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Tuesday, 27th of October, 2009 Pilot show
G: Welcome to the show we‟re about to present: “Raise Your Voices!” I‟m Grisha, a foreigner, living here in Russia. And I‟m attracted to many different things in this country and so I wanna talk with you and to raise my voice and to tell some stories; share some stories. And I‟m here with my partner Sasha, [and] we‟re gonna have a dialogue on the air in front of you. S: Oh yeah, thanks for introducing me Grisha. My name is Sasha, and well, I‟m a Russian native speaker so I will be speaking with a fancy accent. Well, actually Grisha has, I can see it in his eyes that he is so (much) inspired in Russia. But I can see that, well, there may be some kind of, well, maybe mythical, something mythical about this country for him and I‟m going to be well a myth-buster. And I actually will bring Grisha (down) to the earth. I think that maybe I can be wrong in some of my opinions about the western way of living. But in our dialogues I think that we can find the truth actually, yeah? G: We‟re seeking the truth, to raise our voices about the truth. O.k. What‟s happening in the west? Hmm, o.k.! S: And what‟s happening in Russia? G: That‟s our topic, that‟s our theme. And so we‟re going to try to entertain you a little bit, and hopefully maybe to educate a little bit about some of the topics we think are relevant or important in Russia and maybe around the world today as well. So, why don‟t we do that and hopefully encourage people to raise their voices along with us.

S: Well, we are already doing that! And so, let‟s begin with our first topic for today. And our first topic is: Music. ~~ G: A lot of people ask me: Grisha, why did you come to Russia? And I often answer them by talking about some of the great things in Russian history, and often I‟ll say (talk) about the music. For example, you have Rachmaninoff, who is very well known, Tchaikovsky, and Glinka, Stravinsky; these are composers that are known around the world. So, one of the things that attracted me to Russia was the musical tradition. S: Oh, the musical tradition. I think that I would, well, rather disappoint you about that because nowadays Russians are not listening to Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etc. etc. well, me as well actually. Well, I can say it is very popular to listen to Russian rap or Russian R&B, or something like that, as I can hear it from the sound speakers in the street. G: Can you tell me: who are some of these people I should know that I can listen to? S: You could listen maybe to Kasta, Krovostok; it‟s more about the Russian hiphop, and Russian R&B, the most popular person, as I believe, it‟s Timoti, or something like that, but I don‟t personally like them. G: There‟s a new tradition of rap though and people are listening to it. Do you think it‟s pretty good, is it quality stuff? S: No, it‟s not quality stuff, as I think, because, you know, well, they‟re listening to some crap, actually. G: Oh, I see, so you‟re a little bit negative about the current Russian music situation. Is that right? S: Oh yes, that‟s right because, well, I think that we don‟t have any new, really interesting names because you see, not so much (many) of these names are actually popular abroad. But no, Timoti is popular, probably a popular person, but it‟s because the R&B movement is popular, actually, all over the world. G: Well, what about this recent Eurovision song competition? It was won by Russia. Wasn‟t it Dima Bilan, he was in there? He‟s pretty popular, it seems to me. S: Well, Dima Bilan won last year‟s competition. Well, this competition we had this year was won also by a Russian guy, but he was, well, playing in English, and so. His name was Alexander Rybak, as I remember. But anyhow, about Dima Bilan; I think that it was bought, it was bought. G: The Eurovision song competition?!

S: Yeah, it was bought and everything was bought there. Just like the story of Dima Bilan, it also was bought. It was a question of, well, the amount of money the producer has (and) not about the question of talent. G: But there‟s some others as well, even if people be critical about Bilan. What about Tatu or some others that are on the scene? S: Tatu is very provocative, and well, their provocations, actually. Their provocations made them popular. G: In any case, I think it‟s important that there‟s a healthy Russian music scene because it‟s a way that people can express themselves about what they see around them. And if you‟re not singing in Russian, then all of those people that don‟t speak a foreign language are not going to have anything to listen to. So, I think it‟s really important to have a domestic market or a domestic number of singers who are promoting interesting ideas and their creativity and that sort of thing. S: Well, if you‟re talking about the nation‟s music, for example, some national music, well listen to, I don‟t know, Zuikina, or maybe some other popular artists who are singing some native songs. G: Folk music, yeah? S: Folk music, yeah. But, well, talking about the popular singers, I think that it‟s probably better for them to play in English. And so, if you‟re going to start a band, play it in English because the market for your songs will be much better, much bigger. G: That‟s your advice to our listeners? S: Yeah, that‟s my advice, so…. G: Well, maybe that‟s a question that we can ask to our audience out there: what do you think? What kind of music do you prefer? Do you listen to more Russian music? Do you listen to more foreign music? And do you think there should be more Russian musical acts coming onto the scene? And maybe they should sing in a foreign language as well? What‟s your thought? How are you going to raise your voice on this topic about music, today? S: That‟s cool S: The next topic is: Architecture ~~

G: What about the topic of architecture? We thought maybe this idea of art and contemporary art might be something that would be interesting to talk about. And, what were you going to ask about that? S: Well, actually, I was going to ask you about…well, what was your first impression when you came to Russia about architecture, personally? G: Yeah, here we are in St. Petersburg recording, so I can speak of this city. Yeah, there are some amazing buildings here, the tall towers, the Peter and Paul Fortress. Everything was planned, everything is symmetrical. And you know you have some beautiful cathedrals and buildings that are above the other ones that look down and see how everything is in order. The architecture really is astonishing for foreigners to come…and Europeans and people around the world love to come to this city to see the architecture. S: But don‟t you think that we need some kind of refreshing the looks of the city? I don‟t know, because, well, yes, it‟s good to have so much (many) historical buildings. But I think the city looks a bit old and rusty, but not only that kind of thing, I think that, you know, we need to build something new, actually, so that more tourists can come to Russia, to St. Petersburg in general because, well, they have seen already everything. But I think that St. Petersburg needs something new. G: Well, I have to admit, you know, when I first came here, coming from the airport everything looked big and large scale and a little bit grey I should say. So maybe there‟s something to what you‟re saying… S: By the way yes, we need to colourise the city. G: To colourise it? (Grammar note: „to colour it‟ or „to give it colour‟) S: Yeah, to colourise it. G: I think (that if) there are some very creative, artistically-inclined people, then yeah, why not? Why not build some new things and develop the centre or the other parts around the city as well? S: Well, but don‟t you think that people here, in Russia, in St. Petersburg, what‟s your personal opinion? I think that people don‟t take any care about the buildings until well, it gets a little political. Well, one of the signs that represents this irresponsibility is, for example, garbage in the streets. Lots of garbage in the streets, even in the centre of the city! For example, some buildings, some historical buildings are getting renovated, but the surrounding areas, the surrounding areas are so dusty, so, I don‟t know, well, lots of garbage. G: You have my support, Sasha. I think there should be more garbage cans in the city, so it‟s more convenient. S: Colourful, colourful garbage cans, yeah, that‟s good

S: You know, I think that, well, my solution, my personal solution, is well, I‟m really dreaming about, well, the city could have lots of skyscrapers! Some kind of, you know, downtown with skyscrapers, and this would be so western because St. Petersburg was designed as a western city actually. G: Well, yeah, but I don‟t think skyscrapers are necessarily the solution. Or maybe they‟re not really western you know, because the largest buildings in the world, some of them are not in western countries. In Dubai, for example, (is) the tallest building in the world and in Kuala Lumpur. So, I don‟t know if it‟s really a western symbol as some people think it is. S: Well, I don‟t know, because maybe even they‟re not so much „western.‟ But you know that skyscrapers could really be a solution. For example, for making…lots of businesses need a lot of area to, you know, to get some development. G: I think some people link this skyscraper phenomenon with a little bit of masculinity. Maybe we‟re doing a little bit of that here by talking about it! S: Oh, you mean some kind of Freudism, or what do… G: Something like this you know because maybe for our women listeners they might be more interested in development projects where people are talking about responsible housing, sustainable housing, more environmentally friendly, better for the family, things like this. And men want to talk about these big, big buildings! I don‟t know, maybe that‟s just me… S: And driving in the big jeep to these big buildings… S: Maybe…you know that nowadays we have a strong argument on the Okhta centre, you know, the Okhta centre. So, are you for or against it? G: I think we should talk about that another time, that‟s a little bit of a controversial topic in Russia to me it seems. And let me add a proverb to that because there‟s a proverb that might answer to that. The proverb of the day: G: I‟m not your taxi driver. I‟m not gonna answer every question you ask! S: Tui imyeesh vvidu: “ya ne ya, i loshad ne moya”? G: Da, tochno tak! S: That‟s cool! O.k. so we‟ve discussed our second topic and I think that this is a time probably for saying our goodbyes, and until next time…

G: Yeah, we‟re here to ask people to raise their voices, and to have some topics that will provoke you or inspire you a little bit or just make you think, hey – why can‟t we talk about that too?! S: And I could also follow that and, well, ask people to, for example, well, propose some topics they are interested in, maybe. We can get connected through e-mails; people can see our contacts in the show notes for this podcast. G: Yeah, fancy technology, that‟s what we‟re here to use… S & G: Do svidaniye – goodbye! : )

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