OYME (soul in English) is a Moscow-based group specialized in the culture of the Ugro-Finn traditions of Russia. Currently, the ensemble presents two types of shows: the traditional program and the world music option.
The conventional ethnographic program includes traditional polyphonic female singing of folk songs and laments from the Erzya and Moksha ethnic groups in Mordovia as well as traditional tunes by genuine instruments. Based on its own ethnographic expeditions “OYME” reconstructs ancient ritual ceremonies and national holidays of the Erzya and Moksha.
The world music side of the band features electronic folk music made by using computer technologies, traditional Mordovian instruments and world music instruments.
The OYME repertoire is primarily composed of celebratory and ritual songs of the Mordovians. Each concert turns into a folk festival, a collective ritual performance engaging the audience. The shows begin, as a rule with the song named Pazchangodt – the rite of wishing each other well-being. Members of the audience raise their hands and jubilantly shout out in chorus “Pazchangodt!”
OYME’s musicians regularly embark on ethnographic expeditions across the Republic of Mordovia with the aim to collect new musical material. The OYME artists record songs performed by local babushkas using a multichannel device. These expeditions allow the musicians to implement their dream of creating an open archive of Mordovian song heritage.
The ensemble’s lineup Ezhevika Spirkina, Larisa Zybkina, Kseniia Zobanova, and Anastasia Kosova on vocals; Elena Barskova on drums, percussions; and Vladislav Oskolkov on violin.