Folk Songs With a Twist
Inna Zhelannaya, one of the few Russian artists to achieve fame in the international world-music scene, makes a comeback with a new band.
Over the years, Inna Zhelannaya has garnered appreciation both in Russia and abroad for her unique mix of Russian folk, rock, world music and electronica. But she hasn't been as visible since her former band, Inna Zhelannaya and Farlanders, disbanded in 2004. Now, the 42-year-old Moscow native is set for a comeback […] with a new five-piece band to premiere a set based on folk songs from several Russian regions.
Zhelannaya began her musical career in 1989 working with the cult Russian rock band Alyans. When the Soviet Union opened up to the West in the early 1990s, Alyans participated in many international music festivals and toured Sweden and France. In 1994, she put together Inna Zhelannaya and Farlanders, with a line-up that included some former members of Alyans – bassist Sergei Kalachyov and woodwind instrumentalist Sergei Starostin. Two years later, she released an album called Seaweed (Vodorosl). One of her songs from that album, «Dalshe», was included on the One World compilation CD on the Putumayo World Music label, along with tracks by such performers as Peter Gabriel and the Gipsy Kings. Following that release, Zhelannaya and Farlanders played a number of times in the United States, including an appearance at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. But the band gained more of a following in Europe, where they toured extensively in the late 1990s and had a number of album releases.
In 2004, […] after Zhelannaya and Farlanders split, the singer pursued other projects. In 2005, she recorded an album called 77RUS with the Moscow-based band Malerija. Then she assembled a new group of musicians. […] Zhelannaya met two of her new bandmates – keyboardist Arkady Marto and percussionist Andrei Romanika – when she played with them onstage in their band Safety Magic, which produces meditative, ethnically influenced music, some of which has a passing resemblance to King Crimson. She enlisted violinist Artyom Yakushenko after seeing him play with the world-music band Bely Ostrog. The singer said her new band was all tooled up with electronics, with even the violin being electronically processed. But the band's percussion is purely acoustic, with no electronic elements. «Nearly everything has changed,» Zhelannaya said. «The only thing that hasn't is that we still base our new material on Russian folk songs. But by and large, there are very few elements of their original, orthodox versions left. These songs are totally remade and are in a radically different form.» (Kirill Galetski, Moscow Times, February 22, 2007)
Link in comments