The 10th anniversary issue of Arahau magazine opens with an interview with GLEB MALTSEV, a musician who won the “Face of Arahau” contest in 2011.
Arahau is know-how
Gleb Maltsev: “Arahau reminds me of guttural orc blasphemies from mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien” An interview with Gleb Maltsev, creator and ideologist of Piĉismo, world’s first punk/hard core/crust/ grinds/noise band propagandizing international planned languages. Voice & electric violin, electric sitar. Lives in Kaunas, Lithuania.
– Gleb, how did you start singing artificial languages, is there any story behind? How many conlangs have you sung yet? Which language was the most difficult to perform and which has stuck in your mind the most?
– Twenty years ago, when I was twenty, I fancied punk rock and Esperanto – I wanted to mix them somehow, especially because there were no analogues. Since then I’ve sung around fifty conlangs using various exotic styles and also scratched one-note “Mi” meditation on an A3 post-gabber whatman paper in 128 languages with a thin pen. Iţkuîl was the most difficult language – I could hardly remember two words after learning entire day. My strong favourites are Esperanto, Ido and 1886 edition of Volapük; I’ve also had lots of adventures with toki pona, but the strongest impression was of recording a harsh-noise album in Klingon in St. Petersburg in 2000. I was accompanied by a scaring group of “Talonov net” (“No coupons” in Russian, translator’s remark) with its full complement in a four-room flat of late Mr. Avrorin (the author of the first written language based on the Roman alphabet for Chukchi); in order to muffle up the hellish noise they got me in a wardrobe with a mono microphone from the submarine – I had lots of fun!
– Haven’t you ever had a desire to create your own conlang?
– Since 1996 I’ve been working on my own project named G or Ge aka Guptoena, that means “a secret language”. It’s an a-priori-a-posteriori all-purpose agglutinative conlang based on everything in the world. The grammar stabilized long ago, it’s very simple (8 rules only), but it took years to master this ultimate elegant form. There are lots of synonyms and obscene words left to be typed in TshwaneLex. The work is vast and colourful and there are plenty of things to do (usually I work on vocabulary in winter, saving myself from the seasonal depression). The alphabet is common Roman without any diacritics.
– What’s incited you to sing Arahau? Using the poetic metaphors, what the language or the very word Arahau associated with in your mind?
– To me Arahau is connected to peanuts (joke) (peanuts is arahis in Russian or arachis in Latin, translator’s remark). I can’t say why, but it reminds me of guttural orc blasphemies from mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien – perhaps there are something demonic about the large accumulation of consonants. Actually the few literary examples catalyzed my interest to the particular study that made me admire the language as a result.
– Until recently they said it was practically impossible to sing Arahau. Do you think there are languages that can’t be sung? How could such a language look like and is it worth creating it?
– I had an encounter with such a language and just symbolically adjusting to the number of syllables tried to squeal it realizing the senselessness of such a fancy. It is named Q~'u^pl!, an isectoid race from a fictitious planet speaks it. The race’s anatomy is radically different from humanoids, so any attempt of reproducing their twittering even very approximately is condemned to failure. Other extraterrestrial artificial languages are articulated without any insurmountable obstacles (more frequent I get inspired with Hebrew for some reason) as well as sophisticated rebuses destined for people with the brains of robots, no matter what playful philosophical rats are there in the attics of the initiators. Against of their background Arahau seemed quite melodious and nice; I growled some ravings of a madman in it with an apparent pleasure in presence of hundreds of drunken eyewitnesses, both two sessions were seething with trash and intoxication and I’m sure they're gonna be followed by new ones.
– Have you been asked a question “what are you doing it for?” What’s the advantage of artificial languages in your opinion at all?
– Neither you nor I must be agitated for – it’s well known that the sphere of application is vast. The groundwork of conlangers might be useful in quite an unexpected way, for example when deciphering languages of animals and insects.
– Can you tell us some plans of “Pichismo” group for the nearest future?
– I’m warming up the public for an old British punk band “ACTIVE MINDS” in Vilnius on October 18. I’m very much obliged to them; their label Loony Tunes among the others produced our first vinyl in 1994 – it was the album “Bullshit Detector 4” beautiful with its primeval savageness. It would be fun to talk about show-business with the idols of stormy youth in private.
– What to do you think about the widespread opinion “Art is always a provocation”? Considering the recent punk prayer of Pussy Riot “Virgin Mary, send away Mr.Putin”, was it really a creative work or all the sensation was just much ado about nothing?
– At long last somebody asked the right person to answer! Everybody but punks have already had a comment on these sluts! Let’s begin with the fact that neither Mohawk nor dreadlocks, neither tattoos nor piercing have been found on any parts of their bodies. The only reason why they put on the balaklavas was that they had to hide their civil faces, and you wouldn’t find any their single at underground venues. Let’s give Madonna and Yoko Ono the privilege to admire this squeaking of mice and better take a good look at a KGB curator Marat Guelman who’s been lavishly sponsored by Kremlin or how Tolokno and Verzilova were kicked out of the art-group “Voyna” for betraying Shiitman-Volodarsky to the Kiev police; he’s got a prison sentence for simulating a sexual act in front of the Ukrainian parliament. All that indicates that the company is really putrid and provokes massive spasms of retching. The image of a punk isn’t so romantic as the image of a prince on a white horse; only a brainless schoolgirl might fall in love with it. The urge towards becoming a drunken stinking ruin is quite unexpected to find among the intelligent faithful mothers. It’s strange to see the respectable socialized women having such unusual priorities. Here’s the question, why did popular artists call themselves punk creeps while they actually weren’t, while they actually didn’t know the very foundations of this tribe. The answer is obvious: they did it in order to provoke repression against the left artistic young people (aka ‘neformaly’ in Russian). And they achieved their aim simultaneously promoting Mr.Dragon for a couple of million dollars, distracting the mass from the falsified elections, Krymsk tragedy and other tricky subjects for the Russia’s government. There was indeed a provocation, but it was stage-managed by the police and had some doubtful artistic value.
– There is a saying “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Do you think that’s true about your work?
– I love recording short & primitive things (I’ve even sent a one-second track to the cult American compilation “Sloppy Seconds”) as well as laborious compositionally difficult quasi-symphonic productions.
– Should the author having achieved some certain success to doubt about his or her own genius?
– Writers are more inclined to such a reflection because of the less interactivity: books are sold as if to the emptiness, practically there’s no feedback at all, even the appearance of the literary web-sites hasn’t changed so much because the most of the comments there are idiotic - you have a reason to get sad. While musicians work in a diametrically opposite situation - the mood of the public is obvious from the very beginning as you find yourself with the cord under the floodlight and it’s only up to you what they are to throw to the scene - bras with phone numbers or empty beer bottles. An experienced show-man perfectly manipulates the crowd, subtly feeling where to repress and where to relax that’s why you should radiate confidence even in the most disastrous situation and no-one will notice the fail while the suit will flatter you as always. Every concert is unpredictable and depends on a monstrous variety of factors (place & audience, line up, excess in doping, instrumental problems, mixed up soundtracks, forgotten words etc.), but your reaction to unforeseen circumstances must be quick as lightning so that you can admire the greatness of your mind after all - that’s why lots of amateurs suffer from their exaggerated ego; they put on one-meter-thick rhinoceros armour and you hardly hurt the artist’s feelings whatever shit he is. In rare instances of really good concerts your self-importance grows high as the Tower of Babel so the people around you get infected with the ability to worship your convincing delusion of grandeur. Since the collective insanity is significantly harder to struggle against, even if you get attacked by the impulsive deteriorative thoughts about yourself there is always a sweaty guy coming from the darkness with his protruding eyes who shakes you by the hand with some great delight and cries: “Man, you’ve been awesome at the scene!”
Editor’s notes: Gleb Maltsev (was born on November 1, 1972; lives in Kaunas, Lithuania) is the creator and ideologist of Piĉismo, world’s first punk/hard core/crust/grinds/noise band propagandizing international planned languages. Voice & electric violin, electric sitar. Lives in Kaunas, Lithuania. Last autumn the Arahau community conferred “Face of Arahau” award on Gleb Maltsev for the year of 2011. On August 6, 2011 Gleb Maltsev (Glebo Malica) performed a 10-minutes-long Arahau composition “Yr” (Evil) in the power electronics style with woowoozela as Pichismo. On December 2 Gleb Maltsev sang “Arlanaryknesark” (A bad dancer blames his balls) in Arahau at the Vilnius punk club of “The Hook” using the style of idiotronics with woowoozela. On June 9, 2012 the new Pichismo album named “Yr” (Evil) appeared on the Net. The album included concert records in Arahau.
Black angels are sucking out my blood.
I am, refined, taking them in the mouth.
The stream of red pauses is interrupting the gun
so that the lovers can’t drain the sap.
Something sticky & thin threaded into the mouth,
Something sticky & thin is going to flow in the mouth.
You, refined, suddenly fall into a swoon,
Male, prolonged is going to shoot at the roof.
The sticky gladness, the gulp of the vicious filth,
the lifeless boys, the girls came into the mouth since.
The dark is infested with babies-
With semen they sink in the wine.
Did you want to be loved, lady?
The love is full of the sticky die.
* * *
Old lady and cat sit looking at sea.
The sea is blue, the waves got stuck on repeat.
The cat and the lady are grey, stained a bit.
Ships are sailing by like the fish.
The letter crunches - hello, my darling!
The sealing wax vanishes in the cat’s paws.
The ships leave their marks on the surface, in memory
Equally not in depth, moreover bumpy.
The face gets bumpy, the cat does the same bending.
I constantly watch. I’m endlessly wiping my glasses.
My cat’s been already dying with me for eight years,
But still tears the couch in the mornings and yells.
A painter freezes on shore every day.
I invite him for tea. He says he’ll come not today.
Not today... Does he think he will live forever?
The ships sailing by get silent & rare.
But the painter sits by the sea and tacitly paints
The only inscription “Old lady & cat” over the empty canvas.
Varfgigiras: Tjeës, gazajtaj!
Tjaroessähüzeabatj. Tanr: tarkadla
Adla, adla... Sás: taflob?
Varfgargokirgblart: "Ajn, urfa".
A man went to bed
appeared to be spilt on the tile
with the hasty shootout
between the sconces
was stuck behind the massive
that was watchfully steel
towards every new sound.
The man went to bed
being stripped to his own
You know it’s over but can’t believe it -
Wonder around, somewhere near.
Writhing in dust, dripping the poison;
The phantom is milling around the body,
Looks how pain is burning the lungs,
How the blood & the lymph getting spoilt -
The nymph is melting like candle according
to asphodel’s resonant sufferings.
Creeping all over, the foul snakes of memory
bite the yawning envelope.
The crimson dots are bleeding and strewing
the scales. “Painful injuring!
Mercy, please! I will die myself”
I’m shouting, bending like sinusoid.
“Don’t abase yourself... Don’t cry... It isn’t worth while...” -
they’re whispering, biting my back in the meantime.
You’re stroking, feel sorry, you’re chilling the water -
“Drink it... It will be forgotten...”
Having burnt my lips with the ice, I spit it.
I kick out the mill - no more winds.
Has! Tjaleralod -
Hoisma, tjaroes! Tjargüls!" -
"Lamalakl... Lessüfr... Loasss"...
Tails, taels, tessejkü:
"Häs... Talssaplo, tölssölopl"...
The same autumnal wind
…He ran out into the street with a blank plastic bag and started to fill it with the wind. As it seemed to the passers-by, he was just a drunk or crazy person as he was running with the blank bag. But actually he was simply trying to gather a little more autumnal wind; that very wind, which can lift you and take you back to the childhood… Do you remember your yard, beyond the borders of which there was the edge of The Earth?.. It was so because if you went round it, it would form a circle. That was The Earth… So, it’s the same wind that will bring you the smell of campfire that was kindled by a young, beautiful and very kind Greek woman. It was long ago. When!? What’s the difference? The main thing is that she was waiting for you. And if you listen to you’ll hear the voice of your own granddad telling the most interesting tale or just calling you Home…
Just gather a little more wind
...Sabalouhaplamamaplüzfa coseissoilsejpalou. Aahás: rsuskäsocbrabl - sabalougaplamama. Nopord:
sazaussoilsejgalcaf, cohopl, ogejcoilssakas coarkavlameip... Rsasfak? Ohúsödlöge... Harkecafralehr.
Zohusö... Hafr: ohusejorrargokl, ohoisëdrogaazfa, grek'ajgamcaureicozëhaosoh. Ohúsadlaz. Bo!? Ovas?
Bropl - sjaussafrs. Hëtr, saísatr: sangadarüsgusëgë, rsaussipfas.
a drunk black guy
is dancing lezghinka*
* a Caucasian Georgian dance
** a Cossack village
Stepan cries at the bar
the tears are dropping into the absinth
the barman does not believe it
to keep the company
to the tea lover
a pale grey sky
to drink or not to drink
the pale grey sky
It was pouring with rain for some reason so the police arrested the participants of this spontaneous action
for breaking the law.
Bird’s shadow flying through the labyrinth of trees
will loiter. Seeds are flying off
and getting pressed into the extended day,
then brimming over when the night comes.
A fatigued wanderer is waiting by the spring.
There is the time that’s hiding in his wallet.
It’s unrealizable the way the snake creeps
up the tree that leads to fruitless paradise of black.
A question’s stirring at the bottom of the spring.
The answer’s sheltered in the nest on the tree.
The wanderer turns his upright pupils
to the sunset with fatigue.
In his arboreal hands of gloom
the limit of penultima is sleeping
and poison of oblivion is slowly
flowing out his eye sockets.
The stream is full of those faces who
drank the heavy serpentine moisture.
But there, where the drops were dripping down,
were the trees and the East was reddening.
The wanderer was leaving downstream,
not taking a step in his mirror dream,
towards the flower that was fertilized by the snake
and blossomed out on the tree.
* * *
(Translated by Alexander Gusev)