Sound installation
Stereo | 15’ | 2013

© Agathe Simon

Listen Raskolnikov (full version)
in French or in Russian

Inspired by Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the sound installation Raskolnikov evokes in real time the fifteen last minutes before the murder of the pawnbroker. It has been recorded in the very location of the novel. It offers a personal version of this essential scene of Russian literature.

This sound creation is narrative: it resorts to a text inspired by Dostoevsky’s novel, as well as quotations of Russian text and an original soundtrack. It is also based on various recordings that Agathe Simon has made in Saint Petersburg, in the Hay Square district (Sennaïa plochad).

First, Agathe Simon has recorded in real time the journey accomplished by Raskolnikov from his garret to the flat of the pawnbroker, in order to kill her with an axe. The streets followed by the hero of Crime and Punishment, as well as the two buildings (respectively located at 19 street Grazhdanskaya and 15 street Srednaya Podyacheskaya), still exist without major changes since the years 1860. This recording respects the exact journey of Raskolnikov and thus begins in the famous stairs at 19 street Grazhdanskaya.

Then, she has made various recordings close to these locations. The entirety of the sounds and noises of Raskolnikov comes from Hay Square district, except some elements recorded in the former flat of Dostoevsky located at 5/2 street Kuznechniy (currently Dostoevsky museum): notably the clock and doorbell, both epochal.


Igor K.: Raskolnikov
Maria Ivleva: the little girl
Matvey Averin: the drunkard
Dina Tchernobrivets: the pawnbroker
Direction, text, music, editing: Agathe Simon
Russian translation: Anastasia Patsey, Igor K. (with Dostoevsky quotations)
Voices recording: Matvey Averin | Galernaya-20 Studio, Saint-Petersburg
Mixing: Guillaume Samot | Chez Jean Studio, Paris
Special thanks: Anastasia Patsey, Jean Dindinaud, Emmanuel Rebaudengo, William Jame, François Consani, Vera Sergeevna, Anastasia Knyazeva, Darya Apakhonchich, Wadim Dicke, Denis Sorokin, Christian Halford, Pushkinskaya-10 Art Centre, Dostoevsky Museum of Saint Petersburg, Chez Jean Music & Radio Production Company