Staritsa is an electro-folk group from Chernozem’ye region, that creates music of different genres based on authentic songs from Russian regions. It was founded in the summer of 2019, when a family duet Natalia and Oleg Soldatkin received an invitation from writer, journalist and music producer Daryana Antipova to participate in the first showcase festival in Russia «Tavrida. Art». The musicians in the shortest possible time collected material from 6 songs, consisting of early developments and arrangements, took part in the festival and became the winners.
Immediately after the festival, within a month, they recorded their first EP «Protiv testeva dvora» and released it on Bandcamp and Soundcloud to participate at Russian World Music Awards which was again run by Daryana. Two songs from the EP were included to the compilation «Folk & Great Tunes from Russia», released by the German label CPL-Music, and spread out among European and American radios.
In the winter of 2019, Staritsa’s musicians began writing and recording their first long-play album, called «Cranberry» (Klukva). These are 12 compositions of completely different songs in terms of genre, but reuniting authentic Russian songs and modern musical trends.
The idea for Staritsa appeared a long time ago. While studying at the folk singing department, Oleg and Natalia listened to songs, recorded in the 60-80s in ethnographic expeditions, and both were delighted with the melodies’ richness, the power of voices and the ability of Russian ancestors to compose beautiful songs, to improvise and to create a full score, in which each voice was unique from verse to verse. Listening to the recordings of the performers of the Central Black Earth Region (most of the folklore songs were performed acapella), drum rhythms were involuntarily born in our head, and various musical ideas musicians tried to record for this debut album. So, on top of the recordings, Soldatkiny made sketches for various kinds of instruments. They really wanted to present folklore in a modern sound, interesting for listening to both lovers of traditional culture and the modern youth audience, to convey the song in an understandable musical language, trying to preserve in it the manner and harmony that the performers laid down.
Year of Release: 2021