Andrey Vinogradov and Natalia Serbina

Andrey Vinogradov – former member of the band Arsenal and founder of this one-of-a-kind project, which celebrates and promotes traditional ethnic music. He recently mastered the hurdy-gurdy, a unique instrument, the European lyrichord. His co-performer Natalia Serbina, is well known in Russia, Ukraine and further afield. She is not only a singer-performer playing the hurdy-gurdy and keyboard, but also a dedicated folklore collector and researcher.

This project is wonderfully versatile, featuring complex compositions, a mixture of ethnic (Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Greek and Austrian) music, modern academic music and improvised jazz, as well as Russian religious poetry. And above all, the duet demonstrates virtuoso playing skills, classy style and professionalism.

Some information about the musicians:

Andrey Vinogradov chose hurdy-gurdy, made by renowned Viennese craftsman Wolfgang Weichselbaumer, as his main instrument and is currently the only professional hurdy-gurdy performer in Russia. Andrey took part in prestigious festivals of ethnic music in 2015, i.e. Kroutushka in Kazan, Tatarstan; EuroFolk 2015 in Kiten, Bulgaria winning the Golden Orpheus first prize; International Festival of Traditional Musical Instruments in Bosevec, Croatia. His list of CDs includes an album The Songs of the Dryad (Pesni Driady), Calistrat (Kalistrat), When the Snow Is No More (Kogda Sojdut Snega), Ilya of Murom (Ilja Muromets), Scent of Dreams (Zapakh Snov), Ethnomirages, the Breeze of the Day (Dykhanie Dnja, Russian Hurdy-Gurdy Tunes, Russian Strolling Beggars Tunes. He also played in Arsenal’s LPs Second Chance and Pulse3 (Vtoroe Dykhanie and Puls3), Arsenal’s CD Anthology albums Burnt by the Time III and Burnt by the Time IV (Opaljonnye Vremenem III and Opaljennye Vremenem IV), Ivan Smirnov’s album Merry-Go-Round Old Man (Karusel’nyi Starik). He has also worked with many famous Russian musicians.

Natalia Serbina graduated from the National Music Academy of Ukraine in 2000 and wrote her thesis on Ukrainian Lyrical Songs in 2013. She sang with famous Ukrainian folk ensembles Bozhichy and Derevo (The Tree) in 1998-2003 and 2003 -2007 respectively, and took part in International Folk Festivals in Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Uzbekistan, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Since 2008 she has been the head of Strela (Arrow) Folk Ensemble. Natalia selects the most beautiful old tunes for her concerts. She records most of them during the folklore field visits to 13 regions of Central Ukraine, thus reviving the now forgotten tradition of itinerant lyrical musicians. She also started master classes in Ukrainian Authentic Singing. She launched her first solo album Oh, I Will Go to the High Mountain (Oj, vyjdu ya na goru vysoku) in 2011, comprising recordings of lyrical songs and psalms (religious folk songs accompanied by hurdy-gurdy).

The duet of Andrey Vinogradov, (hurdy-gurdy) and Natalia Serbina (vocal) – offers a mixture of traditional tunes and different Slavic national songs, as well as their own compositions masterly performed by Andrey Vinogradov. The polyphonic unity of different folk tunes reflects on the common Slavic melodies, its beauty and dramatic notes with Natalia’s voice and the medieval but yet modern music of hurdy-gurdy; as if a medieval lyricist meets a Ukrainian female country song (by the way, it was quite possible many years ago).