Composer and performance artist, she was born in Russia and studied composition at the Moscow State Conservatoire, High School of Music and Dance in Cologne, and is currently enrolled in a PhD composition programme at Harvard University. In her music, she brings together instruments and various objects, extending one through another and creating performative situations with a strong visual aspect. When mapping the world of sounds, she draws her scores by hand on paper, some of which have been exhibited independently in art museums. Her recent research is focused on the link between musical cartography and the choreography of sound, leading to the phenomena of animating found objects and establishing certain relationships with them within the frame of improvisation.
Elena Rykova has received the RheinSilber Award at New Talents Biennale in Cologne (2016), Berlin Scholarship of Academy of Arts in Berlin (2016), and Federico Mompou International Award in Barcelona (2015), among others. She was also a finalist of Kandinsky Prize, the largest independent Russian award in contemporary art (2014) and the Gaudeamus Prize in the Netherlands (2013).
Selected works: Playing Shimmy for clarinet (2011), The Mirror of Galadriel for two performers (2012), Purple Haze for accordion (2013), Alone Against the Wall for flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, cello and objects (2013), Quest # for 6–9 unspecified chromatic instruments (2013), TypewritERyk for flute, clarinet and accordion (2013), Stop at the next cloud or I’ll turn into a scorpion for quintet (2013), Marionette for amplified violin (2014), A blink of the evanescent smile for guitar, violin, cello and objects (2014–15), The Codex of a Wolverine for orchestra (2014–15), Brain-ring for saxophone quartet (2013–15), One Step to the Portal for clarinet, timpani and lights (2015–), 101% mind uploading for percussion and objects (2015), Bat Jamming for piano and objects (2015), Life expectancy. Experience #1. The Sun for seven performers (2015–16), You exist and I am an illusion for prepared snare drum, objects and prepared cello (2016), Life expectancy. Experience #2. Your Moon for prepared cello, guitar and prepared snare drum (2016), Cryptic Thingness, electroacoustic music (2016), Subito Dodo for percussion and objects for five performers (2017), Cositas diminutas / Speaking Objects for prepared piano and objects (2017), Thousands splinters of a human eye for soprano, alto, mezzosoprano, tenor, baritone, bass, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon and saxophone (2017).