Genre: world music
While many folk-inspired acts, from Melnitsa to Iva Nova, work hard at updating traditional sounds for modern audiences, Vedan Kolod follows a different path. The Siberian band prides itself on rigorous historical research – down to painstakingly constructing its own versions of half-forgotten instruments of the past – and using them in a manner their original manufacturers might have recognised. The release of 2011’s “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign” (Slovo o polku Igorieve) was accompanied by historical readings of the clash of Slav Prince Igor and the Polovtsians, while the music draws heavily on sonorous old-style drums, while Valery Naryshkin’s reinvented arsenal of zither-like gusli, fluting ocarinas and an almost-forgotten Scythian horn creates a distinctive sound, steeped in the modality of Russian folk music. With the distinctively deep-toned vocals of Naryshkin’s wife Tatyana adding to the atmosphere, the mood tends to be contemplative rather than raucous.
Meanwhile, the band’s quest for historical accuracy does not mean it shies away from collaboration with more contemporary performers: Vedan Kolod (the name, by the way, means Prophetic Tree, another echo of Russia’s lingering animistic heritage) has worked with the likes of pagan metal band Arkona on a very different reinvention of old sounds.
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