What might be said about the time spent by AB’s editors in St. Petersburg after the presentation of issue 29? Perhaps that it was a time of deepening relationships, joint initiatives and expectations. Let’s review some aspects of this deepening. First, as directly pertains to our territory on Apraksin Lane. And second, concerning our partners in the city and other cultural points.

A separate word about those who are now helping to keep our St. Petersburg editorial office site in a state corresponding to its purpose. Author and St. Petersburg office coordinator Elena Starovoitova handles a huge number of technical issues related to the physical existence of AB in the city and to local print runs. Author Anatoly Zavernyaev, known as “Rodion” in countercultural circles, successfully combines care for the office with pursuits in theology and in historical dances, which in recent years have made a great contribution to supporting the traditions and spirit of Petersburgers. Author and translator Vagid Ragimov conducts classes in Tibetan language in our editorial office, also clearly enhancing the impact of pure thoughts in the AB environment. We appreciated, in the month of November that we spent in the city, the chance to help announce the presentation of the second volume of Ragimov’s new translation of One Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. We are grateful to designer and restorer Olga Zemlyanikina, also an AB author, for her professional inspection of Tatyana Apraksina’s liberated art studio; these efforts built on work already done by Zemlyanikina and Starovoitova in 2015 to return AB’s historical editorial office to an initial degree of preparedness to serve. And we are grateful from the bottom of our hearts to all those who offered things to fill at least part of the gaps among missing household items. Thanks to such replenishment, it became possible to welcome guests and start engaging in some meaningful activity besides endless cleaning and sorting and hunting for arbitrarily rearranged or stolen things. We enjoyed visits from many wonderful and constructively minded people, whom AB either has loved for a long time or has quickly come to love now. The studio was even the scene of an interview for the Moscow magazine Through Music’s Looking Glass, whose representatives (Maria Yarygina and AB author Nikita Yarygin) photographed the updated, ever more handsome interior.

By the way, all first-run copies of issue 29 were completely snapped up. We turned again to Kirill Astakhov and his Printcafe for help. Everyone notes the excellent print quality and enjoys holding the magazine in their hands.

In addition, in the editorial office, new songs were written and, for the first time in many years, songs were sung that were written by authors once regulars on the Lane — songs specifically related to the place and its inhabitants and already played there, and songs that for various reasons were now played there for the first time. Following up on the cycles of songs penned here in 1997-98 by James Manteith at the beginning of his activity as an AB correspondent, new milestones of development in Lane-born songs finally appeared. It was very fortunate that one functional guitar remained in the plundered studio. As for the still-broken guitars, the music master Voldemar is restoring one in anticipation of our next visit.

Before the creation of new paintings and treatises on Lane, there is still much to overcome. But there is a mutual desire and room for steps of reciprocity. Many say it would be nice to show Apraksina’s California paintings in St. Petersburg. Indeed! Perhaps that could be feasible?

More on prospects and partnerships:

— New materials and suggestions are arriving from authors. Plans and interactions are arising involving people and institutions from St. Petersburg educational and cultural life. For instance:

— the Mayakovsky Library, which in 2010 hosted a presentation of the magazine and a performance of T. Apraksina’s California Psalms. Now the library has offered to host AB’s 2020 observance of the magazine’s 25th anniversary, presumably coinciding with the release of issue 30. Thanks to the staff of the Mayakovsky’s Galitzine library branch and to tips from our authors for revealing this opportunity.

— the Faculty of Philosophy of St. Petersburg State University, where AB’s festival “March Solo” was held and T. Apraksina lectured in 1998, and which has long maintained a relationship with AB’s California campus. Now new plans are possible at the Faculty. AB also continues to assist the Faculty in establishing ties with the American philosophy scene.

Zamizdat Publishing House, which recently released the latest edition of Twilight of “Saigon.” AB editors participated in the presentation of the book at the Anna Akhmatova Museum. An unexpected behind-the-scenes commentary on the presentation was T. Apraksina’s “When the Wall is Built,” which, according to publishing project editor Yu. Valieva, “is exactly what people need now.” J. Manteith’s performance of translations of Mike’s songs at the presentation led the organizers to think about the timeliness of recording an album of Russian songs in translation. The presentation closed with a performance by AB author Aleksandr Donskich von Romanov.

In connection with Manteith’s performance at the AB presentation, a proposal surfaced about arranging a concert of translated songs at the St. Petersburg PEN Club or somewhere else. Let’s see… We welcome everything!

— representatives of Mike Naumenko’s legacy. T. Apraksina officially announced her intention to write a book about Mike. Information about this, our Mike translations, and other Mike-inspired materials by AB editors and authors, may follow through the community of Zoopark fans in VKontakte, through AB and through other channels. We gratefully learned about recent actions by AB author Igor Petrovsky in support of Mike. Apraksina also continued to provide material and advice to Alexander Kushnir for his upcoming Mike biography.

— the International Association of Historical Psychology and the Russia-West Forum, which suggested a partnership to support T. Apraksina writing a book about America. Russia-West and the Decembrists forum have also become AB information partners, along with Through Music’s Looking Glass.

— director Alexei Prazdnikov, whose lost film about T. Apraksina, “Consonance” (Lentelefilm, 1989) was found and restored in order to provide it in an accessible format for further viewing.

— author-color theorist Nikolai Serov. Serov’s theories published in AB formed the basis of J. Manteith’s scholarly work, published and lectured on earlier this year, on the paintings of T. Apraksina. Manteith, in St. Petersburg, translated into English Serov’s new work “An Information Model of Natural Intelligence.” Meanwhile, Serov began to write his own theoretical and analytical work on Apraksina’s paintings, following up on a work co-authored with Yu.V. Romanenko in 2014.

— cellist and AB author Yuri Semenov, who luckily turned out to be in his native St. Petersburg for a concert in the early days of the AB editors’ stay there, before his return to his other base in Istanbul.

— the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, where it’s a joy to affirm that AB is remembered and appreciated, that music remains sacred, and that during concerts the spirit of music triumphs, freeing musicians and listeners alike for a higher understanding of life.

— author-musician-musicologist Vladimir Shulyakovsky. His quartet played a farewell concert for Apraksina in her St. Petersburg studio in 1999. This time, he was able to come to the liberated studio and play there again. Enlightening us as to his many-sided activity in recent years, he touched us with a gift of a handwritten copy of his composition “Pomegranate Shade.”

This list can and should be further developed and continued… It is a pity that we could not manage to communicate with most people with due thoroughness, or even contact them at all, due to the abundance of serious, harsh topics characteristic of this phase of reestablishment in the city. In general, we weren’t able to go many places… But those points that we nevertheless reached made indelible impressions. Moreover, as someone said in the course of one conversation, “Apraksin Lane is the whole of St. Petersburg.” Our thanks for all the intersections, for all the piercing insights that might make such a statement true.

The AB editors’ days in St. Petersburg formed a beautiful chord. This chord will take its rightful place in a large composition, which is already awaiting continuation — soon and for a long time to come. Things are happening that neither we nor anyone could possibly plan… We perceive what has happened and is happening as a miracle that exceeds our expectations. Again, our gratitude to all friends of the publication, our solidarity with them. Let’s play well together!

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