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Culture news, 09.04.2004 12:01

Top talents form new orchestra

A new band emerged from a multi-media project that took place in Moscow last week and will take place in St. Petersburg on Friday, but most of its faces are familiar. The Optimystica Orchestra features Tequilajazzz singer and bass player Yevgeny Fyodorov, ex-Akvarium cellist Seva Gakkel and musicians of such popular local bands as Leningrad, Spitfire and Markscheider Kunst as well as session players.

The band was formed to provide live musical accompaniament to Russian screenings of "Ten Minutes Older: The Cello," a unique compilation of eight 10-minute short films made by some of the world's greatest film directors released this year. It follows an earlier film, "Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet," and it features works by such directors as Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Luc Godard, Volker Schlondorff and Istvan Szabo.

Fyodorov said the idea to match the film with live music was suggested by Drugoye Kino (Alternative Cinema), a branch of the Moscow-based Carmen film firm formed to release foreign arthouse and festival films in Russia in 2000. He said he was chosen because of his extensive work in films, which include both feature films and television series soundtracks, as well as Tequilajazzz's live score to Sergei Eisenstein's classic 1925 silent movie "Stachka" ('Strike') that the band continues to perform.

The music composed by Fyodorov includes several treatments of Tequilajazzz songs as well as newer material and does not have much to do with the film, he said. "It would be stupid to illustrate eight different stories, often non-musical stories, so we applied a different approach," said Fyodorov. "We made a musical almanac. It's some 10 musical numbers, each being about an urban dweller."

As in Moscow last week, the local concert will take place at the Tinkoff beer restaurant. Fyodorov said the venue also affected the musical format of the show.

While Tequilajazzz plays heavy, guitar-driven alternative rock, Optimystica Orchestra offers lighter entertainment - something that Fyodorov calls "reversed punk."

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