Who is who — Drowned Songs Project
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Participants, Guides and patrons

All these people and groups actually study and represent the “drowned songs” in various ways, in different fields of modern art.

The first brainchild of the Drowned Songs Project was the Irkutsk Ensemble of Authentic Music. Its founders – Alexander Rogachevskiy and Albina Kinchinskaya – took the most talented 10-11 year old girls, who became the ensemble leaders after 25 years of hard work. This experiment with special way of teaching children became the know-how of the city as the method of learning traditional culture in modern reality.

Many people took part in the Project, including musicians, theatrical people, painters from all over the world. Thus, in 2007 the songs were presented in Macbeth production in Globe theatre in Stratford-on-Avon, England. The play was staged by Polish experimental theatre of Grzegorz Bral and his actors. Polish painter Mirek Antoniewicz was the first to create a series of paintings themed on the drowned songs.

So, the Drowned Songs Project involves people from many regions of Russia and many countries, where the great River of Time destroys the unique music traditions.

Irkutsk Ensemble of Authentic Music

The Ensemble received many awards for the contribution to cultural values and reconstruction of Siberian cultural heritage. For 25 years of existence the Ensemble organized many ethnographic expeditions around Baikal and made the unique records of traditional sacred songs from old village people.

Every song took several years to restore and now they are being sang as before – a capella, in polyphonic harmonic way using the old dialect.

Irkutsk Ensemble of Authentic Music received Russian and European awards:

  • Brave festival in Poland - 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009,
  • Sayan Ring in Russia - 2005, 2008,
  • The Complete works (Royal Shakespeare Company), England 2007,
  • The White Month Stars in Russia, 2008,
  • Les Rencontres de Cants Polyphoniques in France, 2009,
  • Voice of Nomads in Russia, 2009.

The Ensemble gives concerts and workshops in China, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, England, France and Russia.


The musicians define their style as an authentic avant-garde, and music critics call it futuristic ethno. Semi-acoustic guitar, violin and real ethnic instruments make the songs of Siberian farmers of previous centuries sound very up-to-date. Alexander Rogachevskiy devoted 25 years to find and restore the unique Siberian song heritage and in 2010 together with Mikhail Soloviev and Herman Tsogla decided to take a new look at this tradition. In 2011 Irkutsk-Art-Trio announced the Drowned Songs Project at the two largest world music festivals of Siberia – Sayan Ring and Voice of Nomads. The first CD was ready in two years and got the name “Cannabis Sativa” .


The new aesthetics of the new world.

In 2010 Albina Kinchinskaya and Alena Everstova decided to make their own project in totally new visual and vocal aesthetics. In many ethnographic expeditions they found a lot of information on the traditional clothes of Siberian people and this material gave them a new look at both visual and vocal forms of the authentic song heritage in the world music context.

In 2012 BelaTara received the award on the international ethnic music festival World of Siberia. In 2013 the CD with the same name was recorded.


Alexander Rogachevskiy


The founder of Drowned Songs project. The headman of Irkutsk Ensemble of Authentic Music and of the Irkutsk-Art-Trio.

Received Russian and European award for the contribution to cultural heritage. With his two music groups he plays concerts and record CDs with the traditional Siberian songs both in authentic polyphonic style and in totally different modern version.

Albina Kinchinskaya


Former leading actress of Irkutsk theatre, the initiator and the principal soloist of Irkutsk ensemble of Authentic Music. Received Russian and European awards for contribution to cultural values of Siberia. The author of regional educational school program «The basis of traditional culture». In 2010 created the BelaTara duet together with her student Alena Everstova. The duet showed the old songs in totally new aesthetics. She has a huge vocal range and knows a lot of singing traditions, and conducts various workshops in the Project, teaching the polyphonic harmonic singing.

Irina Telminova


Graduated from music school, plays the violin. Biologist by education. Soloist of Irkutsk ensemble of Authentic Music from the very beginning, since her 11 years. Together with the Ensemble received Russian and European awards for contribution to cultural values of Siberia. Specializes in decoding and notation of the archive records of the Drowned Songs.

Olga Verlan


Graduated from music school, plays the piano. Local historian by education. Soloist of Irkutsk ensemble of Authentic Music from the very beginning, since her 10 years. Together with the Ensemble received Russian and European awards for contribution to cultural values of Siberia. Specializes in studying traditional Siberian wailing and spiritual poems. Represents the musical heritage of Angara region in schools, as the source of education.

Maria Yankovskaya


Graduated from music school, plays the piano. Journalist by profession. Soloist of Irkutsk ensemble of Authentic Music from the very beginning, since her 11 years. Together with the Ensemble received Russian and European awards for contribution to cultural values of Siberia. Specializes in notation of old records and also searches for the new ways to represent the old songs in the modern reality.

Alena Everstova

Painter by profession. Soloist of the understudies of Irkutsk ensemble of Authentic Music and the second participant of BelaTara duet. Took part in many ethnographic expeditions around Baikal. Studies and reconstructs the traditional clothes of Siberian people, creates the onstage dresses for all participants of the Project.

Mikhail Soloviev

Writer and businessman, musician and composer. Studied the classic Russian guitar. Since 2003 creates his own acoustic guitar projects. He defines his music as the music of imaginary ethnos – when the musical concept of traditional culture is re-considered from other sides and played with various instruments of other traditions. Uses dutar, sitar, Baghdad lute and many other instruments.

Participates in the Drowned Songs Project since 2010.

Herman Tsogla

Professional musician, plays the violin. People of his motherland in Transcarpathia had a special style of playing the violin and German studies and restores this unique style together with classic style. He also composes music and these compositions are filled with the aesthetics and poetry of Russian cantilena.

Participates in the Drowned Songs Project since 2010.

Mirek Antoniewicz

1954, Poland

Famous Polish artist, who had more than 50 exhibitions all over the world. His works are behind the limits of any formal style. They awake the deepest inner feelings and emotions of the viewer. These paintings open the hidden areas of our consciousness and give birth to so many questions about ourselves and the interactions of past and future and present. In 2006 Mirek joined the Drowned Songs Project and created a series of paintings on the basis of the first CD - «Songs of Bratskiy Ostrog». The exhibition was called Songs of the Days of the Week.

William Reze – Thylacine

1992, France

A French musician, plays sax and creates electronic music with very strong emotional videos. In 2014 he found the most interesting, from his point of view, Russian folk groups and came to Russia to make a movie. He met with Irkutsk ensemble of Authentic Music and made a very interesting, unusual version of one song. This version brightly shows the soul of Siberian songs, their connection with local landscapes and climate, and also this version shows the view of a foreigner, who managed to feel and understand this tradition.

Arthur Psarev

The bellman of Holy Cross Church of Irkutsk, the active member of Bell-ringing Art Association of Russia. In 2009 he made a movie “The Rain Times” — about the tradition of joy-bells and singing on the bell-towers, featuring Irkutsk ensemble of Authentic Music. The movie was widely demonstrated on TV in Russia, Ukraine and Czechia.

Participates in the concerts of the Drowned Songs Project.

People who represent World music in their art, who know and listen to the drowned songs, who help us to develop.

In Russia, folklore became popular among city youth from the 1970s, when Dmitriy Pokrovskiy founded the Moscow Ensemble of Traditional Music. He initiated the idea of studying folk music in special expeditions. Thousands of singers, rock musicians and graduates of music academies rushed to remote villages looking for the secret harmonies.

...In the villages we found the real bearers of tradition who took us to a familiar but distinct world of traditional songs. We received invaluable lessons from them as well as from the professionals who were already on this path. They told us to pay attention to our own region of Siberia, especially to the culture of the Old Believers. Egor Reznikov discovered the overtones in the Drowned Songs and persuaded us to continue working in this direction while embracing a varied acoustical environment. We worked with Grzegorz Bral in his theatre and added electronic sound. We received valuable tips from Nazim Nadirov and British rock star Lu Edmonds.... We bow low to all these professionals and to hundreds of village people who imparted their tradition and heritage.

Egor Reznikov

1938, France

Musician, philosopher, professor of Paris – Nanterre University, a prominent researcher of antique music and art. Supports the Drowned Songs Project since 2002.

Andrey Kotov


Art director of Moscow Ensemble of ancient Russian spiritual music «Sirin», teacher and researcher of folklore. One of the founders of modern Russian folk movement. Supports the Drowned Songs Project since its birth.

Sergey Starostin


Famous Russian folk musician, singer, multi-instrumentalist. Plays alone and together with many musicians, including Volkov Trio, Moscow Art Trio, Inna Zhelannaya, Jivan Gasparyan and others. Since 2005 he presides at the international ethnic festival World of Siberia (Sayan Ring). Supports the Drowned Songs Project since its birth.

Vyacheslav Asanov


Musician and folklore researcher. Active member of Union of Composers. Vice-president of Russian folklore union. Organizer of Siberian folk school. Supports the Drowned Songs Project since 1993.

Grzegorz Bral

1962, Poland

Theatre director, follower of Jerzy Grotowski, art director of avant-garde theatre Piesn Kozla (Song of the Goat), founder of Brave Festival /Wroclaw, Poland, 2005/.

A great friend and supporter of the Project since 2005.

People who heard the Drowned Songs and resolved to support the project in order to preserve this heritage of world culture.

Since the initiation of our project, we have endeavored to attract as many supporters as possible. Expeditions and study, research and teaching, reconstruction and participation in festivals, studio recordings and CD production – all require financing. Thousands of people listen to the Drowned Songs. These songs are a great educational resource in the Siberian region.

The first to help was Valeriy Stepanov – the Honoured Teacher of Russia, who gave us place for teaching schoolchildren.

The expeditions wouldn’t have been possible if not for support of Felix Balandin and Oleg Kankov.

Vladimir Chebotarev and Oleg Sienko helped with teaching the future singers of our ensemble.

We went to the festivals due to support of Arthur Umarov, Viktor Kondrashov and Vladimir Goncharov.

Our CDs were recorded with the help of Oleg Khripunov and Vladimir Shuppo, Vlad Blinov and Ekaterina Gorgolo, Sergey Mokhirev and Stanislav Kuznetsov, Dmitriy Turushev and Tatiana Chueva.

And there were many other people who helped to show this unique heritage to the world and fill the Universe with harmony and beauty.