DOM Cultural Center

21 June 2007

[world music]

‘Safety Magic’… Magic, which is safe… Where magic is, there is a fairy tale. That’s how could be seen on paper the tale performed by the ‘Safety Magic Process’ on stage:

“The curtain goes up. Oriental music’s playing.
Tres, a Cuban gawk filled with romantic feelings is loafing about, enjoying songs of waves and wind. An old buddy of him, cynical Bass doesn’t share Tres’ moods, so he tells Tres axiomatic histories about insidiousness of love and acquaints him with sorcerer Didgereedoo. At a sabbath in the sorcerer’s castle Tres gets under charms now of witches Percussions, now of fairies Pipes. Appeared to the sabbath Gypsy Violin promises Tres a long journey, a flighty love, and a long life. Morning comes, and Tres leaves off on a dusty road in searches of happiness and the purport of life. Bass, Didgereedoo, Percussions, Trumpets and Violin are following him with shouts, some of parting words, some of damnations, some of prophecies… Tres follows his inner voice, and his silhouette gradually disappears behind horizon.
But sounds from the Didgereedoo’s castle reach the neighbouring villages, and their dwellers go out on streets in anxiety. Some dance and sing blessing carefree life, some heave hands to the sky bidding for help, some look afar trying to guess the leaving silhouette…
There sounds very eccentric, almost symphonic music. The curtain falls.”

Well, if we come back to Earth from the world of magic images, we can refer the group’s style to as the world music. World music — the definition wipes away limits of styles and includes everything that cannot be designated with the canonized labels like ‘rock’, ‘jazz’, ‘ethno’ (art-rock, new-jazz and ethno-punk are also considered here). Energy of rock, sensuality of jazz and sacrality of ethno are so mixed in Safety Magic that Australian didgereedoo, Cuban tres and Gypsy violin speak the same language. Apparently that’s what is called world music.

Each of SM participants is a successful musician.

Drums: ANDREY ROMANIKA — graduated from Kokchetav Jazz College, well known for his work with A. Aygi in 4’33; in METRO musical — together with Anatoly Gerasimov; in Funky Land with Felix Lakhuti, in Karl Khlamkin’s group, with Children’s Panadol.

Percussion: SERGEY NEBOL’SIN — so a diversified musician, that plays drums and percussions in such different projects as Deti Picasso, Pelageya, Godknows.

Bass: MIKHAIL AVSHAROV — has played in many art-rock projects: “Orchestra of Uneasy Music” conducted by Mikhail Zhukov, Zadorinka, Menshikov’s Memory, Ideas Degenerator; and played with African and Armenian musicians in his own group “Good-Bye Motorcycle!”.

The ethnical side of SM is most clearly personified by two other participants of the process.

PYOTR NIKULIN (RAGHU) — the most famous master of playing DIDGEREEDOO. He lived in Nepal for about three years, taking musical and spiritual practices. Now he plays Japanese music in Va-On group.

DAN LERMAN — an apprentice of Andre Pelenda (Kongo, guitar), Hashmad Azam Ali-Khan (India, tabla, tampura), Alexey Barmutov (“Daddy Lyosha”, psychedelic guitar); he has mastered tres — the Cuban national instrument — in such a way that he’s able to extract a sitar sound from it.

As it often happens to good music, SM performance is based upon the school of jazz improvisation. The three pillars, three other participants of the process, represent it.

Violinist NAZAR AMANOV, a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory and Grand-Prix winner at the 1st International Khalmamedov Contest, has gained great experience of jazz-rock in Gunesh group (conducted by Rishat Shafi). Having combined a violin with an electronic processor, he created his own project Nazaar Violin Show.

Trumpeter KONSTANTIN KULIKOV — though still a student of variety-jazz faculty of Gnesins’ college, he already is a high-grade participant of many known projects, such as jazz orchestra conducted by A. Kroll, W.K.?, Fruktovy Kefir.

Keyboard player ARKADY MARTO, an apprentice of I. Bril’, playing with Moscow Groove Institute and A. Aygi’s group 4’33, in SM is responsible for special effects and a surprising instrument — kalimba.

Saxophonist OLEG MARYAKHIN — the young talent from Karl Khlamkin’s orchestra, has recently joined the SM process.

Safety magic is called a “process”, because at various times all new and new people are involved in it, giving to it different shades. There can be on stage either 3 musicians or 12, and in SM there is no leadership problem at all, because each participant clearly understands: in a musical process leader is a soloist, and soloist is the one who plays solo at this very moment. Each of them is a professional, and it looks like playing in SM allowed them to reach a new level. Their joint playing music has given birth to the most powerful sound, which can maybe only compared to the projects King Crimson and Can.

Not without reason Damo Suzuki (the vocalist of the earlier well-known and now cult group Can) proposed to SM participation in a joint concert in club “DOM” in May, 2005. Maîtres of jazz — Anatoly Gerasimov, Vladimir Chekasin and his apprentice Anna Korolyova, Alexey “Miksher” (Leningrad, Comparsa Primera), Yury Dementyev (Children’s Panadol), and many other musicians — took part in Safety Magic as invited guests.

Though the process started not so long ago, in 2002, the group’s life was quickly enough filled with lots of concerts:

festival “Ethnolife” in Yakhroma;
ethnic festivals “Mysterious India” in the Moscow House of Artists and Hermitage garden;
international festival “BASE Jumping” in Ostankino;
festival “VDOKH” in Culture House of the Moscow Aviation Institute (together with the headliners — W.K.?, Markscheider Kunst, 5’NIZZA)

participation in V. Chekasin’s project Ethnic Process in the Central House of Artists and Meierhold’s centre
the air on radio station “Echo of Moscow”;
International Tea Festival on Vasilyevsky descent; SM starts road-show activity;
in spring and autumn two airs on the St.-Petersburg’s channel “100”;
recording of a disc at “Emergency Exit” label

a joint concert with devoted Tuva shaman Nikolay Oorzhak in club “DOM”
presentation of the disc

“One of these days the presentation of the first disc of super group Safety Magic — the most powerful ethno-jazz-rock group on today’s rock-stage — took place in a club in Brestskaya street. In the over-crowded club the well-known saxophonists Vladimir Chekasin and Anatoly Gerasimov soloed as special guests, Anna Korolyova sang. To support Safety Magic have arrived Pep-See, Markscheider Kunst, Pelageya, and Karl Khlamkin. Quite a serious scope… The central event of the presentation became performance of Safety Magic with Chekasin, Gerasimov and Korolyova. They so sensitively heard each other, that true pleasure from their shining performance entered the audience literally into a stupor. Video performance from Boris Berger (“Emergency Exit”) created an additional semantic layer to the masters’ world-action…” Guru KEN,

Follow-ups to the list will not keep themselves waiting. Soon this article will be replenished with reviews of a joint concert with the vocalist of CAN Damo Suzuki and of the SM process performance at the international jazz festival in Arkhangelskoye.

Intro  Personalities  Institution  Projects  CDs Production  Press  Contacts  Subscription  Links
(C) 2004 Девоцио Модерна,

works with a support of Ford Foundation