Elena Rykova on Yoko Ono: Beyond a Thought Within Imagination (2017)

Once, my composition professor in Germany Johannes Schöllhorn, who I adore so much, sent me some texts by Yoko Ono, in reaction to my new score that I shared with him. The poems he chose to send me were one of her Tape pieces and one of her Map pieces. He sent them, saying: “Yoko Ono's way of thinking and humor seem to me in the same time far and close to yours. Nice coincidence." 

Here are the poems:


Draw a map to get lost.

1964 spring



Take a tape of the sound of the snow
This should be done in the evening.
Do not listen to the tape.
Cut it and use it as strings to tie
gifts with.
Make a gift wrapper, if you wish, using
the same process with a phonosheet.

1963 autumn


I loved these poems so much that I ordered the whole book straight away. The book is called Grapefruit, it is a tiny artist's book of poems, texts and event scores by Yoko.  And in December 2017 I wrote a short essay on it.

Though I was working on it over the course of music analysis at Harvard University (Special Topics), my intent wasn't to write a highly analytical academic paper, because I don't believe in compatibility of my thinking and academic style of writing, I think they belong to completely different planets subordinate to natural laws opposite to each other. But I do believe in my ability to sense the core of the subject and to reveal and communicate it to the reader in my own way that will be inspiring and joyful to read.

When I read something myself, I appreciate most of all when I find the reading inspiring and exciting as it gives me the energy for my own creativity, that's why in my own writings or whatever else I make, I choose to pursue the same values.

I hope you'll enjoy traveling along the map of my thoughts.