Given the challenges facing young Russian musicians today, the theme of risk often arises. The unknown - be it financial or geographic - both unnerves and intrigues.
The maximalist romance of some Russian and Estonian collectives this week pits sentiment against society. The latter is much more likely to win, and yet these stargazing idealists refuse to give up.
The performers under consideration here - despite their differing genres - all hope to foster a simple, almost timeless lyricism. That desire for uncomplicated self-expression has considerable resonance among audiences, also.