Russian Children’s Songs

November 9th, 2006 · No Comments · 2006 Bruc Fugue

image from Firefly Europa‘s production Gzhel, [source]

In the course of working on the soundtrack for our video Bruc Fugue, I have been doing research into Russian children’s songs.

The fugue (a more sophisticated version of singing in rounds) in the title will be sung a cappella by vocalists and layered over the sound of traditional folk clogging that’s native to the video. The lyrics of the fugue are a found poem written from the words of a pamphlet on Cherynobl that we picked up off the ground in Barcelona.

I’ve been trying to write the score of the fugue from scratch and haven’t been happy with the results. The other day, it occurred to me that I should adapt a pre-existing song that’s in the public domain into a fugue. What better type of song to use than a Russian children’s folk song? I’ve found a wealth of resources online, and was particularly charmed by this website, which has several examples of songs. My favorites are “We’ll Go Through This Trouble” and “Dog Could Be A Biter.” Even the children’s songs in Russia are morose and none too reassuring.

While doing research, I also discovered the group Firefly Europa (above), a dance company which blends traditional Russian folk dancing with modern. You can see examples of their work here. The costumes alone are worth it.

Category: 2006 Bruc Fugue

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