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SHONO - Interview at Jazz-Square (RU)

Mar 3, 2016

Alexander Arhincheev - about creativity, "Shono" group and the first studio album.

Ссылка: Интервью в Jazz-Квадрат


before next

SHONO: the band frontman Alexander Arkhincheyev answers some questions from Sketis Music, the World Music label from Russia.

  • SHONO songs are simple and easy to remember, how do you create them this way in the convoluted realm of World Music?

 We started the group more or less recently and we are still looking for new ways of expression. What we do is, we just play the songs the way we like. If our songs are easy to accept and remember, then it is the proof we did not do that in vain…

  • How did you start the band? Were the songs you played at the start, different from those on your début album?

 Originally we only used traditional instruments to play traditional songs. So the present group started in 2013 when we went on tour to France with Zorigto Batotsyrenov, who plays the electric guitar. After that tour we decided to create the present group with its electric wibes, the group you know today.

  • What is your main source of inspiration, is it city or country? How would you describe the influence of city life and countryside in your music?

 There are multiple sources that inspire us. They are city, country, and of course nature as well. Meeting interesting people, listening to new music, touring abroad, and simply being in a good mood – all of these are vital for our creativity.

  • It often happens that musicians who perform Buryat Shono_Hunters_5songs, relate them to the Mongolian traditional music. How does this work in your case? Do you perform Mongolian songs, or songs of other peoples than Buryat?

Buryat musicians play Mongolian songs. Do they do it often? I would say, neither much too often nor too seldom. Kind of medium. Mongolian and Buryat cultures are related. Songs we play at the moment are all exclusively Buryat. We do the singing that accompanies yookhor (circle dance) in “Khadiin Khursa” and the “long song” from Western Buryats, “Zulayashye”, all of them coming from the depths of the ages, it is just that in our album they sound in a more modern version.

  • Some people say that most groups doing traditional music start not from the contact with the living tradition, but rather from studying traditional standards in a music school. Is this the case with SHONO? What started your identity as a traditional music performer?

My way as a traditional performes, started back in 2005. Then at the urging of my mom I enrolled in Tchaikovsky Music College in Ulan-Ude to study morin huur (Buryat horse-head fiddle). From the very beginning there, I have had this idea to start my own band and to play music arranged in my own way. Most of the traditional material we have been using came to us from the country, so to say, by word of mouth.

  • One more question: Buryat traditional music seldom uses throatsinging, or overtone singing, but your songs use it a real lot, and it sounds wonderful. How would you describe the place of throatsinging in your music or in the framework of Buryat tradition?

 For a period of time, Buryat throatsinging tradition had been lost. But lately there have been more and more people willing to revive it. What we do through our music, is that we encourage and propagate the revival of throatsinging, and of playing Buryat traditional instruments. The roots of throatsinging tradition go deep into ancient times. Some people have it that throatsinging style known as hoomey or khomei, Buryat people anciently called “boolen”, from “boo”, the shaman. So boolen was a term for shaman’s singing or divination. So we think that throatsinging is our religious heritage, a part of Shamanist tradition.

  • Alexander, thanks a lot for sharing this! In conclusion, please tell us: how do your concerts go at home? Do you give concerts back home often? Are there any interesting things that you would like to share, something that happens on tour?

 We have had a lot of appreciation and warm feedback that we really appreciate, from our homeland. Despite us being a comparatively new group, and we do not tour as often as we would like, we have some loyal fans who were very eager to geth our new album. Now we are getting ready for a big tour around the cities of Siberia and we would like to go play on a more local level as well. Of course there are many funny things happening on tour. All our musicians are blessed with a good sense of humor, so one of our favorite ways to spend the time on the train or on the plane is to make up new funny words. It is a lot of fun spending time together even just sitting there! Agoodcheermakesthewholelifemucheasier!

Official pages of the group in social networks: https://vk.com/shonoband, https://www.facebook.com/groups/shonoband/

Questions from the editors label Sketis Music
The text was prepared by Anna Rzhevina

Теги: shono, buryat, sketis, throat-singing, rock, интервью, inrock, джаз-квадрат, jazzquad