Unexplored St. Petersburg: The Museum of Sound

Much as last time when we wrote about a place that offers a chance to try something new and experimental, our article today is dedicated to one of St. Petersburg’s most unique spots. The Museum of Sound is a truly novel entity that envelops several projects in the field of experimental music; part concert hall, part bar, part lecture hall, it is a place that will definitely leave fond memories, and who knows - you might become a regular before you even know it!

Credit: peterburg.biz

I wouldn’t call myself much of a music fan, nor do I boast keen knowledge of different styles and genres, and it is quite telling that I first visited this awesome place as a bar rather than a museum. This being said, I have to admit that I really can’t help returning to the Museum of Sound over and over again, as every time I do, I get to learn something new and explore unexpected sides of my own self. So, what exactly is so great about this place?

Audiovisual performance at the Museum of Sound. Credit: social networks
Audiovisual performance at the Museum of Sound. Credit: social networks

Quite tellingly, most of the Museum’s activities have to do with sound, and music in particular. Still, it is not the musical concerts that you’d really want to come for (to my taste, the bands that play there are often way too “experimental”, their music aimed at “true connoisseurs” rather than regular people); it is the place’s side projects that make it so unique. In a sense, the Museum continues the heritage of European Philosophic cafés; the topics of lectures and open discussions that take place here range from contemporary art theories to the application of latest scientific inventions and the future of digital culture. My personal idea of fun has a lot to do with getting new experiences and looking at things from a different angle; if you can relate to that, then you will definitely be able to find an event to your liking - just check with the Museum’s page on Vk or Facebook.

Concert at the Museum of Sound. Credit: social networks
Concert at the Museum of Sound. Credit: social networks

Another of the museum’s attractions is its exhibitions. Apart from the many temporary projects like the currently running display of graphic notations by contemporary composers (and I have to note that in reality, it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds), it boasts a permanent exhibition of unique self-made instruments and custom musical interfaces which you are free to try out. To be honest, I never even imagined that there is such a thing as an “optomechanical synthesizer”, - and it’s still not the strangest of the place’s various artifacts.

Optomechanical synthesizer. Credit: social networks.
Optomechanical synthesizer. Credit: social networks.

Last but not least, the Museum of Sound is not only a location but also a community of like-minded people. To musicians, it is a great place to exchange experience and improve their skills, and to just anyone who is interested in sound arts, or art in general, it is still a treasure trove of knowledge and new ideas. Participating in its many activities can be your chance to get a rare cultural experience and meet new people; in any case, paying a visit to the Museum of Sound will be definitely worth your time.