ex-Soviet and modern Russian music

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Snowshow Video

I received many letters about Slava Snowshow.
Now ou have a chance to download video. 2 shots were made in 80th on soviet tv. But internet made them international -)

link is here

Monday, November 27, 2006

Natalia Medvedeva

Natalia Medvedeva was an actor, a model, a writer and a singer who performed with punk bands like "Tribunal", "Korrozia Metalla" and "Hyj Zabej". In 16 she moved to America after her first husband and began her career singing romances in the bars of Sunset Beach. Unlike most people who supported punk ideology, she took serious lessons of singing in New York conservatory. Then she married Eduard Limonov, a marginal anti soviet writer and a radical politician, who set in prison for some years because of his books and social activity. Together they moved to France, where Natalia wrote articles for french magazines which spotted and mocked bohemian traits of life. When she came back to Russia, she felt a cultural shock meeting true soviet people and this resulted in her songs. Medvedeva was well read and highly intellectual, that's why her lyrics (as well as her books) criticize stereotypes, primitive desires and ways of thinking in a sincere, decadent and sometimes ironical way and praise true love which is not easy to find among of this all. In 1994 she recorded her most famous and radical album "Tribunal" by Natalia Medvedeva (the title speaks for itself). Natalia was one of the brightest stars on russian female underground stage. Maybe she can be compared to Lydia Lynch.

Her songs make me start thinking of the meaning of life. Tragic frustrated melancholy tones of her voice drive me into sad and philosophical mood. Sometimes I feel like it's my elder sister talking to me.

(written by new ex-soviet music editor Panda_on_Snow)

I can add that I made Medvedeva's acquaintance in the end of 90th with her book "And they had passion.." (text in russian).

Book described relationship between young woman and writer (prototypes are certainly Natalia and Eduard Limonov). That times I was shocked with some cruelty and radicalism of this woman: it seemed she lived in revolution every day. And maybe it was. Limonov in one of his book said that Natalia's death was something like regularity: she died in the of 44 in quiet dream. In February 3, 2003.
And revolution was over.

I suppose punk wasn't best music style for Medvedeva's charisma and voice that were optimally for chanson songs. But punk was in her soul like protest against soviet life. She tried to get rid of soviet rules and lifestyle all her life.

by terless
К сорока годам у Барби | By 40 Barbie has.mp3 (poem in rus)

Пара гнедых | Couple of bay horses.mp3 (romance)
Singapur.mp3 (romance)
more music

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mary Poppins | Natalia Andreychenko

Mary Poppins is the central character in a series of children's books written by P. L. Travers and illustrated by Mary Shepard, which were subsequently adapted for film and for the stage.
In russian version ("Mary Poppins, Goodbye" 1983 (sic! year om my birth:) english nanny Mary Poppins was positioned as Lady Perfection. That was true. Miss Poppins weared only high-quality clothes, had stylish hats, spoke without ugly words - she was reaaly perfect.
Mary wasn't first role of young actress Natalia Andreychenko. She was rather famous in Soviet Union (after "Siberiada" by Andron Konchalovsky for example) but "Mary..." made her heroin of all soviet and post-soviet children.
Soundtrack for "Mary Poppins, Goodbye" was created by Natalia Andreychenko's husband, composer Maxim Dunaevskiy. Some traditions of musical mixed with some soviet melodies fixed on funny and smart texts. Soundtrack became Mister Perfection in this story.

Mary Poppins, Goodbye! (1983) OST

Monday, November 20, 2006

Olga Rozhdestvenskaya & Moscow Grooves Institute

Olga is heroin of my coincidences.
First time I heard her voice some years ago but didn't know whose voice it was. It was stylish, romantic but modern and smart. I thought: maybe it was Irina Bogushevskaya? No!
Some days ago I had a big scandal with production department and producer gave me Olga's songs to hear - "Wow" - I said - "I know her and... don't know her".
Then I told to my friend: "You know the song I'm humming?" - "Your murmurs are not like melody, you see" - he answered. "It's Olga Rozhdestvenskaya, so you know?" - "I know. Once I fell from stairs with her"...
I found picture that made me envy: Olga has beautiful voice and she's very beautiful herself.

Чрезвычайно изобретательный электронный саунд легко оплетает небесный голос, поющий до боли знакомые слова «На заре ты ее не буди…», «Где же ты моя Сулико…»." -- i can't translate this extraordinary phrase. Let it be magic secret for foreigners.

(my english is bad, bad, bad...)

Les chrysanthemes [ 2002 mix ] .mp3 | "Na zare" whole album

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Valery Zubkov

Movie "Tsygan" ("Gipsy") was created in 1979. Actress Clara Lutchko was popular in Soviet Union but after "Tsygan" release she became the most popular actress in USSR.

Music for this film wrote Valery Zubkov. I haven't found any information about this talented composer. I'll describe track: this is lyric composition made in soviet soundtrack tradition. It makes heart ache and tears closer. It's romantic. And if you don't know "Tsygan"'s fabula you'll see "meeting" anyway.

Valery Zubkov - Vstrecha (Meeting).mp3

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lyudmila Senchina

Name of Lyudmila Senchina wasn't among first names of soviet showbusiness. But her name was always in warm aura that was in all her songs.
Some country themes, some simple melodies, some ordinary objects created very emotional feelings of warmness and lyrics. Her songs were not glamour like Edita Pieha's. They were not simple and funny like Aida Vedischeva's songs. Senchina found her own way to show song: she tried to sing melodie more than text (as it seems to me) that wasn't in russian music tradition at all.

It is real easy listening from Soviet Union.

Polevie tsvety.mp3

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Katya Chilly

The nonconformist of the Ukrainian music, the singer destroying all of representation about a format. A voice of the siren is forcing to forget about all things, unique beautiful face, the fantastic character and child's frankness. All this about Katya Chilly. Katya is one of the brightest phenomena of the Ukrainian music. Arguments in favour of this statement? First, originality of a genre in which the singer works. Her scenic image and vocal talant as well give us total rights to consider unprecedented phenomenon in Ukrainian music and World music.
It is impossible to compare Katya Chilly with other singers.. she is unique.
This music is "world" but not only: her songs are beyond any directions. Like mantras with electronic style.
In the summer of 2005 Katya and Ukranian records have released a single «Півні». Russian and Ukrainian DJs worked with Katya: Tka4 (Kiev), Evgenie Arsentyev (Moscow), DJ Lemon (Kiev), Professor Moriarti (Moscow), LP (Kaliningrad) (I wrote about LP by the way).
Restoring an archaic ethnic material, Katya Chilly gives it(him) unique modern interpretation. So finds a new embodiment a musical soul of people.

Я - молодая | i am young.mp3
Крашен вечер | beautiful evening.mp3

Sunday, September 10, 2006

beginning of 90th

Beginning of 90th in ex-soviet countries was full of music.
Combinacia with songs about American boy, Accountant and 2 pieces of wurst lie on your table.Bogdan Titomir with his "Sex machine" and "Do like me". "Do like me" - it was actual appeal for perplexed soviet people especially young. They were ready to go by Titomir's slogan.

Also Car-Man London, goodbye...
...Also Cabaret-Duet Academia Za pivom - music not for youth but for typical adults.

Russian pop music of that time was comic a bit. On one hand it tried to copy modern american and european style, on other hand there were a lot of themes to be sing about: "American boy, i'll go with you", "2 pieces of wurst lie on table, you told me fairy-tales but I didn't believe you". The texts described rich world and ordinary soviet boys and girls had to choose: to be rich and illegal or to be poor and patriotic.

"I love military men, handsome and big, and also like cool ones and other businesslike guys..." - in all aspects she loved bandits.

Sergey Lemokh | Car-Man

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bulat Okudzhava

Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava was one of the founders of the Russian genre called "author's song" (avtorskaya pesnya). He was born in Moscow and died in Paris. He was the creator of about 200 songs, set to his own poetry. His songs are a mixture of Russian poetic and folksong tradition and the French chansonnier style represented by such contemporaries of Okudzhava as Georges Brassens. Though his songs were never overtly political (in contrast to those of some of his fellow "bards"), the freshness and independence of Okudzhava's artistic voice presented a subtle challenge to Soviet cultural authorities, who were thus hesitant for many years to give official sanction to Okudzhava as a singer-songwriter.

Bulat Okudzhava was born in Moscow on 9 May 1924 into a family of communists who had come from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, for study and work connected with the Communist Party. Son of a Georgian father and an Armenian mother, Bulat Okudzhava spoke and wrote only in Russian. This was because his mother, who spoke Georgian, Azeri, and of course Armenian, had always requested that everyone who came to visit her house "Please, speak the language of Lenin - Russian". His father, a high Communist Party member from Georgia, was arrested in 1937 during the Great Purge and executed as a German spy on the basis of a false accusation. His mother was also arrested and spent 18 years in the prison camps of the Gulag (1937-1955). Bulat Okudzhava returned to Tbilisi and lived there with relatives.

In 1941, at the age of 17, one year before his scheduled school graduation, he volunteered for the Red Army infantry and from 1942 participated in the war with Germany. With the end of the Second World War, after his discharge from the service in 1945, he returned to Tbilisi where he passed his high school graduation tests and enrolled in Tbilisi State University, graduating in 1950. After graduating the university he worked as a teacher - first in a rural school in the village of Shamordino in Kaluga district, later in the city of Kaluga itself.

In 1956, after the death of Stalin, Okudzhava returned to Moscow, where he worked first as an editor in the publishing house Molodaya Gvardiya ("Young Guard"), and later as the head of the poetry division at the most prominent national literary weekly in the former USSR, Literaturnaya Gazeta ("Literary Gazette"). It was then, in the middle of the 1950s, that he began to compose songs and to perform them, accompanying himself on the guitar.

Soon he was giving concerts. He only employed a few chords and had no formal training in music, but he possessed an exceptional melodic gift, and the intelligent lyrics of his songs blended perfectly with his music and his voice. His songs were praised by his friends and amateur recordings were made. These unofficial recordings were widely copied and spread across the country, where other young people picked up guitars and started singing the songs for themselves. In 1969 his lyrics appeared in the classic Soviet film "White Sun of the Desert".

Though Okudzhava's songs were not published by any official media organization until the late 1970s, they quickly achieved enormous popularity (especially among the intelligentsia) - mainly in the USSR at first, but soon among Russian-speakers in other countries as well. Vladimir Nabokov, for example, cited his Sentimental March in the novel Ada or Ardor.

Okudzhava, however, regarded himself primarily as a poet and treated his musical recordings as insignificant. During the 1980s, he also published much prose (his novel The Show is Over won him the Russian Booker Prize in 1994 ). By the 1980s, recordings of Okudzhava performing his songs finally began to be officially released in the Soviet Union, and many volumes of his poetry appeared separately. In 1991, he was awarded the USSR State Prize.

Okudzhava died in Paris on 12 June 1997, and is buried in the Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow. A monument marks the building at 43 Arbat Street where he lived. His dacha in Peredelkino is open to the public as a museum.

Pesenka ob Arbate.mp3
Chasovie lubvi.mp3

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Georgian Legend (Erisioni)

I found "Gandagana"-song occasionally but the magic music impressed me very much. "Georgian Legend" is modern export version of georgian folk music. Music is set on producing platform with some reasons: to keep and promote georgian culture, to earn money and to show the world former soviets can make cool show.
From the site:
"1999. During a performance in Tbilisi, Georgia by the Georgian National Ensemble "Erisioni", Jim Lowe and Pascal Jourdan discover a country, a soul, and a culture enriched by centuries of history. Amazed by the immense talent of these dancers, singers and musicians, they decide to introduce this jewel to the world.

2000. The first version of the show, then called "The Legend of Tamar," tours in the United States. American critics hail the production as "sensational" (The Los Angeles Times), "spectacular" (The New York Times), and "a feast of riches for eye and ear" (The New York Post).

2001-2002. GEORGIAN LEGEND debuts in Europe, with acclaimed performances in legendary Parisian venues such as the Palais des Sports and the Palais des Congres and a tour through France, Switzerland and Belgium in April 2002. With an audience of 150,000 and 100,000 CDs sold in few months, the success of Georgian Legend is only beginning.

2003. GEORGIAN LEGEND is the meeting between the Georgian people and the Western world. Consummate production values of technique, sound, light and staging showcase the performers.

GEORGIAN LEGEND is composed of breathtaking Georgian artists -- men, women and children (between 8 and 11 years old) -- who collaborated with four European musicians for a mixing of cultures and musical influences. It is also breathtaking jumps, saber fights, dizzying waltz, technical prowess, moving choirs, and stirring musical composition and conduction.

GEORGIAN LEGEND is about love and work, about invasions, wars and victories, about the pride and courage of a proud people of the Caucasus who, throughout centuries, have retained their own identity. The dancers are terpsichorean athletes, the only dancers in the world able to dance on toepoint while wearing supple leather ballet slippers. The height of their jumps, the variety, the rapidity and the synchronism of their movements are an astonishment of power and precision. The gracious and courteous ballerinas seem to glide on the stage, smiling and diaphanous. Despite their youth, the children have reached an impressive level of artistic rigor and maturity.

All the legends from Georgia come together in a performance that you and your family will never forget."



Friday, May 12, 2006

Dina Vyerny (Verni)

Real name is something like "Vernikova" (as says Miroslav Nemirov in his article). She was born in 1919 and left Motherland with parend while social war. In 15 y.o. she met Aristid Maillol, French Catalan sculptor and painter. Maillol was 73. Dina became his young nimphet muse. She was acquainted with Matisse and Picasso.
After Maillol's death she turned his alone heiress - he bequeathed her all his collections, gallery and so on.
Dina Verni's songs appeared in 70th in USSR. Of course it was illegal.
Nobody knows why Dina decided to sing thieves' slang songs - songs of Goulag she had never been in. Many russian fans think she sang her own experience but it's mistake.
Dina appeared in Moscow only in 1959. Stalin was dead but USSR was still a very strong communistic country. Many creative people came back from Goulag camps. Yuz Aleshkovskiy wrote song "Okurochek" ("cigarette butt")... There were Alexander Galich and Bulath Ocudzhava...
Moscow impressed Dina Verni very much. But her imressions were negative. She got used to chic french salons. No liberty, no official art - she decided not to come back in USSR.
But sh decided to create new collection - collection of russian chanson songs. Afraid of KGB she had to learn all the songs by heart. And she did it: 24 songs were got abroad.
When we met
Don't wait for me mama
The new suit

Monday, May 08, 2006

Блестящие | Shining

Their start was in 1997. VJ's of MTV channel were smiling darkly while presenting some shots from music video.
Band "Shining" consisted of 3 beautiful girls: Olga, Polina and Varvara (then - Olga, Irina and Zhanna). Their music had function of a special bridge between pop music and club culture. They said something like: if you have no money for expensive moscow clubs and you would never pass ordinary facecontrol, you could be bright and you could dance all the same!
Girls were the heroins of new teen magazine "COOL" and soon Russia went mad about "Shining".
But russian showbusiness is a stupid thing like moss: soon "Shining" became a typical pop group: no dances, no clubs - only tits and shining lips.

Tam, tol'ko tam - There, only there (1997) or rapidshare

Monday, March 27, 2006

Olympic games 1980

XXII Summer Olympic Games placed in Moscow in 1980. The symbol was Olympic Bear painted by talented soviet artist Victor Chizhikov.
Because of antagonism between NATO and Warshav pact countries there were no american sportsmen. Answer was boycott by USSR friendly countries to XXIII summer Olumpic games in Los Angeles.

Hymn of Moscow olympic games written by Alexandra Pakhmutova and Nikolay Dobronravov was popular many years after competitions. The Bear flew up stadium and was flying above Moscow.
Then he fell on Vorobyevy hills.

Александра Пахмутова, Николай Добронравов - До свидания, Москва! (До свидания, наш ласковый Мишка!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Aida Vedischeva

Aida Vedischeva is a legend of soviet scene. For 25 years already she lives in Los Angeles. Now her scenic name is "Amazing Aida" but it hardly to dream her in american charts - soviet star of 60th.
In 1967 young girl from Irkutsk became a superstar. Her LP "Song about bears" was sold in 7,000,000 copies.
Her songs are very simple. She tells beautiful stories about human relations you could imagine at every soviet factory or kolkhoz. She's happy in spring and sad in autumn. It's real easy-listening as easy life at all.

Naydi menya | Find me
Dorozhnaya | Road song
Gololed | ice-crusted ground

Slava's Snowshow

A man is standing on scene. He holds in hands enormous air telephone. He should make fun but he's sad. And all ex-Soviet Union likes him.
His name is Slava Polunin and he has his own show called Snow Show.

Jerry Tallmer, The Villager:
"Slava’s balloons work better than those at the Democratic Convention. They’re also bigger — just this side of Zeppelins.

They rain down on stage and audience as Slava and his colleagues are taking their bows during the huge (dry) snowstorm that ends “Slava’s Snowshow” — at least they did in the video from Paris that preceded the Russian mime and his company’s August 24 arrival at the Union Square Theatre on East 17th Street.

Slava is the one in the da-glo egg-yellow bathrobe and big furry brick-red carpet slippers. During the show he may or may not hang himself, may or may not be pierced with arrows like Saint Sebastian, may or may not dance with a mannequin, may or may not get himself enmeshed in a giant spider web of gauze, may or may not don a top hat as smokestack and tootle around like a choo-choo train.

“The show is constantly changing,” he said some days ago from his and his wife’s house outside Paris. “So is the troupe. It’s full-time improvisation. Often we don’t know who plays which role until we get to the theater.”

A translator, on the line here in New York, put all this into English. But Slava understood. When she, the translator, was conveying Slava’s encapsulation of what he does as “a combination of metaphysics, tragedy, and comedy,” the snowman broke in (in Russian) with: “ . . . and poetry.”

Blame it all on Charlie Chaplin.

Some of the largest and fiercest tank battles of World War II took place in the Orel-Novosil area in 1943.

Slava Polunin, whose parents were “in commerce” — sales clerks in a toy store — was born in Novosil, “a little village 60 kilometers from the city,” on June 12, 1950.

“In 1960, when I was 10 years old, I was watching on television the movie ‘The Kid’ [Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, 1916]. My mother came into the room and turned it off. I cried till morning.”

Later, in his 20s, Slava would get to think that Buster Keaton was an even greater silent-film actor, in short, a mime, than Chaplin, but in any event the damage had been done.

“When I was 12 years old I started performing, first with friends, then in school, then to the big city, and then in 1967, when I was 17, I decided to leave my little village and go off to mime school [instead of the family’s aim for him, engineering school] in St. Petersburg.”

A famous movie, “Les Enfants du Paradis,” had already (1945) established the primacy of Etienne Decroux and Jean-Louis Barrault in the universe of mime, and Marcel Marceau was soon to walk in their tracks (leaning against the wind, which Slava, mercifully, does not do).

“French pantomime and English pantomime were the second stage of my education,” he says over that phone line. “The third stage was folk art and commedia dell’arte and jester [perhaps a mistranslation of ‘gesture’?]. And the fourth stage was the avant-garde of Artaud and Tina Bausch and Robert Wilson.”

Underlying the whole gestalt is, he said, the ancient Slavic skoromokhi, a performance broth of clowns, minstrels, mummers, buffoons, dancers, puppeteers, magicians, songmakers, tale-tellers, and animal acts.

Slava founded his first mime troupe, Litsedei, in 1978; would lead it around Europe in what he called the Mir (Peace Caravan) for six months in 1989. By the 1990s he felt the need of a refresher course in up-to-date clowning, so he spent two years touring with Cirque du Soleil, including a hitch in New York.

“Slava’s Snowshow” came out of all that with a hit London booking in 1993.

His travels have left him, he says, “well versed in global show culture,” not least the culture of the Blue Man Group and the brilliant fool-mooning of Bill Irwin and David Shiner, witnessed three years ago in Moscow.

Now about that rope — the one sad-eyed Slava loops around his neck at the beginning of the show, only to haul a fellow mime in by it from the wings. More than a little touch of “Waiting for Godot,” it might be thought.

“Well,” says Slava Polunin, “I adore Beckett, but I do not subscribe to his philosophy, which is that of impasse. Mine is of joy and happiness, even if tragedy is also a crucial element. A lot of my shows are actually conceived as counter-Beckett.”

Counter-Beckett and counter-disaster. He has entertained in Kiev during and just after the Chernobyl nuclear wipeout, when all other theaters in the vicinity were closed; in Moscow, during the Czechen takeover of the Dubrovka Theater that left 129 people dead; in Berlin, outdoors, at the Wall, when the Wall was coming down.

If, at Union Square, someone a bit smaller than Slava comes out on stage holding a fish in her hand, that’ll be his wife Lena Ushakova. Their son Ivan is an actor; their son Dmitri is a technician. It’s all in the family, or, as they say in Novosil, snow news is good news."

Blue Canary is the main theme in SnowShow. Then and now.

Fiorino - Blue canary.mp3
Jorge Ben - Mas Que Nada


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Andrey Petrov | Autumn maraphon

Movie is about 25 years, main hero is about 45. All the time he runs maraphon without end from one woman to another one. Also he helps third woman and sees forth off (his daughter). Andrey Buzykin is not easy rider, inside out, he loves only one woman but his love happened twice at the same time. As is often the case.
Music to this film was created by genius Andrey Petrov. Melody lyrics is in fusion with tragicomic film. It makes lighter dark things and darker lights ones.
Some days ago Andrey Petrov died.

Autumn Maraphon Piesa.mp3 (thanks to plesiosaur de champlain for host)

Friday, February 10, 2006

friends! i like this blog and it's my child of course so I don't want to lose it. Moreover I know my english is not so good as i want it to be.
soooooo... there is problem with mp3 hosting.
blog will be alive if someone gives me small host place. Because i found good rus-eng translators and a lot of music as well -)