What Is Crossover - by Andrey Konstantinov (Terem Quartet)

Russian Crossover
By Andrey Konstantinov (Terem Quartet)
original publication: Flight Line magazine (11/2016)

"Crossover" is not a Russian word. Nowadays it is referred to a musical style more and more often. What kind of style is it? You may also come across classical crossover and even Russian crossover. What is this musical style with a name reminding of a car? Crossover means "a cross or an intersection". It refers to musical styles as well. Two or more musical styles combined together are called a crossover, i.e. jazz arrangements of classical music, classical music performed with traditional folk instruments or a symphony orchestra playing rock.

Crossover is relatively young. Most compositions are from classical crossover. It means a combination of classical music with other popular styles. In 1963 The Swingle Singers released their "Jazz Sebastian Bach". Emerson, Lake & Palmer played their own version of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition". In 1975 Queen released "A Night at the Opera" with the famous "Bohemian Rhapsody". It is a combination of ballad, opera, heavy metal and a cappella. Many performers of classical music also went towards rock, pop and folk music. As an example, we can recall opera singer Montserrat Caballé, singer and violinist David Garrett, singer Sarah Brightman, violinists Vanessa May and Kati Marie, singers Alessandro Safina, Andrea Bocelli and Emma Shapplin. In 1990, three famous tenors - Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras - made a real breakthrough singing a song about football on their concert in Rome.

Thus, we can see traditional genres and styles expanding their borders. If we take them for a bumpy road, crossover will be a trackless way, a new combination of different roads where you will find everything but lack of good roads.

Crossover always plays with the edges of roads. It's always above, it's ironic and it always has a double meaning of what is being played. When it cries, it enjoys the process. When it smiles, it's also sad. Pathos is contiguous with grotesque. There is always a joke behind seriousness.
Musical crossover is a player who likes juggling with already existing meanings and contexts of musical world. It makes it in a nice way bringing new unexpected meanings and associations. Dogmatism and crossover are mutually exclusive. Maybe, just a little bit... just to have fun... and leave it.

Crossover Is Our Life

Within last few decades all interesting events in cultural life have always happened at the joint of genres and styles. All different performers join together in creative ecstasy.
All significant scientific discoveries have been made at the joint of different scientific disciplines and studies.

Life makes us part with old stereotypes and habits looking for understanding and reciprocity. Music can't exist without understanding and reciprocity. Crossover aims to find new ways to listeners' hearts. It has mixed everything, not just styles. Look around. What are you wearing? What do you eat? Who is your friend? Where do you go? What do you watch and listen to? All styles together and changing each other, dynamics and diversity - it's pure crossover.
Crossover music erases all the barriers between performers and audience. There are no borders. There is only an electric field embracing both musicians and audience. Audience becomes an active participant of creative process. Your inner world livens up. Music creates associations one after another. You start shivering when you recognize a famous melody in an unusual context. Time disappears when you find inspiration bringing you the feeling of fulfillment. Making audience involved into this process is the main task for crossover musicians.
You already know that classical crossover is a combination of classical music with other styles. Jazz? Here you go. Pop? No problem. Folk? That's what we need.

But What Would Russian Crossover Be?

• First of all, it's like cross-country driving between popular styles and genres. It gives you a feeling of open space, liberty, wideness and endless freedom.

• Second, it's like high speed driving, sometimes with all your might, so both musicians and listeners have to react very fast.

• Third, it's spirit, humour, irony and self-irony which is like acrobatics maneuvers for pilots.

• Fourth, all doors are open. You are open-hearted and ready for a heart-to-heart talk with the one who first comes along.

• Fifth, the most important thing in your attitude to life is love. Authorities don't matter. It means that you listen to your heart and not to what others say. It refers to the composers as well. We love you all and we play in our own way!



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