Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Spektacular! (Katherine Fanning, portfolio post 2.)

So here is the face of the most beautiful angel of all time, my personal favourite musician, Regina Ilyinichna Spektor. She's not quite mainstream -- this lady here has her roots in New York's anti-folk scene, and you've probably heard her music here and there; 500 Days of Summer soundtrack, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian end credits, etc, etc etc. Regina Spektor was born in Moscow, USSR and gloriously proficient in piano probably since she left the womb. She was so good, that even with her entire family being Jewish, they were actually thinking about not immigrating to America solely because of wanting her to continue her piano lessons in Russia. However, they did move to Bronx, and Regina continued being perfect. Her music is vivid, colourful, sometimes blusey and melancholy, sometimes nauseatingly peppery, but always beautifully, normally incorporating her piano prowess, curiously lovely singing, and hints of her Russian origins. One of my favourite songs, Apres Moi (linked here) is a prime example -- in the bridge of the song, she dips into Russian, singing part of a poem by Boris Pasternak:

Fevral. Dostat chernil i plakat!
Pisat o fevrale navzryd,
Poka grohochuschaya slyakot
Vesnoyu chernoyu gorit.

February. Get ink, shed tears.
Write of it, sob your heart out, sing,
While torrential slush that roars
Burns in the blackness of the spring.

That part of the song gets to me every time, and I can thank this class for making me capable of singing it correctly now, yessssss.

Regina speaks Russian fluently to this day and values her heritage immensely, and it is always grand getting a taste of it in her music!

Ladies and gentlemen, until next time B)

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