Album: Praeludium y Fuga 2023


Sound is all around us. Everything is oscillating, vibrating: a frequency. All in a constant state of flux. This album is a culmination of my forty year relationship with music, sound and live performance.

I consider the rich history of music, not only through the Western canon in which I am formally trained, but as a reflection of all the world’s cultures, with a deep knowing that all music possesses an inherent capacity to touch the soul, connect communities, and transform our human experience.

I spent my childhood totally immersed in classical music and this anchors my contemporary practice. Discovering rock, electronic music and rave culture in the 90s sparked a curiosity as I became aware of other styles of music and music production. My burning interest in subculture led me to join an indie trip hop band, refine my skills in improvisation, study the music of the Silk Road, and research electronic devices to manipulate my acoustic instruments. For the last two decades I’ve developed my own performance style and compositional language in the “electroacoustic music” field.


In 2016 I was invited to join a ground-breaking research project about music and genetics at the Moscow State Conservatory in partnership with the Russian Academy of Sciences. This led to many summers in old Soviet rehearsal rooms and underground studios of the Conservatory’s Centre for Electro Acoustic Music. Perseverance and an unwavering dedication to my creative vision led to an invitation to premiere this experimental electroacoustic audiovisual performance, Praeludium y Fuga, on 5 October 2019.

Praeludium y Fuga is a modern play on the classical “Prelude and Fugue” form. The prelude being a short introduction to a more complex piece, the fugue. The composition features numerous field recordings captured on my world travels over 15 years (some of these can be found on my fourth album “In The Field”). These recordings reflect upon my love of the natural world, industrial noise and the sacred. These recordings also unlock new and interesting relationships between the palette of sounds employed, which influences how I compose. Through mixing abstracted sonic landscapes, I aim to take the listener on a visceral journey through space, time, memory and self-reflection. My sound design also provides a compositional structure for free improvisation, which begins with the piano and moves to electric cello. The non linear “rhythmic beats” are human heartbeats, which I record and sample from my own body, and the bodies of others, as I explore the human form as a musical instrument.

What is avant-garde? Bach, Bowie and Brian Eno are avant-gardists. Praeludium y Fuga breaks new ground, and owes its success to the support of many friends around the world, particularly the local Moscow communities, who rallied around me as we challenged the orthodoxy of the Conservatory. Upon reflection, this project manifested as a result of many years I spent engaging with the underground Russian art and music scenes, cultivating friendships and collaborations. Preserving the traditions of classical music remains very important to me. That said, my creative praxis focuses on expanding (sonic) perceptions, inviting deeper listening, transcending artistic, cultural and socio-political borders, and recontextualising approaches to live art performances, to ever demanding audiences. Electroacoustic music is deeply embedded within the modern classical movement, and I hope that this work is a valuable contribution to the genre.

Through the generous support of Yamaha Music Russia, the performance was masterfully recorded live, and this compelled me to release the recording as my first live album. Against the backdrop of current world events, the timing of this release seems ever more important as an embodiment of the power of music and art to bring us together and lead positive social change

The album is pressed in Prague at a record plant producing vinyl uninterrupted for more than 70 years, and with whom I made my first record back in 2009. Since that time, the global consumption of vinyl records has exploded, alongside a plethora of new music streaming services. Technology continues to transform how we listen to music and I am pleased that music lovers around the world have rediscovered the intrinsic value of vinyl records, not only as the ultimate media source for high quality listening, but also as an album tells a story, intended to be appreciated in its entirety.

Benjamin Skepper (September 2023)


releases November 19, 2023

Composed, Performed and Produced by Benjamin Skepper
Recorded Live at Rachmaninov Hall, Moscow State Conservatory by Alexander Bakhirev
Technical support by Pavel Ivanov and Alexander Pettai
Engineered and Mastered by Naomune Anzai
 at Rolling Stock Recording Rooms and Reel 2 Real Mix Master
Artwork and Art Direction by Matthew Johnson
Design by Dookee Chung

℗ & © 2023 (contrapuntal logo) (Benjamin Skepper)

All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.
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special thanks to:

My greatest life patrons my parents, Yamaha Music Russia, Oksana Levko, Vera Serebyrakova, Moscow State Conservatory, Konstantin Zenkin, Alexandr Koblyakov, Ivan Soshinsky, Raduga Design, Mikhail Kabatov, Intervals Festival, Ksusha Chekhovskaya, Sense, Maxim Silenkov, Intervals Fest, Dreamlaser, Mixproduction Russia, and my global community of friends for the love, support and encouragement to keep forging forward.