Eurovision not a reason for divorce
The Buranovo Grannies, Russia`s folk group picked to perform on behalf of their country at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, has been experiencing both criticism and praise while journalists and music fans are sharing their views on the band. In some people they evoke envy, while others are delighted to listen to them, says Viktor Drobysh, the band’s co-producer.
A team of BBC journalists spent a week in the Buranovo village in Russia’s republic of Udmurtiya. The Udmurt people belong to the Finno-Ugric nation. By the way, the world’s famous composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky was born there, and certainly could hear folk songs which were popular in the region.
The Buranovo Grannies is a folk group, its participants know many old songs and perform in traditional bright clothes. Galina Koneva, 76, the eldest ‘granny’: “My dress and apron were made almost a century ago. They were made of linen and, probably, this is why they were not damaged. And my headscarf is very old- it was made at least 200 years ago! Like other ‘grannies’, I got these clothes from my grand-grandmother”. Obviously, for the BBC team there was something exotic about the dresses. Even the 75-year-old Engelbert Humperdinck, who is representing Britain at this year`s contest, could have envied his pensioner rivals, but he did not make any remarks that could have spoiled his ‘real gentleman’ image. There are enough envious people in Russia: some of the contenders who lost to the Buranovo Grannies accused Viktor Drobysh, who composed thier Party for Everybody hit, of plagiarism. “I do not steal songs, I compose them. You know, many outstanding musicians, including Sir Paul McCartney, faced plagiarism allegations”, Drobysh said and explained in detail which folk motives he used to write the hit.
In an interview with the VoR Viktor Drobysh said how he first met the Buranovo Grannies:
"I got acquainted with them just 10 days before the national contest began. I mean, I have no intention to share their fame. They were already a folk group before me, I just wrote a song for them, which helped them get picked for the Eurovision contest. I think no major changes will happen to them after the contest is over. They will keep on living and singing in their village. They are really gifted. And the number of folklore bands is likely to increase since there is hardly anyone in a village who can`t sing. The Buranovo Grannies are just promoting the Russian folklore music worldwide. I would even say that they have created a brand, and this is one of their major achievements."
The total age of the participants is 403 but they have so much energy and are so emotional! Viktor Drobysh even shared some spicy details:
"One of the grannies, Natalia Pugachyova, has a very jealous husband, who plans to travel to Baku with her because he thinks that she might be having a lover there. Well, let him go with her. The Eurovision contest should by no means be a reason for divorce."