The 1980s were the effervescent childhood of the jazz movement and there was Auktyon, dawning upon the stabilized yet lively streets of Russia and its post Soviet generations. When the band was invited to the first rock festival in 1983 at the Rock Club, Leningrad, they needed a name; and with not much thought, they christened themselves Auction. This morphed into its current spelling thanks to their drummer’s misspellings while handing out autographs. Formed over 30 years ago – some members met at college – Auktyon is one the biggest gifts the Soviet collapse gave Russia.
Video Credits: Auktyon
Unlike most musicians who spend ages composing tracks, Auktyon like to do it extempore in live performances. “Currently most of the music comes together during live performances; very few things are arranged. The album Girls Sing with Ribot and Medeski was recorded in 4 days; they haven’t heard the music before coming to the studio. There is no typical way of composing. Most of the time Fedorov will have the rhythm and melody; the arrangements are created once we start playing it. For some songs it takes a few concerts to shape them into their final form,” says the band.
Squeaks, choruses, jazz tones, guitar riffs; it could be anything under the sun that adds a fun flavour to their funky grooves and beautiful sax notes. “We don’t think in terms of genres when creating music. The energy and the drive of the piece determine how the composition will turn out,” said band members.
Leaving their day jobs to play in a band and keep the name alive was one significant step.
Their much popular composition- The track called ‘Homba’ delivers an impact on the listener on account of the. They do not believe in genres to be a parameter that defines their sound. “We don’t think in terms of genres when creating music. The energy and the drive of the piece determines how the composition will turn out”, said Auktyon members.
The lyrics get their own dimensions each time they are thrown off to the music; the instruments too, get their own aura as the members keep experimenting with their use and improvisation.
After having sustained through the hardship that Moscow had been in, Auktyon got some incredible fan following in the late ‘90s. Recalling their US trip, they said, “The first show in New York was played in 1997. By that time we had spent about four years travelling all over Europe and playing to non-Russian audiences everywhere. The response in Europe was overwhelming, and we could expect the same in the U.S. if we could only break outside of the Russian market. We’ve made the effort over the years in the U.S. to play for Americans, which meant finding different venues and charging less for the tickets than we would for the Russian audiences. But the first trip was certainly memorable, both for us and our audiences.”
Written by: Sahil Sharma
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