After the death of my grandfather in March 2020, during the lockdown, while sorting through his archives in a workshop in Crimea, I came across a collection of unknown old photographs and drawings. I chose several pictures and graphic paintings of my grandfather, which deeply impressed me, and tried to hear what the people who are no longer with us could tell.

These found images and drawings reflect the spirit of two epochs and express the time through the portraits of builders of Magnitogorsk, kind faces of workers from Ukraine, Bulgarian steel-makers; grandfather's uncle, full knight of the Order of Glory, who reached Berlin as part of the division that hoisted the Banner of Victory over the Reichstag; milkmaids on the Volga, the storming of the Winter Palace, in which my great-grandfather took part; expropriated villages by Bolsheviks in the Urals, the military before the outbreak of World War II; balls, a presentiment of Christmas in the last year before the collapse of the Russian Empire, concerts in post-blockade Leningrad; freedom of the Ukrainian steppes, Crimean Tatars at the mosque of the Khan's Palace in Bakhchisarai; Nehru's smile at the sight of his monument made by my grandfather; love confessions, vows to the motherland; children in a boat on the boundless expanse of the Black Sea; the blissful silence of the sculptures of the Academy of Arts.

Each composition in this album is a kind of photograph, a snapshot of long–gone moments of time, a cast of destinies and an attempt to see and display portraits of two epochs in the history and culture of my two home countries.

I would say that this album is a look into the past in order to comprehend and obtain our lost present.
Date of release: May 9th 2022

Fyodor Biryuchev - piano, composer
Alexandra Kuzma - flute
Anastasia Strelnikova - violin
Peter Chonkushov - violin
Anna Burchik - viola
Timur Kolodyazhny - cello

Ilya Karpov - sound engineer, mixing, mastering
Artur Grabovsky - photographer
Dmitry Sezionov - designer
Victoria Pakhomova - creative director

Michael Bire

Fyodor Biryuchev
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