From Melancholy to Euphoria
Musical Insights into the Russian Soul
In Russia the clocks run differently.... – one way, perhaps, of characterising a musical development that has only been systematically followed in the West since the 1990s. That was when Russian free-thinking collided sharply with the Western European pigeonhole mentality where music was concerned. The highly idiosyncratic developments from Russia were hard to categorize; indeed, they almost defied classification altogether: Jazz, rock (all the way to true punk excess), pop, folk, experimental (from electronic music to the strategic use of techno), forms of classical music, theatre, slapstick, light-hearted play-acting – all can be encountered simultaneously. The Russians seem to have no qualms about combining all kinds of different styles in the wildest and most arresting way possible, moulding them into a harmonious (or sometimes intentionally disharmonious) whole.
The "Russian soul," characterised by melancholy and an eagerness to explore, extends far and wide: geographically, all the way to the border with Mongolia, in fact, where throat singing and its different overtone techniques are based. This enormous country with its numerous musical cultures not only has links with the meditative (and shamanistic) mysticism of Asia, however: The excellent folk music of the Black Sea coast is also highly stimulating. No surprise at all, therefore, that a musician like Sergey Starostin (whether he is performing with the Moscow Art Trio or with the Farlanders) makes use of flutes and woodwinds from all over the country to express the most varied moods: mysterious tones straight from the natural world, melancholy laments, deep spirituality, expressive intensity and euphoric joyfulness. This CD cannot claim to include every aspect of Russian music, yet the small selection it offers provides highly expressive insights into the many aspects of the Russian soul: ra....... więcej