I shall sing for my hometown of Egorievsk

The number of awards of a young folk singer Zhenya (Eugenia) Savinkina exceeds the number of the years of her age. In her 20 she has been a prize-winner of many singing festivals and contests. In 2009 she was awarded with the order «The Young Talent of Russia».

Nevertheless, the big cities and success did not spoil this young and bright singer that we saw on the stages of our town. Egorievsk has always been in Zhenya’s plans and dreams.

Do you miss your hometown?

Yes, I miss it a lot.  I try to get here at least once a week, at least for a day. When I think of my hometown I always recall the lines from one of the songs I sing:

                            Here, the blue wings splash upon the sky
                            Here the midday nestles close to the chill of a fountain
                           This land is warmer than bred; this land is softer than a willow
                           This land is wide and light like a song

Sometimes I close my eyes and recall different places of my hometown. I recall how I, being a young girl, was buying myself copybooks in a local stationery store, my school, my teachers that always understood the necessity to miss some lessons in order to attend my vocals classes in Moscow.

Do you write songs yourself?

Yes, I do. For example I sang one of such songs at my final graduation exam at The College of Music named after A. Shnitke. By he way, this song is gonna be in my first album on what I work at the moment.

Russian folk singing… Is it a specific of your voice, or your artistic preference?

Russian folk songs are my deliberate choice.  Folk songs are backed up by our thousand-year culture. Folk songs have been accompanying people from their first to their last days. When one is born, he or she listens to a mom’s lullaby. Then children’s’ songs, then love songs, then wedding songs. The people were mourning, working, fighting to our folk songs. They believed in their power. They believed that songs could change the world around, for example to change the weather.

Folk songs are the vast field of artistic activity that has not been studied to the end yet. It is an
endless field for musical arrangements and vocal work. Just imagine, how it is might be
wonderful to find an unknown folk song somewhere in the heartland of Meshchera and give it a second birth.

I sing not only folk songs, but some pop songs too. But when I am abroad, my audience asks me to sing in particular Russian folk songs. They have enough their own pop singers. We hardly could surprise our foreign audience by singing jazz or blues. These styles originate from their land.

What do you think of Russian folk-rock?

Russian folk-rock is a modern adaptation of Russian folk songs. Quality folk-rock does not simplify songs, but helps the average modern audience, not only experts, to perceive it. It does
use modern electronics. So, I am positive about quality, professional folk-rock. I often use its elements myself. The only limitation is the atmosphere of a stage. In some places, like Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the folk rock is not appropriate; the audience expects more classic performances there.

Would you tell us about your work with Lyodmila Zykina?

I happened to sing with «Russia» ensemble headed by Lyudmila Zykina. To that time she was ill, did not attend the rehearsals often. I remember how she sang sitting on a chair and said sorry to her audience for this. I remember her precious pieces of advice. For example she taught me not to hold my head too high for it prevented me from right breathing, and much other advice.

Zhenya, what do you do now?

I am a first-year student of the Moscow State (Lomonosov) University, The Faculty of History, The Department of History and Theory of Culture. I have my own musical ensemble called «Zarenitsa». They accompany me at my concerts.

I concert on many stages of Moscow Philharmonic Society and at Lomonosov University. Recently The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Cyril attended my concert. After the concert he blessed me to further sing Russian songs.   
At the moment I am in the process of recording of my first album, with one of my own songs.
I take part in a production of a folk-show called «The Tale of Finist the Falcon».  I also work on my Internet cite. I hope it will be ready soon.

What do you think of TV shows in a format of folk singing? Can we call it real folksongs?

If you mean singers like Nadezhda Babkina and Pelageya we surely can call it folksongs. They adapt traditional Russian folk singing with their musical arrangements, make it more popular, more understandable for the audience. On top of that they like what they do.
Some groups sing songs that are surely fakes, a stylization. They just want to please the public. I think it is not even a stylization, but profanation.

What is the deference between Russian folk songs and folk songs of other countries, like for instance Bulgaria of Ireland?

It is a difficult question. There are many differences. Some of them are purely technical, some – artistic. Generally we could say that singing in northern countries is more tranquil and concentrated. In southern countries singing manners are brighter and more vigorous. But it is not easy to generalize, because singing in different areas of one country also could be very different.

Have you ever tried to sing folk songs of other countries?

Yes I did. In Poland I sang a Polish folk song. Also I sang some Bulgarian folk songs.

Did you have any curious or funny situations at your concert?

Once an entertainer announced my family name with a mistake, he stressed the first syllable of it. Some people from the auditorium corrected him very emotionally. I was pleased that my audience knew me.

What can you advice parents whose kids show talents for folk singing?

If they want to develop these talents, they will have to sacrifice a lot. They will need good teachers of folk Russian singing and that could be difficult in a small town. They might have to take their child to Moscow.

If we are talking just about vocal or musical talent, I would advice to go to a local musical school and study playing the piano. Then your music teachers will tell you what to do to develop the talents of your child. But anyway, if you are parents of a talented kid, and you wish him or her artistic career, you must be prepared for many difficulties that you will have to face. Your success will depend on three things - talent of your child, wish of your child, and your wish.

What are your plans for the future?

I have many plans. I plan to finish recording my first album and present it here, in Egorievsk, on my favorite stage. I have many friends here and they have always been helping me and my family.

Also I plan to take part in celebration of the 100th jubilee of Egorievsk Museum of Art and History. Both these events are gonna happen in the autumn of 2011. I invite my country-fellowmen.

10 июл 2011