Stary Olsa In Concert
If rock-n-roll had been invented 500 years ago, Stary Olsa is what it would sound like.
In 1999, Zmicier Sasnouski brought together a diverse group of musicians, some classically trained and some self-taught, who shared a common love of history. They set out to revive some traditional instruments of their homeland, Belarus, which had faded during World War II and the Soviet era. Like many bands, Stary Olsa's roster shifted until it settled on the current line-up, which includes bagpipes, flutes, shaums, lute, rebec, tromba marina, and percussion (including wooden shoes), with front man Aleys Chumakov belting out vocals in Belarusian.
Soon, historians all over Europe were sending them ancient songs from archives, so they could be performed just like the original composer intended, 500 years ago. They've recorded thirteen albums of popular European dances, rowdy Slavic drinking songs, epic tales of knights and victory, and tender ballads from knights to their ladies-in-waiting.
Stary's recent album, "Medieval Classic Rock," is a little different from the others. The band went on a local Minsk TV show in 2014, and performed Metallica's "One" on their medieval instruments. The video went viral, and fans worldwide prompted them to run a Kickstarter campaign for an all-rock album. The campaign was such a success that they not only produced the album, they had enough left to tour the USA. And until you've heard "Iron Man" performed on the hurdy-gurdy, your life is just not complete.
Today's hits are but "a small stop on a long musical continuum." Stary Olsa shows just how much our current musical traditions owe to their medieval roots. Come listen to living history and party like its 1199!
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