Best World Music Band – Seven Eight Band
Experimental Award – Nadishana
Best Authentic Band – Merema
Newcomer Award – Karelia
Best Video – Otava Yo
World Music Legend – Sergey Starostin
Audience prize – Gilead
Contributions to world music – Theodor Bastard
The 2nd Annual Russian World Music Awards were held on Thursday, November 23rd at the Moscow’s Central House of Artists in Moscow, Russia. Shaman Nikolay Oorzhak from Tuva opened the ceremony with a traditional prayer.
Russian musicians are rarely present on the world music scene so this project is created to change this situation. On the Awards’ social media page vk.com/russianworldmusicawards you can listen to all the tracks from nominees for free.
Our ceremony in Moscow on November 23rd was very successful. It gathered lots of musicians, directors of all the main world music festivals of Russia (Andrei Klukin from Wild Mint festival in Moscow, Natalia Shostina – director of Kamwa festival from Perm and Yuri Romanov – WhatEthno festival director from Novosibirsk), and many fans of Russian culture. It was a please to hear from the audience that it was a cultural revolution in our country!
The ceremony was conducted by Andrei Bukharin, music critic and columnist for Rolling Stone magazine. This year, 46 music collectives from 25 cities were nominated. Voting was conducted with the participation of 12 jury members, consisting of the largest specialists in the field of folk music from 9 countries: 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, Nick Hobbs from Turkey, Carlos Seixas from Portugal and Yury Romanov from Russia. In total, 12 samurais and absolutely wonderful people.
The special guest Arne Berg from NRK (Norway) and musical journalist Vadim Ponomarev (Guru Ken) had a networking meeting named “World music today: identity, migration, context” the next day on November 24th at Pioneer Cinema Bookstore.
Organizers are Natalia Myazina and Daryana Antipova.
Chitinskaya Sloboda – Songs of Russian People. Cossacks’ songs / Song of old-believers and Transbaikalien Cossacks (Sketis Music SKMR-129, 2016)
Songs of Russian people. Cossacks’ songs / Song of old-believers and Transbaikalien Cossacks is a two-CD set by Russian folk music ensemble Chitinskaya Sloboda. The group is part of a movement in Russian folk music that is researching and recovering ancient musical traditions.
Disc 1 focuses on Cossack songs. It features a mix of polyphonic choral a cappella pieces along with songs featuring accordion and percussion accompaniment. The ensemble provides fascinating vocal interplay with a wide-range of vocal ranges featuring female and male singers.
Disc 2 includes songs a cappella old believers songs (an ancient Russian orthodox sect) and traditional cossack songs from the Transbaikal mountainous territory east of Lake Baikal in Russia.
Chitinskaya Sloboda includes Alexander Avdeyev, Vyacheslav Egorov, Vladimir Kravtsov, Arina Nekrasova, Larisa Pakhomova, Alexei Ryumkin, Natalia Ryumkina, Leonid Subotni, and Lyubov Tkachenko.
The CD booklet includes liner notes in Russian and English and song lyrics in Russian.
The jew’s harp had disappeared in Russia until Vladimir Markov (Владимир Марков) and other enthusiasts revived it. Markov, a musician from Irkutsk conducted research and started playing the vargan, the Russian jew’s harp in the 1990s.
Out of time – Russian jew’s harp music (Вне времён. Русская варганная музыка) is Markov’s vision of how the vargan was used. It’s a fascinating album of traditional Russian folk songs adapted to jew’s harp.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion