Tag Archives: Russia

Artist Profiles: Chirgilchin

Chirgilchin – Photo by Gary Ehlenberger

Chirgilchin are the 1998 champions of the Tuvan national throat singing competitions in Kyzyl the capital of Tuva. Chirgilchin means either mirage or miracle in the Tuvan language.

In 1996 Alexander Bapa also the founder and producer of Tuvan Throat Singing group Huun Huur Tu gathered the cream of the younger generation of Tuvan musicians and formed Chirgilchin. One of the group’s more extraordinary features is the appearance of a Female Throat Singer which is still quite uncommon in Tuva.

All Chirgilchin’s songs are in the Tuvan language and the group plays instruments such as the Doshpuluur – a kind of lute with two strings the Igil – a violin with two strings the Limbi – a trapezoid harmonic soundbox Flute and the Dymbra – a rattle drum used by the Tuvan Shamans in their rituals.

 

Chirgilchin

 

A Chirgilchin performance will also get the public acquainted with shamanism. The Tuvan religious culture is primarily shamanistic but for some hundreds of years has also been strongly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism [or Lamaism as they call it]. Indeed many people note the relationship between some Tuvan throat singing styles and the religious chanting of Tibetan lamas.

Throat-singing or overtone singing is the audible expression of producing two or more notes at once. This startling technique was developed in response to the sounds of the natural environment in which Central Asian nomadic tribes roamed.

A particularly rich throat-singing tradition survives in Tuva and neighboring Mongolia. In these areas marked by vast grasslands and mountain ranges throat singing is called khoomei. The singer produces overtones by varying the shape of his mouth and pharynx; as a result two three or even four distinct tones can be heard at once. The fundamental tone remains constant while melodies are sung with the highest overtone resembling the sound of a flute.

Line-up:

Aydysmaa Kandan: female vocalist khomus (Tuvan mouth harp) tenchik (bells)

Mongoun-ool Ondar: throat singing (5 styles) igil morin-khuur khomus
vocals.

Igor Koshkendei: throat-singing (5 styles) igil morin-khuur doshpuluur khomus guitar.

Aldar Tamdyn: throat singing (kargyraa and khoomei styles) morin-khuur doshpuluur limbi igil

Alexander Bapa: founder producer arranger manager. Founder of Huun Huur Tu producer of their first two CDs (6 Horses in my Herd and The Orphans Lament)

Discography:

The Wolf and the Kid (Shanachie, 1996)
Aryskan’s Wind (1999)
Ezir-Kara (2002)
Collectible (2005)
Will Teach (2006)
Pictures of Tuva (2008)
Kaldak Khamar (2009)

Share

Artist Profiles: Reelroad

Reelroad in 2008

Reelroad plays traditional Russian music in an original post-folk style in concert halls and festivals throughout Europe and Russia.

In 2008 the band crossed the Atlantic to perform at world music festivals in Mexico and the United States. In early 2009 Reelroad celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Reelroad’s repertoire favors obscure folk songs from northern Russia and central Siberia, music driven underground for decades. Reelroad has two styles of performing Russian folk music. The first echoes the village with the sound of Russian instruments such as the gusli (zither), zhaleika (fife) and kaljuka.

Traditional vocals are prominent, due in part to Reelroad members Anastasia Karaseva and Aleksandrs Dmitrijevs, founders of the traditional village choir “Dubinushka.” Acoustic guitar, violin, flute and bagpipes round out the sound.

In the second style, developed for the large stage, Reelroad projects and amplifies the village sound with bass guitar and drums. All seven Reelroad members are musicians. Four serve as vocalists as well, singing in traditional Russian village vocal style.

Anastasia Karaseva plays the tin whistle, Spanish pandereta and Irish harp.

Alexey Belkin manages Reelroad and plays Galician and Scottish bagpipes, zhaleika (fife) and winged gusli (dulcimer).

Aleksandrs “Kep” Dmitrijevs plays acoustic guitar, banjo and harmonica.

Natalia Vysokikh is a professional violinist.

Alexey Skosyrev made the fretless bass guitar he plays, as well as Anastasia’s harp.

Svetlana Kondesyuk, a graduate of the Academy of Arts, plays the flute and Galician bagpipes.

Denis Nikiforov learned to play the drums in the army, studied at the Academy of Arts, and works at the famous Hermitage museum.

In addition to concert performances, Reelroad teaches Russian folk dances in clubs and dance schools. The band welcomes dancers of all skill levels and aims to dispel the belief Russian folk dances are boring or difficult.

Discography

Reelroad (2001)
Стрела – Arrow (2003)
Гуляю, гуляю – I Walk I Walk (2007)
Выйду за ворота – Past the gates (2014)
На море орёл (single) (2016)

Share

Russian World Music Awards Accepting Admissions

The second edition of the Russian World Music Awards application process is now open until July 15, 2017. To apply, go to worldmusicawards.ru. The voting process will be held during 15 days – from July 15 till July 31. People choose the best nominee for the Listeners Choice nomination until July 31. The jury will evaluate nominees based on 4 criteria: professionalism, authenticity, experimentalism, personal attitude. The winners will be presented in 5 categories: The Best Authentic Project, The Best Experimental Project, The Best World Music Project, The Best New World Music Project, and Listeners Choice Award.

 

 

 

In 2017 jury members are Ben Mandelson from the UK, Jarmila Vlchkova from Slovakia, Nataliya Shostina from Russia, Simon Broughton from the UK, Aengus Finnan from the US, Rolf Beydemuller from Germany, Alexander Cheparukhin from Russia, Arne Berg from Norway, Andrew Cronshaw from the UK, Carlos Seixas from Portugal and Yury Romanov from Russia. In total, 11 samurais and absolutely wonderful people.

 

Organizers and musicians at Russian World Music Awards 2016

 

The first Russian World Music Awards Ceremony was held in November 2016 in Moscow. The winners were chosen from a large amount of nominees for the first time – 149 applicants from 25 cities of Russia. The best world music project was Authentic Light Orchestra; the best experimental, Inna Zhelannaya; the best authentic project, Nerechtskiy Rozhechniy Choir; and Listeners choice, Robert Yuldashev and Kuraisy band.

 

Nerechtskiy Rozhechniy Choir, winners of best authentic project award at Russian World Music Awards 2016

 

Nerechtskiy Rozhechniy Choir

 

Jury members in 2016 were 9 professionals from 7 countries: Juliana Voloz from Estonia, Ton Maas from the Netherlands, Johannes Theurer from Germany, Andrey Kataev from Russia, Timur Davletov from Turkey, Tristra Newyear Yeager from the USA, Aengus Finnan from the USA, Joe Boyd from the UK, and Ankur Malhotra from India.

 

Andrey Kataev, member of Russian World Music Awards 2016 jury

 

 

It was a big surprise for us, organizers, that our idea with the world music awards had a resonance in hearts of many people, the activity in social nets was really impressing! Over 2000 visitors per day! Organizers are Natalia Myazina and Daryana Antipova.

 

Alyona Halepo, Alexander Eremin, Natalia Myazina, Juliana Voloz at Russian World Music Awards 2016

 

We ordered handcrafted statues with the symbol of our Awards – a bird, made of cedar wood in Siberia. Totally we spent about 500 dollars for all the project work.

In 2017 year we are planning to present our winners at WOMEX in Poland. And this year it’s going to be free for the musicians to apply to our Awards. As what we offer is really a substantial deal: an international and Russian jury will listen to nominee’s music, will watch their video, we publish the band’s profile at all our social media, so later bands will be in our compilation CD and online (for the best nominees), so many new people will know about nominees music and can become their fans!

 

Natalia Myazina and Alexander Eremin at Russian World Music Awards 2016

 

Some people ask us why we are positioning ourselves as an international project. The answer is vivid, we almost don’t have a world music market in Russia. Our bands are traveling abroad to earn money. The Russian reality is that world music is an unknown term for our specialists; we misunderstand ethnic and folk music, often taking communist lubok balalaika and garmoshka as national folk. That’s why we gather international specialists for the Awards’ jury, as we see the lack of international-class specialists in world music in Russia. We hope this will change in the future, and our mission is to be the locomotive of this process in Russia.

 

The best authentic project – Nerechtskiy Rozhechniy Choir

 

The best world music project Authentic Light Orchestra

 

The best experimental project – Inna Zhelannaya

 

Listeners choice – Robert Yuldashev and Kuraisy band

 

The Russian World Music Awards welcome professional bands and soloists, performing in world music genre living in Russia. How do we determine who is professional and who is amateur? We decided that to be a professional musician in world music is not about documents, diplomas, it’s about listener’s’ choice. It’s impossible to lie to people, they feel what has a resonance in their hearts, and what does not. That’s why a professional musician for us is who has a vast concert activity and has at least 1 album.

info@worldmusicawards.ru
www.russianworldmusicawards.ru
https://vk.com/russianworldmusicawards

Share

Artist Profiles: Namgar

Namgar

Singer Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova is the leader of the band and her name was used to call the entire group. She grew up in a Buryat family in the tiny village of Kunkur near the border crossing of Russia, Mongolia, and China. She comes from a long family line of shamans. The other original members of the Moscow-based band are Jipo (Eugene Zolotaryov), Namgar’s husband, who comes from Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, and plays the chanza lute; Altay (Altangerel Khishigtogtokh), a young Mongolian musician who plays the morin huur (horse-head fiddle); and Urna (Urantugs Jamiyan), a Mongolian woman from Uliastai, Mongolia, who plays yataga, an ancient zither

In the heart of Siberia, under bottomless blue sky, Namgar’s songs were born. She mastered the mysteries of the great wide open and the voices of spirits of mountains and forests. She loves the melodies sung by her grandmother and her father and desires to maintain the tradition that is becoming extinct. Namgar sings long songs and yokhor dance tunes, uliger legends of mighty champions, precise arrows, and swift horses, just as they were sung ages ago, with arrangements that make her music appealing to world music fans.

The Hori Buryat tribes to which Namgar belongs, historically were supporters of Genghis Khan and important commanders of the Mongol Invasion. Their songs and dances date back to the glorious times of the Mongolian Empire, preserving many genres and songs that became extinct in the other parts of Mongolian world.

Buryats live in the Russian Federation, where it borders with Mongolia and Manchuria. Buddhism, Shamanism, and the natural beauty of South Siberia contributed to their tradition. They share a lot of musical themes with their relatives, the Mongolians, with a special attention to dance tunes that became extinct in Mongolia.

The group made their first appearance on the international stage at Riddu Riddu Festival in Norway in 2002, along with Mari Boine and a bunch of other world music celebrities.

In October 2003, Namgar released their first official CD, titled “Hatar” (round dance). It features first ever collection of Buryat all-time favorites that are quite distinct and neatly arranged. It was a group of enthusiastic young people from Moscow who started a label called Sketis Music, specializing in world music, who gave the opportunity to the group to record their album, because they were sure this music was fantastic. The album cover was designed by Dashi Namdakov, the most prominent young artist among the Buryats.

In June 2006, the arranger and producer Leonid Vorobyev joined the group and added to authentic sound of the group a modern electronic, rock and jazz elements.

Discography

Hatar (Sketis Music, 2003)
Nomad (2008)

Share

Artist Profiles: Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova

Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova

Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova grew up in a Buryat family in the tiny village of Kunkur near the border crossing of Russia, Mongolia, and China. She comes from a long family line of shamans that preserved the Buryat musical tradition. She started performing traditional Buryat music on stage in mid-1980s. Since that time, Namgar has performed solo in France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and the USA, singing traditional songs and playing the zither yataga.

Namgar sings long songs and yokhor dance tunes, uliger legends of mighty champions, precise arrows, and swift horses, just as they were sung ages ago, with arrangements that make her music appealing to world music fans.

The Hori Buryat tribes to which Namgar belongs, historically were supporters of Genghis Khan and important commanders of the Mongol Invasion. Their songs and dances date back to the glorious times of the Mongolian Empire, preserving many genres and songs that became extinct in the other parts of Mongolian world.

In 1999, 2000, and 2001 she took part in the Norwegian world music festival Riddu-Riddu where she shared the stage with Jerry Alfred, Bolot Bairyshev, Mari Boine, Chirgilchin, Anneli Drecker, Lucie Idlout, Derek Miller, Sabjilar, Pamyua and other prominent native and world music artists.

She leads her own band called Namgar.

Discography

Hatar (Sketis Music, 2003)
Nomad (2008)

Share

Artist Profiles: Leonsia Erdenko

Leonsia Erdenko

Russian vocalist Leonsia Erdenko was born in 1972. She is the daughter of the famous Roma singer Nikolay Erdenko. Leonsia has been performing since 1987. She started her musical career with the band Djang that was led by her parents – Nikolay and Rozaliya Erdenko. Leonsia devoted herself to intensive study of music, especially playing the piano, dancing and singing.

In collaboration with the composer George Barkin they recorded in 1997 album The new Gypsy music that contained well-known Romani melodies in a modern concept. Less than 3 years later she and Alexey Bezlepkin gave rise to a new band, Trio Erdenko. Furthermore, she traveled the world with the famous band Loyko, with which she recorded three discs.

Leonsia not only performs concerts throughout the world, but also cooperates with various artists in their recordings (e.g. !DelaDap, Garik Sukachev) and is also active in the film industry (historical movie – One night of love).

 

Discography:

Gypsyroad

Share

Andrey Vinogradov to perform at Hyperion

Russian composer and arranger Andrey Vinogradov (a former member of the legendary Russian band Arsenal) is set to play on hurdy-gurdy March 30th, 2017 at Hyperion club, Moscow.

You will hear Andrey’s own songs and instrumental compositions, as well as Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Greek, Austrian music, contemporary classical melodies, and jazz improvisation on hurdy-gurdy. This exact instrument was made by Wolfgang Weichselbaumer from Austria.

Andrey participated at several prestigious folk festivals recently like Krutushka (Kazan, 2015), EuroFolk (Bulgaria, 2015), Medunarodni Festival Tradicijskih Glazbala (Croatia, 2015), Manor Jazz Rosa Khutor (Russia, 2016), Music on the river (Russia, 2016), and Pilsen Busking Fest (Czech Republic, 2016).

Share

Interview with Russian Folk Singer Alyona Minulina

For about 4 years Alyona Minulina has been known as Alyona FolkBeat – a beautiful folk singer and beatbox musician from a rising star group FolkBeat. In February 2017 Russian label FireStorm production released their new album “I’m marching on my own” that was recorded and produced by Alyona but at the same time their fans were shocked by news about her leaving the project. Alyona tells us what happened and what’s next.

Q:How did the group FolkBeat get started?

Alyona Minulina: FolkBeat grew up from a student’s ensemble. It was called differently and consisted of a large number of participants. Later I began to study beatbox and electronic music, so I thought it was interesting to combine it with Russian folk songs. So FolkBeat has traditional Slavic polyphony, surrounded by electronic arrangement, which is close to the styles of EDM trap, dubstep, trance and crunk. The compositions are often performed with beatbox – imitation of drum machines and music effects using vocal apparatus and articulation organs.

 

Alyona Minulina

 

Q: How would you describe your musical journey so far?

AM: When we started we made music for ourselves and gradually our music started to be interesting to other people. We didn’t think about genres, we were passionate about making music with each other, it was really awesome. When we went on stage the audience felt our special energy.

Q: Did you perform in Europe or only in Russia?

AM: In 2016 Folkbeat took part at EuroRadio Festival and had a concert in Viljandi (Estonia). Besides this we visited Madrid, Munich, Athens and Tallinn with festival of Russian cultural FeelRussia.

Q: As I know – you love collaborating with different music genres and bands: what are the features of Russian folk music that makes it possible for you to collaborate with other musicians?

AM: The most interesting thing for me is the fact that people connect with each other, share cultures, and different genres and traditions mix too. Now I have plans to record some songs together with the master of throat singing Alexei Chichakov from Mountain Altai. This will be the connection of his own Altai traditions and Slavic melodies.

In every collaboration I’m looking for special feeling when the spark runs between musicians (chemistry in our relationship), because then, every performance becomes memorable for listeners. This is the highlight for me. Of course with Folkbeat we often had this feeling. When the head is full with ideas – I always find the way to realize them. But sometimes I get tired and I need to allow some rest for myself. This is the most difficult thing for me.

 

 

Q: What music instruments do you use?

AM: Different electronic things (loop station, keyboards), sometimes folk wind instruments like kugikly and kaliuk, khomus.

 

Alyona Minulina

 

Q: What can you tell us about the contemporary Russian folk scene?

AM: Despite the fact that the Russian folk scene is a real “folk star” and a budding young musicians, it hasn’t been formed yet. We do not have enough support and solidarity between each other. Although we have more opportunities for advancement than 10 years ago.

Q: How are your albums being received by audiences?

AM: Our first album «Joyful meeting» became favorite Russian-folk album on EBU Folk Festival in 2016. In Russia it was in the top twenty music albums of 2016. This year we released the album «Sama idu» (I’m marching on my own). We collaborated with different electronic musicians and DJs, so it can be classified as pop-folk.

Q: Who would you say are the leading influences in your musical career?

AM: My teachers, who always said something like this: pull yourself and work, work hard, if you really love it.

Q: So what happened to FolkBeat?

AM: With Folkbeat we are friends, but we do not work together anymore. If the world gives us a chance to sing together again, I will take this chance.

Now I work on original songs album with the texts of famous Russian poets from XX century. And together with Jewish, Armenian, Russian musicians and composer from Canada, Ivan Popov, we have created a world music project “Under The Same Sky” which intertwined tunes and melodies of different national cultures. In March we will have a concert of Slavic-Jewish music.

 

Alyona Minulina

 

Q: Are Russian audiences, venues, labels and artists open to collaboration?

AM: It depends on various factors, but if you play interesting music, you can always find a way.

Q: Where do you see yourself 10 or 15 years from today?

AM: I see myself chewing pasta in my favorite little pizzeria in Italy, resting in a cozy wooden house on the Solovetsky Islands in Russia, and playing my set at the Burning Man.

Q: Do you also teach workshops for students and musicians?

 

Alyona Minulina

 

AM: I opened vocal beatbox and body percussion workshops named “Pulse” in Moscow recently and it’s getting popular. I have a lot of new ideas and projects in my head and I hope my music experience with FolkBeat will help me to create something really unique and internationally interesting.

Videos:

 

 

 

Share

Artist Profiles: Eugene Zolotaryov

Eugene Zolotaryov is known artistically as Jipo. He is married to singer Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova. Jipo comes from Ulan-Ude, Buryatia. Originally from a Chita Polish family, he graduated from East Siberian Institute of Culture.

Originally bass guitar player in Ulan-Ude bands, he met Namgar, who came to join his group Selenga as a lead vocalist. In the group Namgar, Eugene plays chanza. Chanza is a long-necked spiked lute with an oval wooden frame and snake skin covering stretched over both faces. The three strings are fixed to a bar, which is inserted in the body. The instrument is struck or plucked with a plectrum made of horn or with the fingers. As the tones do not echo, every note is struck several times.

Discography

* Hatar (Sketis Music, 2003)
* Nomad (2008)

Share

Artist Profiles: Bady-Dorzhu Ondar

Bady-Dorzhu Ondar – Photo by John O’Hara, Whitefish Bay Herald

Bady-Dorzhu Ondar was born in the village of Iyme. In May 2006, he was awarded Best in Competition among xoomei performers on the 85th birthday of the popular throat singer Maxim Dakpai. He was given a horse (a very valued award in Tuva) as grand prize.
In July 2005, Bady-Dorzhu Ondar won the Best Vocals category at the Ustuu-Huree Festival, and in September 2005 he was given a special award at the 4th All-Russia Festival of Folk Orchestras, dedicated to Kalinin and held at the Saratov Folk Arts Center.

Bady-Dorzhu Ondar’s career started early. At the age of eight, the young throat singer started to perform with his teacher, the distinguished xoomeizhi Kongar-ool Ondar. The teacher and student were guests on one of the most highly rated American TV late night programs, the David Letterman Show. Later, 9-year-old Bady-Dorzhu Ondar performed Tuvan throat singing on another popular show, hosted by popular comedian Chevy Chase.

In 1999 Bady-Dorzhu Ondar became one of the founders of The Alash Ensemble. The group was formed in the basement of the Kyzyl Arts College in Tuva’s capital city. Originally known as Changy-Xaya, Alash became the resident traditional ensemble at the school.

In December of 2007, Bady-Dorzhu Ondar (who was 23-years old) was awarded the title People’s Xoomeizhi of Tuva. The title People’s Xoomeizhi is an honor bestowed by the president of Tuva in recognition of a throat singer’s artistic accomplishment.

Discography:

Alash Live at the Enchanted Garden (2006)
Alash (2007)
Buura (2011)
Achai (2013)

Share