Tag: Russia

stringed instruments

The Gusli – A Great Stringed Instrument from Russia

The Gusli (-> Wikipedia) is an old Russian stringed instrument, a kind of a zither. The gusli is used in folk music, but can also be used for classical music.

The gusli is usually played with the right hand while the left hand mutes to strings that should not sound. This can be used for harp-like arpeggios. It is also possible that the left hand plays accompanying chords while the right hand plays the melody. The right hand can also play the strings with a tremolo.

My first example is a Lullaby played by Olga Shishkina, she has studied in Russia and lives in Helsinki today.

Gusli: Lullaby by Shakhanov

Performance at St. Maria’s Church in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Another professional player of the gusili is Pavel Lukoyanov

Pavel Lukoyanov professional gusli-musician. Pavel was born in 1982 in Moscow. In 2002 has finished the Second Moscow Regional Musical College named S.Prokofiev (professor, merited artist of Russia Fediration Lubov Zhuks class). In 2007 has finished the Gnesins Academy of Music folk instrument department now. (L. Zhuk’s class).

You can find many solo pieces for the gusli in his youtube channel. This is his performance of Legend for gusli:

Legend for gusli

von Aleksei Larin

Read more “The Gusli – A Great Stringed Instrument from Russia”

domra and classical guitar duo domra

Domra and Guitar Duo 9 String Theory – Piazzolla,…

I have recently discovered the domra and guitar duet 9 String Theory from Atlanta, USA. They have just gievn an interview to present their next concert. It is available on the website of WABE

9 String Theory is not just a catchy name but also a straightforward calculation. It’s a musical duo featuring Angelina Galashenkova on the domra, which has three strings, and John Huston on classical guitar, which has six strings.

domra and guitar duo
9 String Theory

Playlist 9 String Theory – Domra and Classical Guitar

Program

  • Romanian Folk Dances (Bela Bartok)
  • Sonata (Nicolo Paganini)
  • Libertango, Cafe, Bordello 1900 (Astor Piazzolla)
  • Aria (Heitor Villa-Lobos)
  • Liebesfreud (G. Kreisler)
  • Czardasz
  • Sonata (Scarlatti)

Enjoy the Domra and Guitar Duo 9 String Theory!

Additional Information

“The highest open string on the guitar is the lowest note on the domra,” Huston said. “It lends itself as an expanded guitar or the guitar a very deep and harmonized domra.”

Galashenkova and Huston released a self-titled CD, which features tradition Russian folk songs, Manuel de Falla, George Gershwin, Béla Bartók and several pieces by Astor Piazzolla.

Merken

Mandolin

Olga Egorova – Mandolinpower from Russia – With Electric…

Olga Egorova is a mandolin player from Russia. As most mandolin players in Russia she has studied the domra first and has got a degree in classical music from the music academy in Moscow. After this she began to play the mandolin too and has studied bluegrass, folk and other music for the mandolin. Finally she has discovered the looper as an effectiv device to make her very special music.

With the looper she can develop pieces track by track to produce the sound of a complete ensemble just with a single mandolin. Every now and then she tips onto one of the pedals arranged on the floor (she obviously likes to do this barefoot…) – that looks fascinating and it’s alot of fun to watch her.

But Olga Egorova can also play great music without a looper, like her version of the famous Asturias, the first piece in my playlist below.

Olga Egorova has also composed the music for several children stories that are also available as youtube videos:

In the German version of this article I have added a set of screenshots from youtube videos that shows different facets of Olga Egorova.

Playlist Olga Egorova

Read more “Olga Egorova – Mandolinpower from Russia – With Electric Mandolin, Looper and other Effect Pedals”

Russia

IZUMRUD – Great Band with Domra, Balalaika and Accordion…

The Group IZUMRUD from Ekaterinburg in Russia is one of the most progressive band playing Russian folk instruments like domra, balalaika or the accordion bayan today.

In 2012 the band played at the Picknick Jazz Festival in Tomsk. Several pieces played at this festival are available in a long youtube video that includes interviews (in Russian language) with the band members. The second part of this video shows the performance of the American singer Mary McBride who had been invited for several concerts in Russia in 2012.

The members of IZUMRUD  are:

  • Michail Sidorov – balalaika, artistic leader
  • Nadezhda Zhikhareva – domra
  • Svetlana Solovey – domra
  • Rinat Yakupov – accordion
  • Konstantin Prokoshin – counter-bass
  • Evgeni Khantchin – percussion
  • Edward Smolenskiy-sound engineer

группа ИЗУМРУД (IZUMRUD) г. Екатеринбург

izumRUd from Ekaterinburg – concert at the Picknick Jazz Festival in Tomsk.

The videos of the past years show the many faces of Izumrud. At the jazz festival they played a more powerful style, with heavy drums and an electric bass balalaika. The group has performed together with other rock- and jazz-bands. Together with the singer Veronika Bulycheva IZUMRUD has recorded the music for the documentary “Voyage de l’Oural à Paris”. For some performances actors or dancers have been integrated in the performance. But also the band members themselves are taking part in the dance performaces, especially for the encores.

In 2011 Izumrud played a concert in Spain. The complete concert has been filmed and is available at youtube (12 videos). I have included those videos into my playlist.

IZUMRUD in Spanien (2011)

The piece with the title “Western” reminds me of the famous song “House of the rising sun”.

A piece with a great dance performance:

Czardas byMonti

Another great performance – the Czardas by Monti played on the xylophone. At the end of the performance the percussionist plays the piece again with covered eyes and a covered xylophone. Read more “IZUMRUD – Great Band with Domra, Balalaika and Accordion from Ekaterinburg (Russia)”