"The Dancing Music of the 1930s." Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Melodia, Russia's major record company, produced a series of records under this heading.
The series contained such hits as "Take the 'A' Train," "Cotton Tail," "Boogie Woogie," "Sing, Sing, Sing," and others performed by Artie Shaw
and Glen Miller
and their orchestras.
Tangos, foxtrots, rumbas, ragtimes... I heard all these styles coming out of my father's record player.
They moved me to jump around the room with a hockey stick pretending to be a guitar player and to play an improvised "drum station" built from show boxes, old pans, and some cracked vinyl records.
Hearing my father's record collection, I fell in love with this music for good.
The idea to compose a series of musical pieces in a retro style came to me after I came to the United States and haunted me for many years.
For a long time, I was dissatisfied with the musical drafts I composed... and then one day the foxtrot appeared at my doorstep.
It was to be the first in my series, and a turning point.
The work rapidly progressed when I saw the documentary "Jazz" by Ken Burns
which inspired me to complete the entire suite.
Scenes from a Silent Movie
"Scenes" was written in three days while I was still working on Retro Suite.
Here I imagined myself a pianist playing to a silent film responding to the action on the screen.
The scenes appeared to be comical, and I realized that I could not do without Charlie Chaplin
These are the musical strolls by a city in the evening. All you have to do is choose the city.