Arseny Avraamov

Avraamov worked in a wide range of musical fields, most relevant to us and our residency is his graphical sound work in the 1930s, a very short clip below:

He’s most well known for this extraordinary 1922 piece organising the city and its sounds as an instrument

“This recording was made close note of taking Avraamov’s instructions, originally published in Turkish in Baku’s three local newspapers on 6 November 1922, the day before the event:

On the Fifth Anniversary of the October Revolution

Instructions for the “Symphony of Sirens”

On the morning of the Fifth Anniversary, on 7th November, all the ships from Gocasp, Voenflat, and Uzbekcasp, including all small boats and vessels, will gather near the dock of the railway station at 7:00 a.m. All boats will receive written instructions from a group of musicians. After that, they will proceed to occupy the place assigned to them near the customs dock. The destroyer Dostoyny, with the steam whistling machine and the small boats, will be anchored further up, in front of the tower.

  • At 9:00 a.m., the whole flotilla will be in position. All the mobile machines, local trains, battleships and repaired steam machines will arrive at the same time. The cadets from the courses of the Fourth Regiment, the students from the Azgo Conservatory, and all the professional musicians will be on the dock no later than 8:30 a.m.
  • At 10:00 a.m., the troops, the artillery, the machine guns, and the rest of the vehicles will also get into position, following the orders received. Airplanes and hydroplanes will also be ready.
  • No later than 10:30, those in charge of making the signals will take their positions at the regional and railway terminals.
  • The midday cannon has been cancelled.
  • The squad in charge of the fireworks will give the signal to the following vehicles for their approach to the centre with the minimum possible noise: Zykh, Bely Gorod, Bibi, Abot and Babylon.
  • The fifth shot will give the signal to the first and second district of the Black Quarter.
  • The tenth shot, to the sirens of the commercial offices, of Azneft, and of the docks.
  • The fifteenth shot, the districts, planes taking-off. The bells.
  • The eighteenth shot, the sirens of the square and the steam machines located there. Simultaneously, the first company of the Military Academy will move from the square to the docks playing the march “Varashavanka”.
  • All the sirens sound and end at the twenty-fifth cannon shot.
  • Pause.
  • The triple chord of the sirens will be accompanied by a “Hurrah” from the docks.
  • The steam whistling machine will give the final sign.
  • “The Internationale” (four times). In the middle, a wind orchestra plays La Marseillese in combination with a choir of automobiles.
  • The whole square joins singing in the second repetition.
  • At the end of the fourth verse, the cadets and the infantry return to the square where they are greeted with a ” Hurrah”.
  • At the end, a festive and universal choir with all the sirens and alarm signals plays for three minutes accompanied by the bells.
  • The signal for the end is given by the steam whistling machine.
  • Ceremonial march. Artillery, fleet, vehicles and machine guns receive their signals directly from the conductor on the tower. The red and white flag, is used for the batteries; the blue and yellow, for the sirens; a four-coloured red flag for machine guns, and a red flag for the individual interventions of boats, trains, and the automobile choir. At a signal of the battery, “The Internationale ” is repeated twice throughout the final procession. The fire of the engines will have to be stoked for as long as the signals are maintained.

All the above instructions are directed to the high level ranks and for their irrevocable execution under the responsibility of its authorities: military, Azneft, Gocasp, and related educational institutions. All participants must have with them their respective instructions during the celebrations.

The master of TSOK is M. Chagin.The organiser of the Symphony of Sirens is Mr. Avraamov.”

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