As Stellar Strings previously going by the name Silver Strings is all set to up your mood with back-to-back concerts in Kolkata, Indulge speaks to the members of the Russian band- creator Irina Shemiakova, drummer Polina Smokaliuk, violinists Anastasiia Mikhailichenko and Lesia Abrikosova and cellist Arina Sharma.
How excited are you about your upcoming live music concert in Kolkata?
Arina: These emotions are associated with anticipation! The music, stage, audience - that's what really inspires us.
Is this your first concert in Kolkata?
Lesia: For me yes, as this is my first trip to India, but not for Silver Strings band.
What kind of playlist can the audience expect during the show?
Anastasiia: It depends on the format of the event. It can be a formal gathering with some soft international music, a spectacular show with choreography and very virtuosic compositions, or it can be everyone's favorite Bollywood hits. In any case, it’s about the exchange of energy between the artists and the audience! This is a unique way of communication.
Lesia: Audiences can expect mind-blowing spectacular shows in Kolkata
Why do you call your band Silver Strings?
Irina: We are primarily a strings band, and the best strings for violin are silver and gold wound. They sound clear, are beautiful, shiny, and fragile, and need lots of care and maintenance. So, Silver Strings turned out to be a perfect name for a female strings band.
Arina: We have a drummer as well, so originally the name of the project was "Silver - strings and Drums" but people started calling it just "Silver Strings”, and we followed the trend.
How have you evolved through the journey?
Irina: We started 14 years back in Russia and for the last 13 years we are regularly performing in India. We are grateful to our friends and audience here who keep inviting us and enjoying our music. Also, Arina is married in India and has a family.
Arina: Few band members have changed down the years, for family or other reasons. But it didn’t hinder our journey, and we got even better every time. Recently we have added dance and choreography to our shows which we have named Stellar Strings.
Polina: We have performed all around the world, but can say that India is our second home, thanks to the love and appreciation that we received here.
Tell us about your music philosophy.
Anastasiia: Playing music is a process of transferring your vision of the world, your ideas, and your mood to others. So staying in a positive set of mind is important because while on stage you affect many others around you.
What inspires your compositions?
Arina: We are a people’s band and people inspire our music. After doing more than 2000 shows across the world, we have understood the pulse of the people.
Are you planning a full album?
Irina: We have a few compositions ready and are planning to release those as independent music.
How much has the indie music scene grown over the years? Where do you see it in the near future?
Polina: Indie music is the present and future of music. You can see how many new talents are coming up, thanks to social media and YouTube.
Arina: There was only pop music and Bollywood when we started the band. You need to buy CDs released by big brands. But nowadays anyone can release a single on YouTube and can even earn. We are living in the age of online music which is an open platform for everyone, and we believe it will grow exponentially.
Who's your favorite composer or band and why?
Anastasiia: If we are talking about classical music, then the works of Tchaikovsky, Rahmaninov, Bach, Shostakovich are very close to me. If we talk about modern, it is quite difficult to choose one person. One of the last discoveries for me was Jordan Rakei. He is a New Zealand-Australian musician and singer. He writes intense and intelligent music in the soul, jazz, alternative R&B, and trip-hop.
Polina: Snarky Puppy Sting songs make you experience a wide range of emotions. I like his voice which can easily touch your soul. They are amazing for their experiments with polyrhythms and polymetry.
One Indian song that has always stuck with you and why
Polina: Balam pichkari has positive vibes and reminds me of my Holi celebration in Goa.
Anastasiia: I really like the Haareya song. It is very lyrical and melodic in the original version. But at Silver Strings we combined it with Bon Jovi’s song - It's My Life. In this version, it sounds much more powerful!
Tell us what’s keeping you busy nowadays and your upcoming projects and tours
Anastasiia: We spend time creating new music and learning Bollywood songs. When we have free time, we like to visit temples and historical places.
Lesia: Incredible India, this is an absolutely true slogan for Indian tourism because we see it every day here. Also, we are learning Hindi words and it’s so exciting.
Arina: We have collaborated with a few Indian musicians and are working on new projects with them.
Polina: After music our next love is travel. From rafting in Rishikesh to paragliding in Bir, to elephant feeding in Jaipur, we got all these wonderful memories and would like to explore even more about this incredible India.
Stellar Strings will be performing in CCFC and Tollygunge Club on Dec 7 and 8 respectively from 8 pm onwards