ARKHANGELSK. If you talk with people about the music of Arkhangelsk you will quite soon run into the name Tim Dorofeev. This guitarist, band leader and organizer of concerts, festivals, workshops and projects plays an important role in making Arkhangelsk a real jazz metropol in Russia.
BarentsCulture meets Tim and singer Konstantin Sedovin in an Arkhangelsk café to learn more.
Tim has made a long, but straight travel in music. It started in the Soviet times, when school boy Tim played the drum in the pioneer youth movement, marching like a soldier in the parades. Later came balalayka, bass, guitar and piano in school. Pop music exploded and from abroad came influences like Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd. Already during the studies at the music college Tim formed a pop group and showed a talent in getting people together. After college and the army he worked as musician in restaurants, but also made physical work in the harbour and as a guard to get money for the rent and to buy new instruments.
In the mid 70’s, saxofonist Vladimir Rezitsky had formed a big orchestra named Jazz Group Arkhangelsk. Seven musicians used music, sounds, theatrical happenings and other tools in an often noisy and humorous way, mixing free jazz, folk music and pop. The group has been compared to Sun Ra and Art Ensemble of Chicago. Rezitsky also started the Arkhangelsk jazz festival in 1982. It soon became a meeting point for Russian and foreign musicians, and a social must-visit-place for the culture people of Arkhangelsk.
Tim had attended the jazz festivals and was 1994 invited to play with Rezitsky. Together with folk singer Katya Zorina they explored new musical paths in their ethno-jazz performances.
â€“ I found a new way of music by improvising. Earlier it was composition. I understood the idea of freedom in music.Vladimir said that I had to go on and continue on my own way, Sometimes we didn’t play during rehearsals. We just talked and had conversations about philosophy and psychology.
Tim Dorofeev continues the work of Rezitsky. Tim’s team, colleagues and volunteers, organizes an impressive number of music concerts, festivals and projects in the town at the White Sea. Ethno-jazz festivals in the countryside, blues festivals, workshops for retarded children, weekly concerts in museums, the big annual jazz festival in October – the list is long.
One of the latest project is ”Sever”, a mix of blues and Russian folk songs.
â€“ It’s an interesting project, without musical borders. For example, Katya Zorina sings and we improvise, and then we go to blues. It’s freedom, but based on experience. It happens that people don’t understand our music. It comes as a surprise to them. We were in the Kenozero National Park with a folklore group from Vologda. They sing in the old way. One folk music association wrote negatively about it. They didn’t like it because we took folk music and made it in a new way. I wrote an answer – We did it, we do it and we will do it again! It’s a new way for a new generation. The folk festivals are dying. The new generation is not interested and don’t listen. If we mix fok with new styles of music as jazz and blues they listen and understand. It is a way to save folk music.
Tim Dorofeev thinks that jazz and folk music have much in common.
– If you hear old ladies in villages singing folk music, you can hear that they are not singing on notes. It’s more like jazz, they are using jazz intervals, blue notes, swimming in the melodies, like blues men. It’s not like classical music, where they can’t make mistakes. We say that it’s not mistakes, it´s your feeling. It’s listening to life, freedom.
Finally – if you go to Arkhangelsk [recommeded!] here are a some hints:
– The Rezitsky Jazz Festival is held annually in October. Live music, performances, exhibitions, experimental, surprises.
– Jazz club at the Borisov museum on Pomorskaya museum, live music every Saturday evening.
– Rock club Koleso has some concerts every week.
Have a look at videos
Folk Jazz live in Karpogory, with singers Katya Zorina and Konstantin Sedovin.
Tim Dorofeev Quartet (Arkhangelsk) plays at 7th international ”MuzEnergo” festival (www.muzenergo.ru), Kimry, Russia, November 29, 2009.