Some of the inspiration for Samuel's pieces, as well as actual phrases and musical themes, have come from dreams.

He has an interest the philosophy of Surrealism and in the work of certain Surrealist painters such
as Yves Tanguy (1900-1955) and Richard Kirk (1962-- ) of London, Ontario -- Richard did the cover illustration for Songs of Elsewhere

I can't speak for him re: 'influences', but I can say that his artistic field of interest is wide and varied: from Joyce's Finnegans Wake to peculiar comic strips of the 50s to Bach fugues to experimental Canadian poetry (he runs a fine small press called the EXPERT PRESS) to the films of David Lynch to the music of Webern...........[And yet his current interests -- he evolves swiftly! -- may lie outside most of these I've mentioned]

His uncle, the late Canadian artist Greg Curnoe, had a group called the Nihilist Spasm Band. Its chaotic approach to performing was the antithesis of Samuel's meticulously crafted performances with his Trosper Ensemble, but I think there's an underlying spiritual connection. Despite the vast differences, the two may be equally unorthodox.

Samuel has the ability to turn language inside-out in order to create his poems and lyrics. He's highly advanced in the arts of palindromes and anagrams. Two examples of his palindromes are the lyrics to 'Canon in Two Voices' (it's musical structure is also palindromic) and 'Invention' (both from the CD Swollows). As for anagrams: throughout Songs of Elsewhere there are phrases which reappear in reconstituted form, having been broken down and reassembled from their individual letters. And that's just a hint of what goes on with his writing -- you might see if he's interested in elaborating on the various techniques and schemes running through his words and music. (He's what I call a 'lexiconjuror', in league with authors of the past such as Lewis Carroll and the aforementioned James Joyce.)

His 'Invisible Song' (from the new CD) has a lyric which is not sung but played, having been translated by a unique method into musical notes.

'Pathrow's Thirty-Six' is a song about, for the most part, a ghost's birthday party.

On Songs of Elsewhere, Samuel plays the theremin, an eerily beautiful electronic instrument invented in the 1920s by Leo Theremin. It's an instrument which is played without physical contact.

He's done eight albums to date. There's some great earlier work (some dating from his mid if not early teens) which may soon be recorded in new arrangements by Samuel and his ensemble.

Samuel can speak and sing backwards, but that may not be something he wants to discuss. Perhaps if you ask him the question backwards...?

Steve Venright 2002



Samuel Andreyev, at age twenty-one, has recorded eight albums of original music -- five independently produced cassettes and two CDs (one a double-album) on my new Torpor Vigil Industries label. As well as being a composer and musician (harpsichord, oboe & theremin) he has published many of Toronto's most remarkable experimental poets through his EXPERT PRESS. With his unusual modern chamber group The Trosper Ensemble, Samuel has performed at various venues around Toronto, including the Music Gallery, Top o’ the Senator, the Orbit Room and the Cameron House. He is the son of author Lynda Curnoe and the nephew of artist Greg Curnoe. Among other uncanny abilities, he can speak backwards and is sometimes able to generate palindromes on short notice. Further biographical details may be provided by Samuel Andreyev himself.


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