Maestro Igor Iosis

Issue #2 • 547

Eldar Yuldashev,
Art Critic

The art of audio engineering, rendition and connotation has its own creator: a sound producer who synthesizes creative element and technical aspects of a production.  First and foremost, a soundman is a highly cultured individual – just as maestro Igor Zinovievich Iosis, Companion of the Friendship of Peoples Order and chief sound designer of all official events and functions held in the Republic of Uzbekistan.  His name is inextricably linked with the art of sound design, its rich history, evolution and emerging traditions.  To Igor Iosis, sound is the flagship of artistic ideas, a living organism. Woven from the sound molecules, the fabric of sound is multifaceted and multilayered.  Not everyone has the power to materialize human emotions and feelings in sound, so whenever the art of sound engineering is in question, they speak the name of Igor Iosis, which has become synonymous with sound production in Uzbekistan.

The work of the talented producer elevates and ennobles the sound, making the art purer and more beautiful. Igor Iosis has a very musical ear and the ability to sense emotional expressiveness of music, form and genre, the melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre and dynamics of sound. Goethe believed that only a combination of good taste and technique can develop art. As early as in the XVIII century he wrote: “Technique combined with vulgarity is the worst enemy of art” (1, p. 354).
Artistic career of Igor Iosis is quite remarkable. He was born in 1953 in Tashkent. From early childhood was fond of music, and at the age of five he knew by heart the repertoire of many opera singers.
In 1968 he founded his first music band, the first one in Uzbekistan to professionally perform compositions of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc. After finishing music school, Igor becomes the leader of the band at the Tashkent lighting tube factory. Driven to progress, he reshaped his career orientation at this unlikely institution, seemingly remote from art and creativity. Yet the factory management provided the young team with good new equipment. The band made its first success by giving performances, taking part in international contests and festivals, and collaborating with renowned musicians. Experimenting, Iosis wrote the first rock opera in Uzbekistan, and the score excited keen interest in the genre among composers, provoking a wide response.
Developing his art and music, Igor regularly dealt with equipment to playback, record and edit his compositions, which prompted him to master a new profession of a sound engineer. Renewing the context and modernizing his audio art, Iosis makes sound a titular element in the progressing music culture of the country. Even military service did not interrupt his creative development. Upon his return to Tashkent, already quite experienced Igor Iosis immediately joined the cultural scene of the republic. By 1974 he already gained a reputation and popularity as a skilled professional working with renowned artists of various genres from the Union republics and abroad. Recalling those distant years, A. Weitzenfeld, Editor-in-chief of the Sound Producer magazine and admirer of the talented musician, wrote: “So, it is not the technology that matters, is it? Certainly not! Man and machinery never develop in parallel. Man deepens his knowledge of the world and improves things he manufactures” (2, p. 2). He further mentions that only “few select individuals” engage in sound engineering, and one of them is maestro Igor Iosis who did find the time for education despite his busy work schedule. In 1981 Iosis graduated with honours from the Hamza Republican Musical College, majoring in academic vocals, and later completed his studies at the sound engineering department of the Tashkent State Conservatory.
Year 1981 saw the opening of Istiqlol Art Palace, the Central Asia’s largest concert venue; from the start and to the present day the country’s main concert hall has employed the arch-designer of sound, maestro Igor Iosis as chief sound producer. Since 1990 he has also led the sound service at Turkistan Art Palace. Nowadays, too, Igor Iosis directs sound engineering control at virtually all major sites, stages and concert halls of the country. Venerable performers and pop-stars at home and abroad are eager to work with him. He received an offer to cooperate from Valeriy Leontiev, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, during his visit to St. Petersburg; eventually his concert tour in St. Petersburg run by Iosis turned out a great success. Such remarkable examples of cooperation were many in Igor’s career. His track record counts hundreds of bands and artists with whom he has been working for many years. In September 2007 he organized the first International Rock Festival in Central Asia, “IOSIS FEST”.
Instruments introduced by Igor Iosis enhance and stimulate the competence of sound, thus promoting the art of sound design. Over the many years Iosis has met many like-minded individuals. In his capacity of a sound producer he founded a country’s leading sound recording and renting company called «IOSIS». This is how the art of sound engineering consolidates creative and technical aspects of performance, enhancing the quality of concert practice.
Iosis collaborated with famous culture figures such as M. Ashrafi, S. Yudakov, B. Gienko, M. Leviev, M. Bafoev A. Varelas, A. Berlin, D. Saidaminova, D. Zakirov and others. Igor Iosis is trusted to reproduce the performance of major music companies such as Symphony Orchestra of the State Radio and Television Foundation, the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan, State Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan, the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, “Virtuosi of Moscow” Orchestra, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the CIS Countries, Popular and Symphony Orchestra “Comrade Cinema”, and others. Conductors Z. Haknazarov, V. Neimar, E. Morricone, V. Spivakov, and K. Krimets entrust their sensitive sound to the Iosis’ engineering. Leading theaters of the country staged their remarkable productions to the euphonic audio setting created by the famous maestro of sound. People’s favorite voices such as B. Zakirov, M. Tashmatov, I. Jalilov and the Yalla band, the performance of the Popular and Symphonic Orchestra conducted by E. P. Zhivaev, the State Television and Radio Foundation’s Big Band, and many others have progressed in their creative pursuits together with him. Artistic expression of many popular performers was galvanized in a creative tandem with Igor Iosis.
With the attainment of independence, the first private professional recording studio in Uzbekistan was created by Igor Iosis and since then supported both popular performance, and musical culture at large. As a result, a large number of well-known musical compositions have been preserved to live to this day, owing to the enthusiasm and professionalism of Igor Iosis. Music and sound design for high-level events, such as the SCO heads of state meeting, Asrlar Sadosi and Boisun Sadosi festivals, the President’s Cup tournament of the Professional Tennis Players Association, the Tashkent Open WTA Championships, the Tashkent Open International Women’s Tennis Tournament, the world championships in rhythmic gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, and other events are entrusted to this talented sound designer.
Projecting artistic ideas through sound in a new way of open-air shows, as well as trends in intellectual art consolidated in the work of Igor Iosis help expose the conceptions of show directors/producers and creative ideas of set designers.
People’s Artist of Uzbekistan Farrukh Zakirov referred to Igor Iosis as the master of sound, the benchmark and pillar of the country’s audio style. To always meet the high standards and requirements of today, respond to the trends of globalization, and improve the technology of creating artistically total sound – that is his core professional creed.

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