Collections: Polina Proutskova - The EVIA Digital Archive Project

Two Generations Of Traditional Women's Singing in Northern Russia (2005-2006)

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The Cherenovo singers, Ustyanski rayon, Arkhangelskaya oblast, Russia, 2006. Image from video © Polina Proutskova.

This collection recorded in 2006 documents two generations of traditional village singing and dancing in contemporary Northern Russia: a traditional ensemble of old women and a contemporary folklore ensemble, both from Ustyanski rayon in Arkhangelskaya oblast.

The first part of the collection documents a traditional vocal ensemble of eight old women in the village Cherenovo. All the performers give extensive interviews on their life histories and involvement with their musical traditions. The second part of the collection documents a performance by ensemble "Razlapushka" from the village Shangala and an interview with its leader and garmon' player Vladimir Mymrin.

On one hand the collection documents the repertoire of one of the few remaining intact traditional vocal ensembles of Arkhangelskaja oblast and captures some parts of the context, including biographies, dialect and the life style of the singers. On the other hand it reflects today's changes in the music tradition of Ustjanskij rajon, from the traditional ensemble of old women to the semi-professional secondary ensemble of young women, doing their best to carry on the tradition of the old.

This collection is currently in production and is not yet available to the public.

Image © Polina Proutskova

Polina Proutskova was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Today she lives in London and works on her PhD in computational ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She performs as a singer in various ethnic projects: "Polynushka" (authentic Russian folklore), ETO_X (jazz and drum&bass based on old songs from Russian villages), and Musical Dialogue of Religions. Her involvement with Russian folklore since 1999 has included intensive and continuing training in folklore singing style and techniques by Natalia Silina, head of the folklore singing department of Musorgsky College, Saint Petersburg. Polina conducted field research since 2003 in Poozerye, Bryanskaja oblast and Arkhangelskaja oblast. She considers herself and her ensemble "Polynushka" as a part of the so-called "folklore revival" movement initiated by Dmitri Pokrovsky. Her research interests beside Russian folklore include networking and interoperability for ethnomusicological archives and computational ethnomusicology.

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