Ye. Frolova have recorded more than 10 CD but this one opens
a new side of her talent. For the first time she recorded
Russian spiritual poems, folk and her own songs rendered a
capella or to the accompaniment of Gusli psaltery. Her soft
and clear voice, deep penetration in the sense of old verse,
thorough search of sacred music intonation produced the unique
sound. It seems that she really managed to express the singing
soul of Russian folk.
Ye. Frolova wrote about her path to the real spiritual and
folk Russian song:"I was born in 1969 in Riga, Latvia.
In 1986 I graduated from a secondary school. Perhaps my outer
education had finished at that stage, and the inner one started
at the same time: by books, music, meetings with people, songs.
I compose songs since 12 years old - from that very time when
I took a guitar for the first time. The songs are written
both on my own lyrics and lyrics of my favorite poets of the
XX century. The songs lead me as they led early minnesingers
or pilgrims sometime: from town to town, from person to person,
from country to country. And this way bestows everything that
it can give along with music: light, happiness, sorrow, pain
Guitar was my only companion in those wanderings for a long
time but once I chanced to get to a beautiful ancient Russian
town named Suzdal. This town presented me not only with a
feeling of old Russia, which responded in me with a wave of
new sounds, but also with an old Russian musical instrument
Gusli is one of the most ancient folk instruments similar
to lira, European psaltery or zither. It produces unique sound
and demands peculiar way of sound extraction.
Brought up in modern urban culture traditions, I had to take
my own devious path to my ethnic roots - via the so-called
"bardic song" genre.
Bardic song, which was the media where I grew and had been
formed as a singing and composing woman, became a popular
cultural and social phenomenon just recently - in the sixties
of the XX century. It presented a plenty of great authors
to the world culture, such as Bulat Okudzhava, Vladimir Vysotsky
and other not so famous but nonetheless interesting ones.
Nowadays bardic songs appear to be rather a genre with its
own laws, cult-figures and problems than just student amateur
songs as it was once. I was taught to speak in terms of music
and poetry and it was a bardic song that gave me this opportunity.
A folk song opened my heart. This song taught me to listen
and to hear - not only the song itself but also - life and
all that fills it. Voice and ear merged and so new ways opened
for my voice. New songs emerged in my creative work - not
just folk-style songs but a kind of sequel to the folk songs
one have just heard. They sail along the waterways discovered
with the help of old-time Russian songs.
That is why my own compositions are present in my album along
with early sacred tunes, choral and ceremonial songs.
Luckily I was fated to meet remarkable performers of genuine
folklore. Thanks to them I understood that Russian song is
not somewhat offered to foreigners between courses in a restaurant
accompanied by accordion and balalaika. Russian song is fairly
open and plain at a glance. It seems that anyone can sing
it. Authentic and very close to ancient tradition folk song
is conserved only in small villages that are hidden from people
and town vanity. However, this song comes to a few performers.
It demands particular skills in sound extraction and special
intonation in pronunciation bound up with dramatic nature
of a song and peculiarities of a local dialect.
Today Russian folklore appears to be an object for scientific
investigation in a sense or may be a destiny of some courageous
and very talented performers such as the Sirin Ensemble of
old Russian song, Sergey Starostin from Moscow, Eugenia Smolyaninova
form St-Petersburg, Elena Sapogova from Ekaterinburg, gusli
player Andrew Baykalets and hundreds of unknown ethnic folk
groups and singers leading a quiet provincial life in the
depths of Russia."