Leon de Leeuw
Rare & Unfamiliar Music Hunt
Found this fantastic Youtube channel. Spent whole evenings listening to music I never heard of, and otherwise would have never found. The channel is a gold mine. In this clip, I loved the song "Modo". It starts at 16:19. Music from the Soviet Union. Who would have thought it could be so pleasing to the ear. Of course, I had heard of and repeatedly listened to the big names such as Shostakovich and Profokiev, to name a pair. Yet artists such as in the video I just linked to.. They're probably forgotten in time. I've always been intrigued by Eastern Europe. The whole region, not just Bulgaria, where I live. This music from the Soviet Union got my interest not only because it's from a place long gone and I know relatively little about. Also because it's hauntingly beautiful. And I am well aware of the gruesome history, the many lost lives and prosecuted intellectuals, artists and singers. Yet there was so much talent, which never got to made it big. And the songs, the artists such as these are just not known outside the area.
I can only wonder what would have become of these people had they lived somewhere else, where their talent crossed borders and got praised by the masses. What if jazz artists such as in this video were able to have this unspeakable beauty reach the souls of those in other countries? It most likely hasn't happened. And it might never. It's hidden in the nooks vinyl collections and, thanks to few enthusiastic Youtube uploaders, it's there for those who really want to find it. But who goes around looking for Soviet jazz on a Saturday evening? I did, and am glad for it. I got an insight into what is otherwise never talked about. And I genuinely enjoy this music. I am anything but a connoisseur of music. Quite the contrary. But I can't fail to notice certain hints of oppression, or at least fear, in some of these songs. Music such as this is certainly a niche but I am fascinated by the dark undertones. It's in the ears of the beholder. It's haunting and makes me think long and hard of how these people must have lived during that time. Voicing their soul through their music, their art. Hopefully reaching those who could appreciate it, without being prosecuted for violating any rules, if at all being aware of doing so. It was an incredibly hard time of immense suffering for many. But when I hear these voices, get a feeling for these songs, I wish they were better known. Because who dares to imagine what influence the many unknown souls of the Soviet Union could have been on the world culture if they'd only had the chance to make their print on it.
On a side note, I love this album from Yugoslavia as well. Especially the album cover. Genuinely enjoyed the music.
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