Katya Sourikova | Queen Maud Land

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Classical: Contemporary Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Queen Maud Land

by Katya Sourikova

Based on an exploration of Antarctic landscapes, this music takes the listener on a musical journey that is lyrical, visual, and emotionally charged.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Twilight (Chamber Orchestra Version)
7:46 $0.99
2. Queen Maud Land (Chamber Orchestra Version)
6:13 $0.99
3. Aurora
3:56 $0.99
4. Pathway of Honour (Hagakure - Chamber Orchestra Version))
5:23 $0.99
5. Winds of Time
4:13 $0.99
6. Journey to the Other World
4:30 $0.99
7. In the Dark (Chamber Version)
6:57 $0.99
8. Glaciers
3:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Katya Sourikova's Queen Maud Land

In 2010, a performance of Katya's music in a Berlin Jazz club caught the attention of Latvian Cellist Ruslan Vilensky. One particular track - Queen Maud Land - which also featured twice on Katya's third album, Ivans' Dream - seemed to lead her music in a new direction, as was also noted by reviewer Eyal Hareuveni of All About Jazz (USA):

"Queen Maud Land stresses the ECM aesthetic, with its cinematic, dreamy narrative of a distant, chilly journey."

Vilensky encouraged Sourikova to at first create arrangements of some of her earlier music and then later compose directly for chamber ensemble. He assembled an amazing group of musicians together in his hometown of Riga, Latvia, to make a recording over the 2011 - 2012 new year.

The musicians performing on this recording are as as follows:

Katya Sourikova - Piano
Ruslan Vilensky- Cello
Ksenija Sidorova - Accordion
Andrei Pushkarev - Vibraphone
Annija Putniņa - Voice
Simon Bauer - Bass
Ståle Birkeland - Drums

Stella Zaķe - Violin
Rasa Kumsāre - Violin
Santa Vižine - Viola
Māra Botmane - Cello
Toms Timofejevs - Double Bass

Shortly before the recording, it was realised that the recording would exactly mark the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of Robert Scott's fateful 1911 -1912 mission to reach the South Pole.

So came the idea for a narrative to be woven around the music, which could ultimately be performed not just as chamber music, but in a theatre setting. The names and order of tracks on this album outline the narrative:

Twilight - Robert Scott and his wife spend time together in Christchurch, NZ before his departure to Antarctica
Queen Maud Land - Arrival on the frozen continent
Aurora - Aurora Australis - the Southern Lights visible above Antarctica
Honour's Pathway - with reference to the book "Hagakure"
Winds of Time - Perils of Antarctic landscapes
Journey to the Other World - Loss of hope, and the realisation that death is imminent
In the Dark

A stage script has already been written for this purpose, which uses excerpts of the letters Robert Scott wrote to his wife during his mission. Perhaps the most powerful is his very last, written as he lay freezing to death, unknowingly just a few miles from relative safety:

To my widow.

Dearest darling. It is not easy to write because of the cold
– 70 degrees below zero and nothing but the shelter of our tent..

..We are in a very tight corner and I have doubts of pulling through.
In our short lunch hours, I take advantage of a very small measure
of warmth to write letters preparatory to a possible end..

..If anything happens to me, I should like you to know how much you have meant to me..

..Cherish no sentimental rubbish about remarriage.
When the right man comes to help you in life, you ought to be your happy self again..

Make the boy interested in natural history if you can. It is better than games.
Try to make him believe in a God; it is comforting..

..Oh my dear, my dear, what dreams I had of his future and yet,
oh my girl, I know you will face it stoically –
your portrait and the boy’s will be found in my breast..

..What lots and lots I could tell you of this journey.
What tales you would have for the boy, but, oh, what a price to pay.
To forfeit the sight of your dear, dear face..


In the stage script, a reading of this letter is followed by the track "In the Dark", which may give listeners a new angle for its interpretation:

In the Dark

I can only sense you
As a sound, moving far and near
Faint breathing
Then just silence

Exquisite moments of tenderness
Sudden fear of falling
Then captured like a rose
Inside your clenched fingers

Soothing, slowly,
Caressing without touching
My skin warm and charged

In the dark...


Katya Sourikova's Queen Maud Land
Produced by Michael Avery
Recorded @ Radio Studio 1, Riga, Latvia
Mixed and Engineered by Tim Adnitt @ Splice Studios, London
© 2015 Weave Records. All rights reserved.



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