Introducing the Speakers: Stephen Coates

An incredible history of forbidden music, Cold War Culture and Soviet unauthorised record making technology is the subject of the talk by Stephen Coates, musician and producer.

In the Soviet Union, both the music industry and the permissible repertoire were completely controlled by the state. But in the post war period, music lovers risked their freedom and employed various extraordinary techniques to record and share the songs they loved.  They had no access to conventional recording processes but with amazing ingenuity, repurposed and recycled various technologies to make their illegal records. Many older people in Russia remember these strange flexible records, which they listened to in their youth. They contained Western Jazz and rock’n’roll – which were forbidden at the time – along with some Russian music. They were called ‘bones’ or ‘ribs’.

On 13 June in ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Stephen Coates will present this story of forbidden culture, technology and human endeavour with incredible images of the records that were made as part of his X-Ray Audio project. His talk will feature testimonies from surviving Russians of the period.

STEPHEN COATES is a composer and music producer. He came across the subject of the X-Ray recordings when travelling to Russia to perform as The Real Tuesday Weld. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, he is particularly interested in the interaction between music and culture.

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