MERVENT

Авторы сайта благодарят Laurence Fontaine за предоставленное интервью.
Перевод материала на русский язык появится в ближайшее время.

Interview by laurence Fontaine, November 2003.

Merci beaucoup, Laurence! - one more time;)

 

 

 

MERVENT, A CELTIC WIND BLOWING FROM RUSSIA

Their name is MERVENT, a literal translation from the Briton language that means a « wind blowing from the west». And it is indeed a mild expression to depict their own feelings : they are 5 young Russian musicians ( Anastassia, igor, Vladimir,Vadim and Valeri), who have been inspired by celtic music. Anastassia Papisova, harpist, singer & dancer of the band is carrying us through the musical journey of her fellow musicians & herself, quite a joyride...

How were you introduced to Celtic music ?

our country started to open itself to the western influences in the 90s. Igor ( violin) had a Jazz background, Vladimir ( flute) a classical ones. But we were drawn to Celtic as soon as we heard Irish bands such as Clannad, the chieftains, Planxty or the Dubliners. in my case, i was very impressed by a french, Briton harpist and singer, Alan Stivell. When i first heard this instrument, celtic harp, i knew it would literaly change my life. I was tgiven a tape from Alan Stivell by a French friend, back in 1994. But i had to wait for 4 more years before been able to purchase one, from France, since it is an instrument that is not available in Russia.

Do you see yourself as a harpist, a singer or a dancer ?

Music has always occpied a great deal of my life. In my childhood, my grand Fahter taught me to play piano. At the age of 10 i passed an exam to the Russian Ballet company in Moscow. But i didn’t want to become a ballet dancer, my mother wanted me to, but i didn’t like to study at the academy ,so i left and went to the moscow state university where i graduated in biochemistry. My serious musical life re started with getting a celtic harp. It was also about that time, that i saw for the first timle the video tape of Riverdance, with Michael Flatley. He had a unique style and i was drawn to Irishdance as well, because of him. In the dance field, Riverdance is like «my first love». Something you remember and cherish forever.So, All these parts are equal within me. I think so because of remembering of my strong desire to sing, or to play Celtic harp (after listening to A.S.) or to dance Irish dancing (after watching Riverdance show on video), these desires were equal by their force. But in people.s opinion I am more a harper, I think.

Why do you think Celtic Music has such an impact in the Eastern Europ countries, nowadays ?

I’m not sure.We just love it ! Actually, many of my friends have a theory on which i mainly agree. Most of european tribes are familiar to each others because they were one people in great antiquity. Indo - eurpean group of eople with common culture. Now it seems to be like a broken mirror of mosaic, and every people of Europ os a piece of it. Deeply in our hearts we keep memory of the whole .mosaic.. That.s why Celtic music can be family Slavonic people for example. And first who can find this similarity are poetic and musical people! One day we played for reception in the Embassy of Ireland. The last tune we performed was Ukrainian one (you can listened to it on our CD track #5). After the performance the Ambassador approached and said he likes this one but he never heard it before. We answered . there.s no wonder, it is Ukrainian tine. He was so surprised! He said:.But it is very similar to Irish one!!! I thought it is Irish, but unknown to me!

How did you meet the others musicians ? what was the essential ingredient that made you think you could get together ?

We were already familiar with and familiar to the Celtic circuit in Russia. Each of us played before in some .russian-celtic band.. Moreover, three of us played in one band .Si Mhor. but at different times. Igor and I organized the main body of the band in August 2000. We started to rehearse in duet. Others joined after one by one. Because they couldn.t find support of their musical ideas in bands they played before. In September, two old friends joined the group, Vladimir Cherepovski (whistles) who had recently left Waterwind, and Vadim Bedov (guitar and mandolin) previously of the folk-rock band White Owl. Joint rehearsals demonstrated we have similar ideas. With this line-up, the group first performed at a concert to mark Halloween in the Central House of Artists, Moscow, on 1st November 2000.

What is the most interesting memories you kept of a performance ?

Since 2000, we’ve been playing in Russia, but we performed in Belarus and Ukraine too. The favorite place is Crimea. We have been performing there last summer. It was a historical anachronism festival which passed in Khersones (Sevastopol) and Sudak. These two places have ancient history! There is a Genoese fortress in the second. It was built in 13 century. Khersones was a north stronghold of ancient Greek empire. It is like a museum in the open air. Very estimated by archeologists. So, the most interesting memories we got from our performance in open air in Khersones . the Black Sea, antiques ruins, sunset, people in historical costumes.

Precisely, do you see celtic music as a blending of genres ?

Think that today it is inevitability. To be serious, it depends on how to incorporate other influences. It is important too to be contemporary and to keep or develop our personal style . But most of all it is essential to play wholeheartedly.

Interview by laurence Fontaine, November 2003.


 

 

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