summer 2016 //
MEETING THE SHAMAN
MARIA VOLDINA, SIBERIA
MEETING THE SHAMAN MARIA VOLDINA
Maria Voldina, the protagonist of the song “Two”, is a living shaman, well-known poet and guardian of the Khanty people’s wonderful culture whom I met after many years. The song is based on the words of the poem that her husband dedicated to her to celebrate their love, and on the harmonies of local folk songs. Eric and I drew inspiration for this song from these elements.
“Two” is about a unique and pure love interrupted by life’s adversities but kept alive in the souls and in the spirit of the forest, a magical place where the protagonist meets the spirit of her beloved.
The Khanty are a semi-nomadic people who live in the Siberian taiga, where temperatures can drop to -50 degrees Celsius. These tribes migrate together with their reindeer, live in “chums”, wooden houses where fires are always lit. In the 1930s, these people were tortured by the Soviet regime; the shamans were persecuted, and their families were divided and deported.