Olga Glazova is from St. Petersburg and a professional gusli player of growing repute. Her chosen instrument, responsible for a quintessentially Russian and supposedly pre-urban sound, is a plucked-string harp. The gusli's roots stretch back to the lyre of ancient Greece...
The recordings under consideration all speak in favor of humility and various forms of dialog. Current actuality, however, tends to prefer a strident monolog.
A series of new publications from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and provincial Belarus all give thought to the slimmest of differences between matters "cosmic and comic."
As a series of new recordings take inspiration from the melancholy romance of Soviet pop music, the question arises: what about tomorrow?
Amid four Russian and Ukrainian projects there emerges a telling view of lyricism in modern pop music. A three-minute, micro social narrative is more satisfying than society itself.
From snowy Siberia to the medieval towns of Belarus, a range of new recordings are directly informed by their melancholy setting. A folk ensemble from Saint Petersburg pushes back––with a smile.
Five new albums from the Moscow folk label Sketis manage to interweave a wealth of different times and traditions. Those linkages grow in importance as society refuses to show the same inclusiveness.
Two all-female Russian outfits sing of human relations with bittersweet humor. Placed together with other releases this week, their knowing smiles become an overarching social skepticism.
From Kiev, Yerevan, Moscow, and Kazan, a range of new publications all turn to distant objects of desire. Whether that distance is temporal or spatial, it always implies dissatisfaction with the present.
Faith in social spheres is a theme discussed in new material from Moscow, Kiev, and a range of Estonian towns. Not everybody shares an optimistic view of audiences and other noisy collectives.