"Kolechko (Ring)" by Valentina Kvasova and The Russian Social Singing Club
"Kolechko (Ring)" - a lyrical tune about a ring symbolising the strained relations between two lovers is shared by Cossack singer Valentina Kvasova at the Brooklyn Roots Festival 2019.
Valentina Kvasova’s father was the Artistic director of the Don Cossack State Ensemble for 37 years, and her mother was the choir director for 40 years. She draws on the large collection of recorded material of traditional Cossack songs that her parents collected and recording in 1967. They recorded over 1000 songs, and would share some arrangements of these songs on stages with 40 person choirs, all over the world, to build bridges with Russia. These folk songs were songs for war, work, weddings, funerals, harvesting, and fallling in love. They were songs of everyday life. During that time, her parents preserved these songs because in the Soviet Union, when a folk tradition existed in the villages, it brought the community together and touched their souls. But the communist party used this power of folk music and adapted the songs and changed the lyrics to be about nationalism and Communism. Kvasova recalls watching large ensembles wrapped in traditional folk music, but singing lyrics about never stopping “working for communism” and celebrating “Lenin.” The communist party stole the culture that was 1000 years old and tried to make it artificial. So when the Soviet Union fell apart, people got so tired of these propaganda songs and forgot their original connection to everyday themes and their own heritage. So people avoided the songs and they almost died. Kvasova continues her parents legacy with the Russian Social Singing Club. In her description below you can hear the difference between arrangements for the stage and in their natural folk setting.
Kolechko (Ring), by NYSCA Living Traditions