In May 2015, Theodor Bastard released a new album Vetvi. The album name is a Latin transliteration of the Russian word for branches bearing in mind the branches of the World tree which supports the heavens, connecting the heavens, the terrestrial world, and the underworld.
Theodor Bastard release their albums not so often, working for months in various recording studios in several cities and countries, searching for the best sound and arrangements. The work on this album took three years with plenty of musicians taking part in it.
Continuing the theme of wanderings, which was the basic idea of the previous album Oikoumene, Theodor Bastard take their listeners from hot south to the fairy northern lights. ‘We travel to the North of Russia every year,’ – says the band leader Fedor Svolotch. – ‘Now it’s time for us to turn to our culture, our country and our roots. There are our places of power, the places where stones and winds are talking to us. A new album is a song of the northern harsh nature’.
A peculiar combination of the archaic percussions and folk instruments was used during the recording. Playing unusual ethnic instruments is still an important part of Theodor Bastard creative process. Russian horn, traditional Mongol violin morin khuur, ritual Tibetian horn dunchen, ancient Russian gusli, Peruanian cajon, jew’s harp, dulcimer (string instrument like zither) – this is just a short list of musical miracles of the album.
Many musicians were engaged in creating this sound kaleidoscope. That was a serious and laborious work. String instruments bring deep melodism and dramatism. There are morin khuur by Yana Veva, violin by Gulya Naumova and cello by Natalia Nazarova. They harmoniously combine with ritual rhythms of drums and percussions by Kirill Serov. Chamber choir Lauda adds ancient masculinity to the album sound, as well as an outstanding vocalist Alexander Platonov (Ensemble of Ancient Peasant Music). A magic sound of gusli by Olga Glazova, harp and cimbalom by multi-instrumentalist Philip Barsky decorate some songs, and great vocals by Buryat singer Namgar give a special atmosphere of northern dawn to one of the songs of the album.