Peculiar Music By William Sigunov
ehearsing for a concert is a rather interesting process, even if you wouldn’t think it is. Just learning a song is one thing, but that’s nearly not enough for a real performance, that’s barely scratching the surface, really. It takes understanding of the song’s message, the song’s story, and what needs to be done and brought up with music and voice to truly perform it. The story needs to unfold as if by itself, there is no use rushing it or forcing certain parts. Much like a traveler needs not to hurry home, for his story is the road there, in the same way the song should be sung. What is important is really what should be the most alive in a song. That is, at least, my mother’s view of it.
Ekaterina Smirnova, also known by her stage name, Miranda, is a very different kind of musician. Not only is her music genre drastically different from what we are accustomed to hearing in the Bay Area, but the way her lyrics work, the kind of stories she tells, and her definition of music are completely unique. The importance of knowing the stories of people like my mother, people who already went through a journey that is only in front of us right now, is hard to overstate. A story of this kind of person could offer insight into what is for now a mystery for us. But the more
Above: Ekaterina’s two guitars
peculiar thing about my mother is, that the challenges she faced in her lifetime were very indicative of what a position of an artist is in a society. The struggle of government and art, the conformity and the weird, this is a repeating theme in human history. The artist’s very purpose in society is being interfered with by the government because current rulers of Russia want to limit the criticism of their actions so they can keep people’s heads empty. This was, historically speaking, always a pattern in Russian history. This is also what every single artist has to deal with in the country Miranda comes from, every single one, the second they step of the path of pursuing art in any of its forms is expected to deal with. She was born in Moscow to a rather average family that was dealing with, what most families were dealing with in the 1980s - the Perestroika.This, like for many other families, left her parents fearful for their child growing up to not have ”a real stable job.” With her wanting to pursue art, you can imagine, her and her parents did not agree with her plans for the future. Nonetheless, Miranda did persist in her pursuit of her artistic tendencies, doing illustrations, writing poetry