Surganova & Orchestra were founded in 2003, short after their leader, Svetlana Surganova, had left her previous band, The Night Snipers. The band has ever since found its niche among the others in the Russian musical landscape.
The band exists outside of models and formats, as its heterogeneity hardly fits into any established music range. Rock, latino, trip hop, French chanson, brit pop, electronica — different dimensions of the band’s oeuvre are aligned in various, unexpected and marvellous combinations. The outstanding fusion of the polar genres reflects the band’s wide creative span.
Largely authentic and instantly recognisable, Surganova & Orchestra remain among Russia’s most touring music bands, continuously performing live across the entire country: from the Far East to Kalinigrad on the West, as well as around the globe, inluding London and New York. During the Krugosvetka tour (Russian for Circumnavigation, or Around the World), the band visited over a hundred of cities in Russia and abroad. The leading festivals named Surganova & Orchestra the ‘sunniest band’, while the critics are still attempting to figure out the phenomenon of their music.
The musical craftsmanship with a small touch of carelessness reflects the band’s unparalleled approach. Staying away from the global trends, Surganova continues to explore the universe of human feelings and relations. Talking deeply and sincerely about the things that are simple yet known for everyone, the band is adored by thousand of its fans. A reeky blend of simplicity with pumping energy, distilled, clear emotion, intimacy and a note of buffoon charm makes the audience dance and freeze consequently. Each of the band’s lives delivers an elusive and subtle message that overturns the illusion of the finished dialogue with the audience and brings people to the next rendezvous. ‘She has changed my life,’ the viewers say.
The air that Surganova breathes gets revived by her instrumentalists
The band’s debut album, Neuzheli ne ya (Неужели не я — Is It Really Not Me, 2003), with over 100,000 sold copies, received the annual Global Record award from Russia’s National Federation of Record Producers. Ever since, the band has not changed its approach which is based on unpredictability and aesthetic precision. Two of the album’s songs — Murakami (Мураками) and Bol’no (Больно — Hurts) — broke the record of holding the top in the national chart Chartova Dyuzhina (The Chart Dozen) on Nashe Radio, with 16 and 12 weeks of leadership respectively. A year after, Murakami was recognised by the FUZZ magazine as the Best Song of the year, while the collective itself was named the Best Live Band of 2005.
Until now, the band has released 14 albums. The ‘soul-twisting’ album Vozlyublennaya Shopena (Возлюбленная Шопена — Chopin’s Beloved, 2005) creates an immersing vibe of scorching tragedy. The next record, Sol’ (Соль — Salt, 2007) became a top-10 rock albums of the decade named by the Russkliy Reporter magazine. A spirited, romantic Provereno Vremenem (Проверено временем — Time-Tested, 2008) was recognised as the best album of the year by the music portal Newmusic. A brutal and assertive Uvidimsya Skoro (Увидимся скоро,— See You Soon, 2001) came out with the slogan ‘Surganova Has Changed’. Woven from sweeping impressionist miniatures, Igra v Klassiki (Игра в классики — Game of Classics, 2014) featured a string sextet. Lyrical Miru Mir (Миру мир — Peace to the World, 2015) became a loud message on the world’s current affairs.
Striving for travesty with the ability to maintain the royal stance reflects Surganova’s dramatic kind. No surprises why many of the band’s concerts are cleverly theatricalised. As Surganova writes new songs on the major Russian poets: Tsvetaeva, Brodsky, Akhmatova, Gumilev, Lorka, Khimenes, Béranger, — she seems to extract the melody from the lyrics themselves.
Craving to acting and appreciation for classic poetry have led Surganova to the theatrical stage
In 2009, in collaboration with the company of the Komissarzhevskaya Theatre, Surganova & Orchestra released an audio book of poems dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the famous Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. In 2012, a minimalistic poetic show Vnachale Bylo Slovo (Вначале было слово — Beginning Was the Word) was played at the Lensovet Theatre. In 2015, a poetic performance OtnosheniYA (ОтношениЯ — Relationships) premiered at the Tovstonogov Big Dramatic Theatre. The next year, in recognition of her poetic quest, Surganova received the Petropol award — “for the delicate interpretation of the world poetry in the music albums of different years.”
With the intermediate result of her work, Surganova published a book of her poems and lyrics, The Poems Note (Тетрадь стихов, 2012) that was republished in 2016. A limited edition photo album Letter Book: Thanks for the 10 Years (Книга писем. Спасибо за 10 лет, 2012) was published for the band’s tenth anniversary. The book features the most striking of the fans’ letters telling stories about the amazing influence that the band has on their lives.
2018 is the year of the triple band’s anniversary. They are widely welcomed everywhere — from the Pushkin festival of poetry to the TV show The Night Urgant, Nashestvie rock festival, and Scarlet Sails show in St. Petersburg. Their ability to stay on the edge and renew inspire the confidence in the future of the rock music in Russia that hinges on the bands like Surganova & Orchestra.