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Celtic Music in Russia
April 24, 2008 17:23


Telenn Gwad

('Svinopas' (Perfomed by Yevgeny Chicherin & Khmeli Suneli) )

The Russians missed the first wave of interest in Irish music that spread over the world in the 1960s -70s. But then Russia fitted very well into the second wave and is successfully taking part in this international process at present.

It all started in this country in 1993, both in Moscow and Petersburg at the same time. To a great extent this ardour for “Celtics” was initiated by the notable Russian band Aquarium, which did not pass over ethnic music of various countries in its artistic search. Colourful St. Patrick Day parades that the Irish company Aer Rianta came to arrange in Moscow also played an important role. Some were attracted to Celtic music through Renaissance and baroque, while some through country music, rooted in Irish and Scottish music, and others through Tolkien. Some lucky ones happened to get hold of records of The Clancy Brothers, The lannad, The Dubliners, harpist and singer Alan Stivell, etc., back then very rare in this country. The exotic things people heard left unforgettable impression, and they started to imitate those melodies and arrangement, learn playing folk instruments and go abroad in search of record tapes and music notes.

('Stakany)' (Perfomed by Aquarium) )

It is Puck & Piper that is justly considered to be the first Celtic band in Moscow, whereas in Petersburg it is Zelyonye Rukava (Green Sleeves). Development of Celtic movement in Russia was going at an ever-increasing rate. At first “the Russian Irish” performed in pubs that sprang up in Moscow in the mid 1990s, then moved on to clubs from there, and then to the holy of holies of the Moscow artistic and intellectual elite, the Central House of Artist.

 


Puck & Piper

Nowadays Celtic music in Russia is no longer something exotic, but enjoys commercial popularity. Moscow and St. Petersburg clubs hold regular Celtic parties whereas a number of Irish dance schools run in Russian capitals.

Russian Celtic Bands

Telenn Gwad (which can be translated as “Requital of the Harp”) was founded in 1995. In spite of the title, there is no harp in the band, but instead there is a lute, which has been well mastered by the band’s creator Oleg Boiko. The band plays Oleg Boiko’s compositions, which are highly lyrical, inspired and somewhat detached and melancholy. ('Durmun' (Perfomed by Telenn Gwad) )

The Dartz was initiated in 1997 by Igor Starostin (solo-guitar and vocal) and Dmitry “Dee” Kurtsman (mandolin, guitar, and vocal) who were under impression of Dublin city folklore and creations of The Dubliners. The music they play is utterly “pubby” – these are ballads about vagabonds and pirates (the refrains of which are good to sing along all together), stirring jigs and warlike marches, and even blues. ('Slipside' (Perfomed by The Dartz) )

Reelroad founded in 1999 in St. Petersburg is a typical ceilidh-band. Everything Reelroad plays is thoroughly arranged and perfectly performed. In spring 2001 the band recorded its first album. ('Kesh (Swallowtail)' (Perfomed by Reelroad) )

Puck & Piper is the first Russian ensemble that started to play Celtic music. It was founded by Timur Rafiev (bass guitar, bagpipes, and vocal) and Maxim Shekhter (accordion) in April 1993 in Moscow. ('Kamenistaya Doroga' (Perfomed by Puck & Piper) )

Art Ceilidh – is a project of the 26 year-old composer, producer, singer, accordion and keyboard player Mikhail Smirnov. Art Ceilidh’s quest for national traditions is far from being orthodox: folk melodies of Celtic countries and Russia are presented in original arrangement (with rock, jazz and avant-garde elements) and combined with author’s compositions. Connoisseurs define the band’s style as “progressive folk rock”. ('Echoes in The Glen' (Perfomed by Art Ceilidh) )

 


Slua Si
Slua Si (i.e. Hosts of Sids) combines rousing dances from various regions of Ireland, village songs and city ballads in English and Irish. For its insight into Irish music and capability to approximate to traditions the band has been titled “the most Irish of all the Russian and the most Russian of all the Irish bands” by journalists. It was this band that for the first time in Russia used Celtic harp, which was well mastered by Anastasia Papisova on her own. ('Come and Join Me the British Army' (Perfomed by Slua Si) )

Moscow band Mervent (translated from Breton as ‘southern-eastern wind’) was formed in August 2000 from musicians of several well-known music ensembles. ('The Blind Harper of Lochmaben)' (Perfomed by Mervent) )

Foggy Dew was founded by Alexander Dzhashalov in 1998 in Rostov-on-Don. They experiment with Celtic music in ‘Irish drinking song’ style. Critics point out highly artistic onstage behaviour of the band: each composition is accompanied with original pantomime. ('Rare Old Mountain Dew' (Perfomed by Foggy Dew) )

 

 

Sources:
 avtozvuk.com
 musicbox.su


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