Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor
Alexander Shulgin is a leading executive in the new Russian music industry, having worked with such iconic artists as Valeria, Mumiy Troll, Dima Malikov, Gruppa.fm and many others. Mr. Shulgin owns and operates Familia Entertainment, a record label, and Familia Publishing, a publishing company. In addition to top-10 songs, his catalogue includes a diverse array of rare releases, including hundreds of the best-known Russian gypsy songs, Songs of Siberian Exile and Best Songs of WWI, all of which are part of Russia's unique musical heritage.
Shulgin's career began at the age of 19 in the legendary Russian rock band The Cruise, regarded as the first rock-band of the USSR to tour abroad (1983-1986). Despite being known as anti-Soviet and no mass media attention, The Cruise went on to sell 20 million copies of their debut album in 1985.
After The Cruise, Shulgin began working in Germany, where he created The Taiga Symphony. A fusion of Russian classic music with western rock-music, the album featured The Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pavel Kogan and respected Western musicians Alvin Lee, Paul Carrack, Mel Collins, Phil Palmer and JJ Belle. The album was also the beginning of Valeria's career, who would become one of the most popular singers in Russia.
Shulgin then created another ambitious East-West collaboration with BBC Worldwide called Merry Christmas to the World. With lyrics and production by Richard Niles and music by Shulgin, it expressed the ethos of glasnost. London studio musicians performed with members of the Moscow Symphony and the Soviet Folk Orchestra. Sung by Valeria, the video was directed by Ken Russell who used it in his film Alice in Russialand (1998). Shot in Red Square, the clip featured psychic Uri Geller and became the grand finale of the New Year program on the first national TV channel of the Soviet Union.
Shulgin helped FM Group to record the debut album named Made In Russia and recorded an album of Alexander Byinov. He subsequently recorded a solo album for FM Group lead-singer Alevtina Egorova, also working with Tatiana Ovsienko and Nastya Shirokova. He also wrote material for two Elena Sheremet albums, Lady-Sax and Lady-sax (The Remixes), combining so-called easy listening with the saloon jazzy sound, as well as Sax It Easyand Sax It Up! - The Remixes.
Shulgin is also a composer of music for films and TV, his songs appearing in films by Lukas Moodysson and Ken Russell. In 2005, Shulgin was invited to write 20 original songs for the music serial Primadonna. He also wrote three leading themes for the film and all the songs for the final show of Primadonna. Shulgin is also the director of the first public TV channel Spas for which he composed all the music.
His latest project is a three-album compilation titled Triptych that contains new music, melodies and instrumentals from the composer's works that had yet to be performed. The albums were recorded by an impressive line-up of artists including legendary drummer Billy Cobham, pianist Gary Husband, bassist John Patitucci and guitarist Paul Drew to name a few, uniting their various styles on the three albums in a harmony.
Musing of Lestnitsa k Solntsu, сounterpoints of Primadonna, evanescence and clarity of Verneshsya, carnality of Santimento Paterno. A soul is following it’s reflection in sounds, sometimes feeling sad, sometimes feeling joyful, time and again feeling nostalgic…
It is a look at oneself, at life, at one’s past and future. A look that can be sheared easily with us, with the listening public, because this look belongs to us and to our life too.
So we feel grateful for the artist for his sincerity and invitation for communion. Yuri Rozum, People's Artist of Russia, pianist
We felt that working with the two pieces of music from prima donna was a very interesting and unique challenge. Both these original pieces were of the highest quality in production and melody, and therefore we felt challenged to make sure our new interpretations delivered the same feeling of quality. Hopefully we achieved that! Greig Watts, producer, guitar
Recording the album was a very harmonious experience a definite sense of peace transcended into the studio and made everyone feel part of something beautiful. The soaring melodies and tranquil harmonies brought the studio to life. It was a experience to remember. Pete Barringer, producer
When we recorded the vocals for the album I thought instantly that this was a project with real musical sentiment... A refreshing sound... Laura Whittle, vocals
It was a pleasure to work with such great melody's as this, many of them expressing the emotions that words cannot express Paul Drew, producer
I set out to achieve subtle and pure drum sounds to suit the ambience of the music and used the natural dynamics of the compositions as a guide to creating the drum tracks. By tuning the drums to that of a jazz kit, giving the toms a very open sound, and incorporating an ambient microphone in the recordings, the overall sound achieved was more open and resonant. This was to allow for delicate playing and the layering of percussion. Special highlights for me included playing Latin rhythms with percussion, evolving each piece using these layers and working closely with some inspiring musicians to create this album. Jonathan Howells, drums
Produced by the successful DWB stable of writers and producers this album is an interesting and enjoyable take on the songs of composer Alexander Shulgin. It's a perfect companion to a relaxing evening or unwinding after a stressful day, combining both modern and traditional instrumentation. With inventive use of the Spanish nylon strung acoustic guitar as a main lead instrument, it conjures up sunsets in Spain and peaceful sunshine bathed fields swaying in the breeze. There is a blend of modern Chillout styles and some more Urban sounding Jazz tinged opuses on this album, and I found it most enjoyable to listen to - music to have a warm bath in. This album is one for every Shulgin fan's collection, as well as those who simply enjoy the pleasant atmosphere it creates. Ian Curnow, producer of artists such as Kylie Minogue, East 17, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Girls Aloud and many others
I really enjoyed working on new arrangements of Alexander Shulgin's music. The songs really lended themselves to a jazz style and it was great fun to re- work them in this way Simon Rushby, keyboards
From as far back as my formative years as a child studying classical piano, the harmony, melody and atmosphere of music deriving from Russia has always made an indelible impact on me. In Alexander Shulgin's melodies I experienced strong echoes and ties back to those early impressions, and this is a big reason I found myself particularly inspired working on the interpretations you will hear presented on this album. Atmosphere is a key word for me in my musical endeavour, whether it's in the pop, jazz, classical or fusion realms, and here I had a chance to explore exactly that. I therefore would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to Alexander who entrusted me with this selection of his catalogue, and for his faith in me to produce alternative renditions of the songs that will hopefully prove to be rewarding and enjoyable to the listener. Gary Husband, world famous piano
Imagination is part of the sonic art form of Music. Within the notes the player must interpret and have an image, a picture of where the notes can allow him to explore. This is a credential inherent in the musical thoughts that originate within Gary Husband's approach and is presented in this composition. As in all art, the image of the music does not run against the flow of the stream of thought in that the listener can easily identify the performance of one Gary Husband as his conceptual approach is that unique. Needlesstosay, his performance lifts the notes off the paper and give them life, a task that is quite elusive to most who try. It's nice to compare Gary's approach here to a Monet I saw in the Louvre. But this is consistent with much of what we fans of Gary have come to expect from his performances whether live or recorded. Alexander Shulgin has opened my eyes and ears to his musical world through the presentation of his compositions by Gary Husband and I find that his concepts are very much in sync with my mode of thought. With this collection of material he has gained another fan and supporter in me. Salutations! Billy Cobham, the legend of jazz, drums
Apart from being one of the UK's highest regarded drummers, Gary's exceptional piano playing is on display on this beautiful, tasteful collection of pieces. Solo piano is a difficult format to hold an audience's attention with and is a very exposed medium, but Gary's virtuosity and musicality, especially his ability to let the music 'breathe', his consummate phrasing and arranging abilities, captivate the listener and take them on a lush Russian-inspired musical journey... Kim Chandler, backing vocal
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