Erzyan Morot: Fiddle Tunes from Erzya Mordva Villages of Samara Province

78th release from Antonovka Records

Armas Otto Väisänen (1890-1969) was a famous Finnish ethnomusicologist and ethnographer.

In 1914, when his native Finland was still part of the Russian Empire, he traveled around Samara province and recorded music of traditional fiddlers from local Erzya Mordva villages on wax cylinders. These recordings have been preserved in the Finnish archives.

The album Erzyan Morot (“Erzyan Melodies”) presents those tunes played by modern Russian fiddlers as close to the original as possible .

The number in the brackets after each melody is its number in the collection Mordwinische Melodien (“Mordovian Melodies”, Helsinki, 1948) compiled by Väisänen.

Performers:
Sofia Balueva (tracks 1-4), recorded August 14, 2021 in St. Petersburg
Sofia Fayzrakhmanova (tracks 5-10), recorded at the same place
Tatyana Yamberdova (track 11), recorded on October 23, 2021 in the town of Velikiye Luki

The idea of ​​the project by Ksenia Goncharova and Andrey Davydov.

Source: Antonovka Records, Facebook, 25 November 2022

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Armas Otto Aapo Väisänen (9 April 1890 – 18 July 1969) was an eminent Finnish scholar of folk music, an ethnographer and ethnomusicologist.

Väisänen was born in Savonranta. In the early twentieth century he documented, in recordings and photographs, traditional Finnish music and musicians. With a scholarship from the Finno-Ugrian Society Väisänen traveled to Russia in 1914 to collect Finnish folk melodies. He made field trips to MordoviaIngriaVeps, Russian Karelia. His activities also marked the a new stage in the history of collecting Seto folk songs in Southern Estonia. After the first trip in 1912 he made 6 field trips to Estonia between 1912 and 1923.

A. O. Väisänen’s dissertation was presented in 1939 on Ob-Ugrian folk music in German: Untersuchungen über die Ob-ugrischen Melodien: eine vergleichende Studien nebst methodischer Einleitung.

Between 1926 and 1957 Väisänen hold the position of the head of the folk music department at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland. He was the professor of musicology at University of Helsinki from 1956 to 1959. He died in Helsinki, aged 79.

Source: Wikipedia

Damir Guagov & Asker Sapiev: Adyge Oredyzhkher (Adyg/Circassian Music)

74th release from Antonovka Records

“Adyge oredyzhkher” means “old Adyg songs.” The album, however, consists mainly of tunes without words and also includes several relatively modern compositions.

Adyg (Adyge, Adyghe), Circassians (Cherkess) and Kabardians are branches of one people, they all call themselves “Adyge,” and from the outside they are collectively known as Circassians.

Damir Guagov and Asker Sapiev are musicians from Maykop, the capital of the Republic of Adygea. Damir is a shichepshinao and pshinao, that is, a player of shichepshina and pshina. Shichepshina is the traditional Adyg vertical fiddle, pshina is the Adyg name for button accordion. Asker is a phachichao (the phachich is the traditional pair rattle).

The recording of the album was made possible thanks to Zamudin Guchev, Honored Artist of the Republic of Adygea, and researcher and keeper of the Adyg traditions.

Lyrics language: Adyghe (5, 14), Russian (4, 13).

Recorded at Zamudin’s home, Gaverdovsky hamlet, Maykop, Republic of Adygea, July 17, 2020.

Thanks to Zamudin, Damir and Asker.

Source: Antonovka Records, Facebook, 10 May 2022. Embedded recording courtesy of the Antonovka Records Bandcamp page

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The Circassian genocide, or Tsitsekun, was the Russian Empire’s systematic mass murder, ethnic cleansing, and expulsion of 80–97%of the Circassian population, around 800,000–1,500,000 people, during and after the Russo-Circassian War (1763–1864). The peoples planned for removal were mainly the Circassians, but other Muslim peoples of the Caucasus were also affected. Several methods used by Russian forces such as impaling and tearing the bellies of pregnant women were reported. Russian generals such as Grigory Zass described the Circassians as “subhuman filth”, and glorified the mass murder of Circassian civilians, justified their use in scientific experiments, and allowed their soldiers to rape women.

During the Russo-Circassian War, Russian Empire employed a genocidal strategy of massacring Circassian civilians. Only a small percentage who accepted Russification and resettlement within the Russian Empire were completely spared. The remaining Circassian population who refused were variously dispersed or killed en masse. Circassian villages would be located and burnt, systematically starved, or their entire population massacred. Leo Tolstoy reports that Russian soldiers would attack village houses at night. Sir Pelgrave, a British diplomat who witnessed the events, adds that “their only crime was not being Russian.”

In 1864, “A Petition from Circassian leaders to Her Majesty Queen Victoria” was signed by the Circassians requesting humanitarian aid from the British Empire. In the same year, mass deportation was launched against the surviving population before the end of the war in 1864 and it was mostly completed by 1867. Some died from epidemics or starvation among the crowds of deportees and were reportedly eaten by dogs after their death. Others died when the ships underway sank during storms. Calculations, including taking into account the Russian government’s own archival figures, have estimated a loss of 80–97% of the Circassian population in the process. The displaced people were settled primarily to the Ottoman Empire.

Sources state that as many as 1 to 1.5 million Circassians were forced to flee in total, but only a half could make it to land. Ottoman archives show nearly 1 million migrants entering their land from the Caucasus by 1879, with nearly half of them dying on the shores as a result of diseases. If Ottoman archives are correct, it would make it the biggest genocide of the 19th century, and indeed, in support of the Ottoman archives, the Russian census of 1897 records only 150,000 Circassians, one tenth of the original number, still remaining in the now-conquered region.

As of 2021, Georgia was the only country to recognize the Circassian genocide. Russia actively denies the Circassian genocide, and classifies the events as a migration (Russian: Черкесское мухаджирство, lit. ’Circassian migrationism’). Some Russian nationalists in the Caucasus region continue to celebrate the day when the Circassian deportation was launched, 21 May (O.S), each year as a “holy conquest day”. Circassians commemorate 21 May every year as the Circassian Day of Mourning commemorating the Circassian genocide. On 21 May, Circassians all over the world protest against the Russian government, especially in cities with large Circassian populations such as Kayseri and Amman, as well other big cities such as Istanbul.

Source: Wikipedia

A Nu-Ka Babushki: Tserkovishche (Russian Songs from Pskov Region)

72nd release from Antonovka Records

The village of Tserkovische is known as the place where the famous folk singer Olga Sergeeva lived the most of her life. Here she sang the songs included by Andrei Tarkovsky in his film “Nostalgia” and called by him “the sign of the Russian”.

Our album is released in 2022, the year of the centenary of the birth of Olga Sergeeva and the ninetieth birthday of Andrei Tarkovsky.

A Nu-Ka Babushki (meaning “Come On, Grandmas”) Ensemble consists of fellow villagers of the celebrated singer. The age of the participants ranges from 60 to 90 years, which makes them, on average, the next generation after her.

Song genres: wedding (1-5), lyrical (6, 7, 9, 14), harvesting (😎, Maslenitsa (Winter Carnival — 10, 11), dancing (12), wedding/dancing (13), table (15), folk romance (16), Kupala (St. John’s Day — 17), modern (18), witty ditties (19-22).

A Nu-Ka Babushki Ensemble, from left to right on the album cover photo:
Anna Ivanova: vocals (1-15, 17-22)
Anna Karpenko: vocals (1-15, 17-18)
Valentina Poleshchenko: vocals (1-22)
Irina Malysheva (manager): vocals (1-15, 17-18)

Session musicians:

Ivan Strutinsky: button accordion (19, 21, 22)
Polina Gotsmanova: fiddle (20)

Thanks to all performers, Ksenia Goncharova, Dmitry Solomin.

Source: Antonovka Records, Facebook, 26 April 2022. Embedded recording courtesy of the Antonovka Records Bandcamp page

Talomerkit: Songs of Ingria We Sing


Antonovka Records
Facebook
December 10, 2021

57th release from Antonovka Records

Ingria is roughly the southwestern quarter of what is now Leningrad region of Russia, including the city of Saint Petersburg.

Talomerkit are signs of clans that local Finno-Ugric people carved on their wooden houses in ancient times. The ensemble members belong to different ethnic groups who traditionally live in this area: Ingrian Finns, Russians, Izhorians and Estonians.

This album is completely devoted to the music of the Ingrian Finns. There are about 20,000 of them in Russia now.

Talomerkit Ensemble (from left to right on album cover photo):
Nikolay Kochetkov — button accordion player
Irina Demidova — leader
Aina Yakkola
Svetlana Tregub (Lappalainen)
Tatiana Demidenko (Bjorn)
Julia Tuomo
Dmitry Harakka-Zaitsev

Recorded at the premises of Ingrian Finns Society “Inkerin Liitto”, St. Petersburg, April 20, 2021.

Thanks to the ceaselessly curious and generous Dimitrii Ivanov for the heads-up. This album was recorded two doors down from our house in Petersburg, at Inkerin Liitto, where I have spent more hours studying Finnish than I can count, all of them happy ones. ||| TRR