Voices from Russia

Sunday, 21 December 2014

21 December 2014. Is It St Nick or Santa Claus? Why Not Both?

00 Choose Wisely. 20.12.14

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I think that to make people “choose” between St Nicholas and Santa is a false opposition. After all, Santa’s a secular figure (as Ded Moroz is), and St Nicholas is a religious figure. There’s NO contradiction between the two whatsoever. If it were up to me, I’d have Santa (or Father Christmas or Papa Noël or whatever else you’d want to call him), St Nick, and Dede… all three! They don’t compete with one another. St Nick comes on St Nicholas Day… Santa comes on Christmas… and Dede comes on the New Year. Hell, I’d even throw in the Three Kings (if I ask kindly enough, perhaps, Julio will bring his stilts for a real Old School Tres Reyes blast) on Epiphany. Don’t go around making false conflicts. If you consider it carefully, and choose wisely, you’d see that you could have ‘em all… all in their proper place, of course.

Now, go off and fetch me the jug… that was thirsty work.

BMD

Saturday, 20 December 2014

20 December 2014. Some More of My Favourite Things… More Music from the Hills

00 Kollarovci. Slovakia. 20.12.14

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Here’s some contemporary stuff… note the same Magyar influences that you found in the more “folky” music. Kollárovci (The Kollárs) is a Slovak ensemble that performs folk-flavoured songs in the Podhale dialect, a mixture of Polish and Slovak. The last clip is a longish set of Christmas Koledy from the region. I don’t claim that this is the greatest stuff on the planet… but I do like it (so, there!), so, it’s one of my favourite things… enjoy…

BMD

20 December 2014. Some of My Favourite Things… Ján Ambróz… Music from Prešov Kraj

00 Jan Ambroz. Slovakia. 20.12.14

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Ján Ambróz, from Prešov Kraj, is, of all things, both a lawyer and a folk-singer. I kid you not! The first selection is the familiar O kto, kto Nikolaja… done in a secular folklore style with cymbalon, fiddle, and stand-up bass bull fiddle. It’s coming straight at ya from the Carpathian foothills… enjoy!

BMD

Friday, 19 December 2014

19 December 2014. It’s St Nicholas Day… The First Day of the Holidays

00 st nicholas 01. 19.12.14

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00 st nicholas 03. 19.12.14

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00 st nicholas 02. 19.12.14

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Today is the beginning of the holiday season. The holidays run from St Nicholas Day until Epiphany on 19 January, via New Year on 1 January and Christmas on 7 January. It’s my Nicky’s angel day…

BMD

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