The Russian bard tradition of narrative and philosophical songs, sung ‘pod gitarem’, is a clean-cut, and poetic genre, evocative of times and places just out of reach, and reminiscent of youthful forays into nature, singing outdoors under the stars after a barbeque. Kim’s reputation as a dramatic bard stems from his contribution to a number of films, including The Twelve Chairs, An Ordinary Miracle and Bumbarash, where the simple strummed sounds provided the perfect lyrical soundtrack.
Tonight the same sounds will echo around Pushkin House, as Yuliy Kim describes the life of a bard both today and in Soviet times, interspersed with song and guitar playing.
Born in 1936, Yuliy Kim’s life, work has been shaped by a number of eras and environments, from the Great Purge, the Krushchev Thaw, to the roaring 1990s. His repertoire is suitably wide-ranged, encompassing dissident songs and satire from the 1960s, as well as many softer classics known and loved by many - Черное море (Black Sea) and Рыба-кит (The Whale Fish), to name but two.