The history of electronic music in Moscow dates back to the founding years of the Soviet Union. In Elektro Moskva, musicians, inventors, geniuses, and tinkerers describe the evolution of this art, which from the outset was closely connected to science and militarism. Using extensive archival footage, the past century of electronic music is evoked in a playful way. The film spans an arc from the “Russian Edison,” Leon Theremin—who invented one of the first electronic musical instruments but also developed eavesdropping devices for the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB—by way of the space age of the 1960s to the mass production of synthesizers in the early 1980s, which were manufactured from waste products of the military industry. A lively electronic music scene is recycling and reinterpreting this legacy and leading it into an uncertain future. A film on a brilliant inventive spirit that blossomed wonderfully despite – or precisely because of –great political repression and enforced conformity.
Born in 1974, Dominik Spritzendorfer is a widely discussed cameraman and director from Austria. Following his studies at Moscow’s VGIK film institute, he brought numerous award-winning documentary films to the screen. Elektro Moskva (2012) is his first feature-length documentary film as director. Spritzendorfer lives and works in Vienna.
Elena Tikhonova was born in the Soviet “Science City” Obninsk, the city of the “peaceful atom”. She completed her studies as a camerawoman for feature and documentary films at Moscow’s VGIK film school. She has lived in Vienna since 2000, and works as a director, scriptwriter, and film editor for various documentary, short, and experimental films. In addition, she appeared as VJane under the name “Mirniy Atom” (“peaceful atom”), together with various artists.