It might be a surprising fact for you but in Russia there are still a few factories producing guitars. During Soviet times, Russian people had to buy mostly all locally made products, so guitar manufacturers were blooming. Then, Russia opened its markets to foreign merchandise and many ex-Soviet factories went bankrupt. Many think that Russian guitar makers went bankrupt
too and aren't producing anything now, Chinese stuff is cheaper and often better made. However this is not true, and this is one example of an old Soviet guitar maker that is still making acoustic guitars. Thanks to Russian photo blogger Andrei who went there and took photos we can see what the Russian guitar maker looks like from inside.
Marina, one of the best everyday photographers in Russia that I have met so far, has come out again with a cool photo set of the Russian Army Orchestras festival on the Red Square taken at night. Be prepared to see a lot of trained musicians doing all sorts of crazy things in this post,
including throwing their rifles in the air while playing music. You will be able to witness army orchestras in their original national uniform from plenty of countries, like Greece, Pakistan, Russia, Belarus, Belgium, Ireland and many more, even Mexico! Thanks goes to Marina!
So this is happening - Ukrainian professionals, including these musicians flee to Russia to get at least something instead of fully nothing they can get now in Donetsk, Ukraine and other Eastern parts of the country. Those told to be pretty professional musicians (I hope you can tell by watching them play) now play in underground subway
stations for a heap of change they hopefully can get from the passers by. Some of them were getting their master degree in Donetsk, some already graduated and having master in music. Now this. But main reason for this being posted here is not where they are from, just look how nicely this sounds in metro:
As the photographer says: "In Soviet times authorities paid greater attention to the leisure time of Soviet citizens. In the 70's and 80's a lot of Dom Kulturi (or House of Culture in Russian or Cultural Centers) were built. Movies were shown there, and dance and music classes were held both for adults and for kids. They were named as a rule after the factory or college which they belonged to." Then the author says that in the city where she was growing up, there
were a few Dom Kultury. One of them was (unofficially) called "Steklyashka" (piece of glass) and another was called "Neutrino" - that's because her city was connected with nuclear power for the Soviet Union. "So this Dom Kultury I visited also belongs to some factory ... this is probably the most beautiful house of culture I ever visited." So we can check if it really is as beautiful as the author finds it, right inside this post.
After 70 years of the iron curtain and a ban on any music that could sound "Western" to a Russian ear, gradually the first bands appeared trying to sound as Western as they could. Among lots of examples that really
are not worthy of being listed here, this one is pretty positive in two ways: it sounds pretty decent even now, and at the same time the band members look dramatic. The audience is worth a look as well.