From the Letters of Happiness

Dmitri Kourliandski

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The NFT opera “From the Letters of Happiness” is an independent offshoot of the video opera “Letters of Happiness” from 2020.

“From the Letters of Happiness” consists of six monologues and a final chorale. The texts of the monologues are taken from emails found in spam and are voiced by electronic voices. The source musical material is obtained with the help of online melody and rhythm generators. The video uses generated and animated photos of non-existent people.

The monologues tell stories of love, betrayal and death – key archetypes for the history of opera. The NFT format and the crypto space seem to be the ideal habitat for non-existent characters and generative art.

Just as the properties of a concert venue can become a part of composers’ material (as was often the case in the history of music), the virtual technological environment can serve as a starting point for artistic research. The ideas of decentralization, blockchain, anonymity, virtuality, digitality, even the name of one of the most important cryptocurrencies – Ethereum – all sound like a purely artistic utopia.

Dealing with this territory, I find it important for myself not to simply use it as another marketplace where one can sell or buy art that could exist or be created on any other platform. The only meaningful way I see for creating in this new arena is by connecting to concepts which are influenced and directly related to the unique properties of this new media.

My first approach was a project called “cryptosilence” that reflects on the possibility of absolute silence in the crypto world through a series of one-minute silent files of different bitrates: mp3, wav, mono and stereo (later I did a series of 8-bit silence files). Together with two other projects (“pianospace,” a series of 24 computer generated preludes and “unsolvable acoustic cases,” soundscapes of a mixed nature), Cryptosilence became a central topic of my exhibition at Stella Art Foundation in Moscow in Autumn 2021.

“From the Letters of Happiness” is another attempt at dealing with the “nonexistent.” The visuals are computer generated while the texts are taken from my spam folder – false monologues of non-existent people.


Received: January 12, 2022

Dear Beloved,

Please read this slowly and carefully as it may be one of the most important letters you will ever receive. I am Mrs. Christine Campbell, I was married to the late Edward Campbell. He worked for Shell Petroleum Development Company in London and was an Experienced Contractor in the East Asia region. He died Monday, July 31, 2003, in Paris. We lived seven years of marriage without children. As you read this, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, because I believe everyone dies one day. I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and my doctor told me I wouldn’t last long because of complicated health problems.

I want God to have mercy on me and take my soul, so I decided to give alms to charities / churches / Buddhist temples / mosque / motherless children / less privileged and widows, as I want it to be one of the last good things I do on earth before I die.

So far I have distributed money to some charities in Scotland, Wales, Panama, Finland and Greece. Now that my health has deteriorated so much, I can no longer do it myself. Once I asked my family members to close one of my accounts and give the money I have there to charities in Belarus, Russia, Germany, Italy and Ukraine, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Consequently, I don’t trust them anymore, since they don’t seem to be struggling with what I have left for them.

The last money I have that no one knows about is a huge cash deposit of $6 million that I have in a bank in Thailand where I deposited this fund. I want you to use this fund for charitable programs and to support humanity in your country, if only you will be sincere.

I made this decision because I don’t have a child to inherit this money, I am not afraid of death, so I know where I am going. I know I will be in the bosom of the Lord.

As soon as I receive your response, I will give you the Bank’s contact information and send you a letter of authorization that will entitle you as the original beneficiary of this fund to immediately begin this charitable program in your country.

Only a life lived for others is worth living. I want you to pray for me at all times.

Any delay in your response will give me the opportunity to find another person for the same purpose. If you are not interested, I apologize for contacting you. You may contact me or reply to my personal email address.

Thank you,
Yours sincerely,
Mrs. Christine Campbell

Received: May 7, 2019

Dear Friend,

With due respect, I would like to introduce myself to you, I am Mr. Abraham, Ali, M, a banker by profession, I work with one of the largest bank here, as the Group Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer.

In fact, I’m contacting you because I urgently need a foreign partner, then I decide to contact you, as I believe you will be of great assistance to me, to accomplish this profitable business. Meanwhile, I have this immense opportunity,

to transfer the overdue funds, worth of five million three hundred thousand US dollars, and I am inviting you to partner with me in this business, by providing a reliable bank account where this money can be transfer, and you will have 40% after the successful transaction, while i will have the remaining 60% of the funds.

So, if you agree to my business proposal, then further details of the transaction, will be forwarded to you as soon as I receive your return mail, or you can call me if truly you are interested, and promising to keep the business extremely confidential. Good Day! Thanks.

Mr. Abraham, Ali, M.

Received: September 19, 2019

My Dear.

With warm heart I offer my friendship, and my greetings to you. In the name of our lord. And I hope this letter meets you in good time. I Propose with my free mind and as a person of integrity from God. I know that this message will appear as a surprise to you that we barely Know. But the grace of God directed me to you. And I wish you read this message. And be blessed in name of the Lord.

I have a brain tumour. I suffer terribly at the moment. My doctor just informed me that my days are numbered. Because of my health therefore condemned to certain death. Currently, I have exhausted all my savings for my medical care. But I do have some funds for my charity project. These funds are deposited with one of the security Company, here In Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa.

Purposed for charitable foundation, my marital status is such that I’m single. Because I lost my Husband over 9 years now. And unfortunately we have not had a child together, which I am no one to leave my legacy for. Therefore, to release my funds I would like to make a donation. So that there is no stiff tax on my money.

To this I would be so graceful and in order to help the poor. To give what amounts to said legacy worth four Million Euros. To enable you establish a charitable foundation in my memory. So that the grace of God be with me until my last home. So I can receive an honourable place with the Lord our father.

I have no fear because before contacted you, I have several nights prayed for the Lord to give me the contact of a trusted person, of whom I can entrust this matter. And I believe my contacts to you is divine.

Know that you can keep 30% of the money for yourself. And the rest will be used to create a charitable foundation in my memory. And a federation in the fight against cancer. And also build orphanages.

I count on your goodwill. And especially on the proper use of these funds have something I do not doubt. Because I have great confidence in you that God may guide me toward you.

Awaiting your prompt reply, receive my cordial and fraternal greetings.
Remain Bless,
Mrs Lisa McCargo

Received: December 17, 2021


I deem it important to contact you for a business proposal that will be an immense benefit for both of us, I want you to stand as the next of kin to my late client before the Bank as beneficiary of US $12 million inheritance fund and it be shared according to a proposed sharing ratio of 50% for me and 50% for you, I will provide all the necessary legally procured documents to back up any claim we make regarding this process, I request your urgent response to give you full details about this before we proceed.

Have a wonderful day and extend my deepest regards to your family.
With Kind Regards,
Mr. Jacob Deba.

Received: March 9, 2020

I sent you this letter a month ago, but I’m not sure you received it, and I haven’t heard from you. That’s why I repeat it again. I am the personal lawyer, for my late client who died in a car accident,  with his family during their trip to a neighbouring country. And I received a mandate from his Bank, to provide next of kin to his Foundation, 13,580,000 US dollars. After all my unsuccessful attempts to find any of his relatives, I decided to contact you. I would like you to come back to me for more information.

Best wishes.
Martin Bernard, Marclord.

Received: January 23, 2020

Greetings to you and your family from my sincere heart. Presently, I’m in the hospital where I am undergoing treatment for Esophageal Cancer. I am widow to late Colonel Alexandra Ziako, former deputy defence attached to Benin consulate in Croatia. My husband was killed by those who were envious of his position in the same office. Before his death he vowed to use his wealth for the orphanages. Now there is 1.6 Million Dollars my late husband deposited in a bank, here in Benin. I have decided to donate this money to an individual, who will utilise it in fulfilment of the last request of my husband.

Reply now with your full names, phone number, address and occupation. I will give you more details after consideration.

Yours Sincerely,
Mrs. Katrina Ziako

Dmitri Kourliandski (born 1976 in Moscow) studied in the Moscow conservatory with Leonid Bobylev and has been the winner of a number of composers competitions in Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Austria, Russia, including Golden Mask, Gaudeamus a.o. In 2008, he was artist-in-residence of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm and in 2010 composer-in-residence of the 2E2M ensemble in Paris. Since 2012 he has been invited to give master-classes and lectures in Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, Ukraine, France, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, and Russia. He is an author of chamber, ensemble, orchestra and opera works performed worldwide at concerts and festivals by well known musicians and collectives. Portrait CDs were published at the FANCYMUSIC and Col Legno labels. Kourliandski is the founder and artistic director of the International Young Composers Academy in Tchaikovsky; co-founder of the Structural Resistance group (StRes); and Musical Director of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. ​His works are published by Donemus, Editions Jobert and Le Chant du Monde.