Belarusian musicians find themselves in encyclopedia

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A musical critic Zmitser Padbyarezka has finally printed the result of his 6-year work – “The Encyclopedia of Belarusian Popular Music”. Admittedly, the author says that the form of the edition is not that of an encyclopaedia, it is an encyclopedic guide. According to the author, it contains information about 570 bands, ensembles and singers of various styles – from jazz and rock’n’roll to electronic music. However, the author told ERB that the name and the usual meaning of the expression “popular music” did not correspond to the term “pop” and the book was not about it.

Zmіtser Padbyarezkі: “Rock music, jazz, alternative music and folk-modern are represented there. And of course, you can read about people working in these styles – producers, composers, poets, sound producers, managers, etc. These are personalities. However, the book cannot describe all the existing bands because this field is boundless. I have only managed to describe the bands it was possible to describe during such a period of time. And the project does not belong to me completely, there were other people helping me”.

Speaking about the criteria of selection of those who were included in the reference book, the author said there were three of them – victories at republican and international contests, at least one track officially available on CD and the period of existence of at least 5 years. In his opinion, “Belarusian popular music” appeared in 1939.

Zmіtser Padbyarezkі: “I chose 1939 as a starting point in my research of Belarusian popular music in the wide sense. The Belarusian state orchestra was created at that time. Of course, there were people and bands working in the popular music style before, but it is difficult to find out the details now. I flicked through some newspapers of the 30s. The most remarkable events were performances of Schwartz’s jazz orchestra.  That was it. The names of musicians and the instruments they played were not mentioned. That is why I decided to study the period from 1939 until now”.

The author says that he did not take a liking to anyone while composing his musical dictionary. Speaking about modern musicians, they presented information themselves. If somebody has not been added there, it is partly their own fault because they did not want to bother filling in the questionnaire. There were 2 thousand issues of the reference book out. It cost about 8.5 thousand dollars to release it and the author made a lot of efforts in order to raise the money. However, the critic has already started working on a new edition of the reference book. It will be more extensive and precise.

Alyaksandr Kullіnkovіch, the leader of the “Neuro Dubel” band that is also mentioned in the guide, says that Zmitser Padbyarezki has done a great and necessary job. Bands, singers and their fans need it.

Alyaksandr Kullіnkovіch: “It is very difficult to find information about bands and music in any country. A fan of band N. gets information about it on the Internet. Fans of band X. also know everything about this very band. At the same time, an average citizen, not being a fan of a certain band, finds it rather difficult to get information about some band he or she saw on TV. What about people trying to find out whether there is electronic music in Belarus? Such editions are very useful and necessary. There should be a lot of them”.

The founder and organizer of “Rock Coronation” Yury Tsybin also appreciated the work of the author of “The encyclopedia of Belarusian popular music”.

Yuryi Tsybіn: “Belarus needs editions of the kind. There has been nothing fundamental created in this field so far. I know that Zmitser worked very hard on the book. His approach was very serious and he did not work on his own, there were a few other co-authors. At my first glance, the edition is respectable. It is a very practical collection for me. There are phone numbers, e-mails and other ways of communicating with bands and singers mentioned in it”.

As ERB has found out, a presentation of the encyclopediс reference book “The Encyclopedia of Belarusian Popular Music” will take place in “Graffiti” club at the beginning of August. But it is already available in Minsk book-shops.