Yai yai yai

February 26, 2010

With economy being so bad, we all need to smile every once in a while. Here’s a Soviet baritone singing something, I’m not quite sure what: it’s either Yai Yai Yai Yai Yaaaaii, or Yo yo yo yo or Oh oh oh oh ohhhh. See how happy it makes him?

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Leonid February 27, 2010 at 12:54 am

A good example of groundless optimism.

(The concept of optimism had its place in Soviet arts policy, but that’s a different story, because this is not art – this is an idiot-clown-sound- generator. Yet the piece does have a soothing, almost Reiki-like effect and is pleasant to listen to.

Shchedrin’s first symphony also has clown-like effects in places, but it’s optimism is a little somber. The sound imagery is almost apocalyptic, grounded in a strong Russian idiom.)

Here, the singer doesn’t know what’s coming (unforunately, we do – with what the world has become, with global warming and disappearance of rare species, dictatorship of gadgets) and that’s good.

We can enjoy his state of serene igonrance. The emotional side of it is of course a fake, an act. But it so by design, the rationale being: the message to the audience is “everything’s OK [the Soviet Union will collapse in only five or so years], smile”.

For some unknown reason all this is called “I’m so happy, I’m coming home”. Incidentally, it doesn’t sound like a typical Soviet pop piece and the vocalise sounds are strange for the Russian ear as well.

BUT it does convey the tone of artificial optimism well. The message, in our days’ terms, is: “everything’s great, the economy is picking up, unemployment is falling.”


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