One song made me want to learn how to speak Russian. Finally being able to grasp a second language (after years of bad French and Spanish instructors) is something I didn't think I would ever accomplish. And this time I chose a difficult language, all because of one rock band.
I was watching videos on youtube this past January, and on the sidebar was a language I did not recognize. Instantly intrigued, I listened to the song, "АнгелOK", and looked up the band. The music of The Slot reminded me of Japanese groups that I loved in middle school, and the language was unlike anything I'd ever heard before. I wanted to decode the letters, and absorb the romanticism, tension, and sorrow in the music. Daria Stavrovich has a voice that mirrors those qualities in her shrill, somewhat otherworldly tones. The language itself gripped me with its complexity woven from severity and romanticism.
I found more of their music, which is a hybrid of metal, rock with pop elements, and spoken word. The whole band is incredible, but on stage Daria stands out. Her personal style, like the music, is built on hybridity. It is some sort of collision of Burning Man, goth, and cyber punk. Her dreads are really cool (I'm jealous, but not yet ready to make the commitment).
Now, almost twelve months and a few language coarses later, I can hold a pretty good conversation in Russian. I practice by printing out Russian song lyrics, figuring out as much as I can on my own, and looking up additional words. It's good practice, and using music it super fun. Thinking about this makes me remember all of the other ways music has inspired me: learning to play the guitar, listening to other bands who I never thought I would like, writing poetry, painting inspired by music, experimenting with my style, ect . Music can inspire so many things in just one person. I'm a firm believer in that.
Check out the songs I'm working on translating:
Dead Stars (acoustic)/Мёртвые Звёзды
All photos found on Tumblr