Soviet Animation Rediscovered Through Electronic Music

Short film “Samoyed Boy” with a score by Moscow-based producer Lapti.

 The mission of the project, curated by the sound communications agency “Aesthetics of Sound,” is to discover and promote forgotten gems of Soviet cinematic culture. Participants look for distinctive feature films of past eras and invite local electronic musicians to produce soundtracks for them – the result is then presented at special screenings

“Early Soviet animation was relevant to the cinematic experiments conducted in Europe and America,” says journalist and film critic Alisa Tayezhnaya, a project participant. “We want to honor Soviet pioneers and enthusiasts and outline the scope of their influence on the world culture.” 

At our request, the team behind the project shared one of the animated films in their collection. “The Samoyed Boy,” which premiered in 1928, tells the story of the Nentsy young boy named Chu, who, after exposing the local greedy shaman, winds up stranded on an ice floe in the open sea. Chu is rescued by Soviet sailors and finds himself at the Leningrad workers’ faculty, where he studies and ponders the idea of building a new life in his home village.

The new score for the feature was produced by Moscow-based electronic musician Lapti. As co-founder of the “Aesthetics of Sound” Artem Ryazanov puts it: “His sound is influenced by the late Soviet electronic scene and is a perfect fit for the enchanting dreamlike atmosphere of the film.” Also, you can listen to the mix, made by the beatmaker specifically on the occasion of screening the feature.