This page was created by Dasha Bough. 

The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Letter from a Traveling Russian Art Student

November, 1894
Dear respected Konstantin Abramovich,

When I am wandering the streets, I often hear the most beautiful and bizarre musical sounds. The songs they sing here are unlike any that I have come across—counting my dreams (which as you know from my accounts tend to be highly imaginative in sound and color). No, the songs here are unprecedented even in my own private sleep world. I am told the music is based off of lyrics about philosophy, Sufi, love, and observations from the Persian and Turkic speaking poets of previous generations. Many songs are also based off of folklore poetry. (pg. 133) These strange songs are called “makoms” and are widely known and sung throughout the city.

Forever your devoted student and loyal training artist,

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