Arturas Bumsteinas:
Introduction to
4 / 25 / 65 – An Opera (Antiradical Opera)

Ingvar Loco Nordin: Reversed Palm

4 / 25 / 65 – An Opera (ANTIRADICAL OPERA)

Interdisciplinary opera project, done from year 2001 to 2005 by composer/audiovisual artist Arturas Bumsteinas, poet/writer Jesse Glass and in collaboration with the artists listed.


The sound material in this work consists of acoustic instrumental sounds, male and female solo and mixed background voices, electronic sounds, different types of field recording sounds, short samples from the music by Johannes Sebastian Bach, Alban Berg, Osvaldas Balakauskas.

Main voice material was collected from different people from all around the world. There was written an instruction score and it was distributed via internet widely. People responded with their submissions, recorded on cd-rs, cassettes, minidisks, mp3 files…

An instruction score was composed as very easy perceptible for musically non educated individuals, because very few of the participants are professional musicians. Pitch and duration of sounds is indicated by four numbers (1, 2, 3, 4). The indications should be applied for the parameters of the pronounced syllable. If the number is 1- it means the low sound should be sung, numbers 2 and 3 are for the middle sound, 4 is for high sound. The same method is applied for duration. There are only four categories of each parameter but when some voices are added together- it gets to a very subtle, microtonal texture.

All the participants form up the background vocals group, or a virtual choir. It is virtual because no one of it's members meet each other during the recording. People are diffused in space and time, but their voices meet in the tracks of
Antiradical Opera .

Only the instrumental parts and solo voice parts were notated in conventional musical scores. But very similar procedure was done when recording them in the studio- every musician performed his own part separately from others and when it's added together it makes the pitch slightly out of tune and a little asynchrony in rhythm.

There is no notation for electronic and field recording sounds.

Antiradical Opera concists of 13 tracks: Total duration: 47 minutes 05 seconds.

01. Prologue [3:11]
02. First Song [6:10]
03. Lincoln Song [2:27]
04. Printing Office [5:08]
05. Editor’s Song [3:08]
06. Allegorical Song [4:02]
07. Madman - (Intermedia) [0:32]
08. Narrator’s Song [3:13]
09. Hero’s Song [5:17
10. Madman - (Intermedia) [0:20]
11. Song For A Murder [7:54]
12. Descending – (Intermedia) [1:53]
13. Epilogue [3:49]


Libretto was written by American-Japanese writer Jesse Glass. His text brings you to the American Civil War era Newspaper Wars. The main story is on the running three-year editorial battle between Joseph Shaw, editor of the Carroll County Democrat , and Charles W. Webster, a columnist for The American Sentinel . Shaw had opined on April 6, 1865 that the country would be much better if Abraham Lincoln (that time president) died. The president was shot on April 14 (in an opera theater). A day latter, when the news reached Shaw, he left his hometown (Westminster). That night, a concerned-citizens committee destroyed Shaw's presses. When he returned to Westminster he was killed the same day.

The text is constructed from different sources- XIX century newspaper's reports, dramatic verses, simple everyday speech, different kinds of quotations in dialogues and author's commentaries.


Antiradical Opera should be realized as multimedia installation consisting of few separate listening rooms and the main central room for video projection. Selected songs of the Antiradical Opera should be installed in small separate rooms and played over the loudspeakers as continuous loop. There should be from 5 to 10 such a listening rooms (it depends on the venue where all installation is located). The interior of every listening room should be very minimally decorated- few comfortable seats and colored half-light lamps. The main room should be bigger than others, with a screen hanged on the ceiling and lifted a little bit over the heads of the visitors. Here no music should be installed but the sounds should slightly be heard from the other rooms. To get this effect- smaller (listening) rooms should be located around the central (video projection) room.

Video projection is still in the process of production. The main material for it is also selected from the different people around the world. All the possible participants were asked to send any visual material on any media (vhs, dvd, cd-r, foto, paper…) that would reflect the subject of Radical-Antiradical.


The traditional form of opera is supposed to be understood as linear narrative construction with elements of audible and visible. Audible element is divided to music which is used to bring the text information and accompaniment music which is supporting it. Visible element is brought by actors and a stage decoration.

Antiradical Opera there is an aim to deconstruct these elements however keeping their functions. The narrative is diffused in segments (separate rooms) and instead of the actor/storyteller there is a video projection. The sound which is heard in the central room has the function of accompaniment that supports and supplements the video narrative. Here the linear order is presented in a segmented setting. The visitors of the installation are able to wander around the rooms and select their own course of events.


Arturas Bumsteinas [musical composition, piano] – Jesse Glass [libretto, vocal submissions] - Gryte Pintukaite [soprano] – Jonas Salakauskas [tenor] – Vaida Pasareviciute [flute] – Sarunas Jankauskas [clarinet] – Roman Repin [trumpet] – Justas Ladyga [trombone] – Tadas Zukauskas [violin] – Alexei Bliznin [guitar] – G-Lab: Bumsteinas & Garbstein [installation]

Vocal submissions:
Kyrre Bjørkås (Norway) – Juha Valkeapää (Finland) – The Praxis Group (USA) – Ceyda Karamursel (Turkey) – Tom Winter family (Germany) – Charles Krutzen (Holland) – La La Band (National Theatre School of Canada) – Hugo Maia (UK) – Gosia Kus (Poland) – Jesse Glass family (Japan)

Visual submissions:
Olivier Binon (France) – Marko Laimre (Estonia) – Hannu Soans (Estonia) – Charles Krutzen (Holland) – Atomic Elroy (USA) – Audrius Plioplys (USA / Lithuania) – Jonas Zagorskas (Lithuania) – Viktorija Makauskaite (Lithuania)

(c) Arturas Bumsteinas / Jesse Glass