Stepanida Borisova is an outstanding singer from the republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Siberia, and its most reknowned exponent of folk theatre. As a singer, Stepanida performs in many different styles of traditional Sakha singing. She is mostly known as a performer of poems – tojuks, one of the genres of Sakha storytelling folklore. Tojuks, long with other genres of singing, form the core of the Sakha epic Olonkho, an anthology of supernatural and heroic legends and fables, an absolute essence of Sakha poetic and vocal expression.
Her signature style of singing is “enelgen”, a disturbing and somewhat dark yet mesmerising, ecstatic, meditative and improvisational style, conveying a very intimate and personal feeling of love, loneliness or longing. “Music puts restrictions on you. It puts you in the mould. But the real life is different. Without thinking about musicality and form, one must sing what one feels” Stepanida Borisova comments on her art and performance.
During her long career, her desire to break out of the restrictions of tradition and to expand her sound, led her to perform with musicians from many different cultures – Europe, Middle East and Asia. But of all Stepanida’s collaborations, the duo with the Czech drummer and composer Pavel Fajt is undoubtedly the most long standing and well documented project.
Fajt, with his relentless desire for experimentation and musical challenge, is probably one of the most reknowned musicians on the Czech alternative rock/jazz scene. With his musical career starting in the early 1980s, he was crucal in laying the foundations of the Czech folk/rock movement, first with legendary rock band Dunaj, then moving on to work with the violin player and singer Iva Bittova, guitarist Fred Frith, Jim Meneses and many other musicians.
The soaring spiritual dialogue between the two free spirits in music began with a run of successful concerts and a TV debut in Prague in 1998 and still continues. Stepanida’s stunning embodiment of the ecstatic female shaman, Pavel’s vibrant and expressive drumming manner – combined with the theatrical background and performing experience of both – make an amazing spectacle of sound and vision, in which all the colours of Stepanida’s unearthly and powerful voice are neatly dovetailed into Pavel’s ornamentation of beats and rhythm.
The songs presented on this album were recorded in Brno in 2002 and are finally seeing their first vinyl release. Limited run of 200 copies on coloured vinyl with photo / sleevenote inner sleeve and obi.