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Looking back at 2014

The genre of end of year summing up, just like that of funeral oration, presupposes concentrating on the positive. It is more difficult to do it for the past year than for the previous one but (if one is to believe the gloomy forecasts) easier than it is going to be for the next. So I will try. The rise in popularity of vinyl records against the background of the demise of the compact disc and the defeats of legal Internet content in a battle with torrents pleases for three reasons: firstly, producers can now hope to receive at least some income. Transmitting this hope to musicians generates in the latter a burst of not entirely reasoned out creative activity from which everyone benefits; secondly, the procedure of listening to vinyl records itself presupposes more attentive and thoughtful attitude to musical material which was so sadly lacking during the time of unconditional dominance of digital media; and finally, a vinyl record is just more beautiful than a CD, not to mention flash drives, phones and tablets. The search for reasons to be optimistic about studio life recalls the somewhat overused word “stability” which to me means a full load of long-term projects. The undisputed leader among them is a recording of ALL Russian choral music which we have been attempting with the Nikolai Kornev Choir already for over two years. An unusual and limitless international project which can be called “karaoke for academic musicians” has brought not only moral satisfaction but also a bit of money. And not only for the studio but for the musicians as well which is doubly pleasing. The curious can find out more at weezic.com This pleasant picture of full studio occupancy schedules is completed by old friends Marina Kapuro’s “Yabloko” and Vadim Kurylev’s “Electricheskie Partizany”. In recent years they have recorded so many albums with us that, I believe, must have lost track of their titles themselves. My positive party-concert impressions of the year start chronologically with the fun of the “Bomba-Piter” anniversary party at the “Zal Ozhidaniya”. The spring brought us the Avishai Cohen concert and the Kurekhin memorial festival with Aleksey Aygi. In summer there were the long “Aquarium” concert at the “More” club and the invariably varied “Usadba Jazz”. Autumn started with the 50th anniversary of the “Saigon” at the “Zal Ozhidaniya”, organized by tireless Kat and slightly darkened by the prices at the bar and tobacco control innovations, and ended with pop music concert masterpiece “Two Cellos” at the end of November. The latter proved that the combination of skill, enthusiasm and ingenuity can not only touch a gentle soul of an insurance company manager but also penetrate the thick skin of a musical snob with orange ribbons in his beard. And finally, winter began promisingly with a comeback of the group “Igry” in the intimate “VinyllaSky”. It is hoped that there is more to come.
    Igor Delgado