstein.
Translation: Lars Kleberg.
Music and sound design: Johannes Bergmark.
Director: Magnus Florin.
Lev Rubinstein (right). Together with his Swedish translator Lars Kleberg.
[Enquiry response on 00-tal's poetry festival nov. 2000]
Resistance! - I'm interested in the resistance that language makes to the reality it is put to serve. Every text by me exists (in original) on a number of separate sheets or cards. In this form, most of my texts exist since 1975. The longer this "card system" has existed, the more significances and motives it has come to be filled with.
This is a material metaphor for my opinion about the text as object and reading as a serious work. Every card is at the same time an object and a universal rhythmic unit, corresponding to any language gesture - it can be a developed theoretical sentence or an interjection, a stage instruction or a fragment of a phone call.
A stack of cards is an object, a volume, it's a NON-book, it's a child of the "non-gutenbergian" existance of language culture. The solution is a work, a play and a spectacle. I imagine that the authentic, i.e. "three-dimensional" version of a text by me relates to the flat version in something like the way that the orchestra script relates to an arrangement for one or two instruments. Maybe I exaggerate. But it's desirable to take that possibility into consideration.
Translation by JB, from Lars Kleberg's translation into Swedish.
About the music
The music I made for Time Passes, I partly tried to make in a similar way as Rubinstein writes his literature: in the form of separate fragments with different expressions, and also with the special contrast between comic, absurd, every-day, detailed, tragic. Rubinstein is fascinated by the phenomenon of time. For me, time is nothing, non-existing, without its matter, the concrete and material, that which has extension, direction and speed. Soul if you want, filled with contradictions, changes, failures and unforeseen, unplanned triumphs. That's why I use sounds from instruments as well as from objects, gestural sounds, and sounds that sound "objective" or "found" in spite of that they might not be so, like fragments that are browsed forth like the cards.
I've had fun, I used the opportunity and am glad for the meeting with Rubinstein's text that I didn't know about before Magnus Florin presented it to me. I feel related to Rubinstein's attitude.
Updated the 23rd of November 2008.