Moscow, January 14. Russian musicians have released a tribute album « Keep my speech forever » in honor of the 130th anniversary of Osip Mandelstam. The track list includes 21 original compositions. Tracks were written by 24 musicians on selected poems of the great poet. The album is available on all streaming services.
Leonid Agutin, Noize MC, Ilya Lagutenko and Kudamir Katitsa, Billy Novik & Petersburg Jazz Aktiv, Samsara, Tequilajazz and many other contemporary performers took part in the recording of the album dedicated to the poet of the Silver Age. The tracks in the album are arranged in the order of the dates of the works: from the earliest (1906) to the latest (1937). The album closes with the composition « Poems about the Unknown Soldier » performed by rapper Oxxxymiron.
The new project includes songs not only in Russian: the singer from Vilnius Alina Orlova performed a composition for the poem « Take for joy from my palms … » in Lithuanian.
Film director Roma Liberov became the author of the idea and the main producer of the album. In 2015, he shot a feature-length documentary about Mandelstam « Keep my speech forever. » The organizers hope that thanks to the participation in the project of performers of various directions and genres, who became guides to the poet’s work, millions of people will hear Mandelstam.
“Our plan was born out of love for Mandelstam and seemed unrealizable,” Liberov admitted. « But the same love that gave birth to him gave us the perseverance to unite and work through difficulties. »
“A real miracle came out, and a voluminous one: from melancholic disco to rap prophecy,” Liberov noted. – Yes, it is dangerous to put poetry, especially Mandelstam’s, to music, especially bright and original. Realizing this danger, we all together think that Osip Emilievich’s speech was saved. And that the poet himself will listen to our album, laughing to tears – somewhere where the sound reaches, but not the look. «
“The team of like-minded people, which we supported, took on this very complex, from a creative and organizational point of view, project: 23 artists, from idea to release – only four months, 21 tracks and 21 clips, – said Piskunov. “We hope that this incredible tribute album will go down in the history of Russian culture.”
The musicians also spoke about their impressions of participating in the project. For example, Leonid Agutin admitted that it was surprisingly easy for him to put the poet’s poems to music. On the new album, he sang a song for the 1917 work « Golden honey flowed from a bottle … ».
“For some reason it was immediately clear to me how this song should sound,” the singer said. – You just do as it is written: it comes, and there are no riddles, secrets. You don’t force anything, you don’t invent anything. Great luck, this is not always the case! In collaboration with the great poet it was just like that. «
Billy Novik, a jazz musician from St. Petersburg, got the not-so-easy-to-understand poem « I will tell you with the last frankness … » as a literary basis. But the performer managed, as he believes, to find the right approach to him.
“It seemed to me that this is a very vague decadence, – said Novik. – Considering that in the verse itself there are ambiguous, either comic moments, or serious ones. Here it is just better to do it in contrast and combine a joke in words with hopeless decadence in music. «
The team of the project “Keep my speech forever” is going to continue working, not limited to the release of the album. After lifting the ban on holding mass events, the project participants plan to hold a large group concert with the participation of all performers.
Osip Mandelstam is one of the greatest Russian and Soviet poets of the 20th century, an essayist, translator and literary critic. He was born in Warsaw in 1891, six years later the family moved to St. Petersburg. Mandelstam began his poetry career as a Symbolist, but then joined the literary group of Acmeists, which included Nikolai Gumilyov, Anna Akhmatova, Sergei Gorodetsky. After the October Revolution, Osip Emilievich worked in newspapers, traveled around the country, published in newspapers, performed poetry.
In November 1933, Mandelstam wrote a poem « We live without feeling the country … », for which, it is believed, he was arrested and sent into exile. After Stalin’s intervention, the poet was allowed to independently choose a place for settlement, and Mandelstam and his wife went to Voronezh. In May 1937, the term of exile ended, and the couple returned to Moscow.
In 1938, the poet was arrested a second time and sent under escort to the Far East. Mandelstam died on December 27, 1938 in the Vladperpunkt transit camp from typhus, not having lived quite a bit before his 48th birthday.
Earlier, the historian and publicist Nikolai Sapelkin, on the FAN-TV program Po-Starykovski, spoke about the relationship between Joseph Stalin and Osip Mandelstam.