History


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The group "Willows Gone" was founded by Sergei Kondratyev (nicknamed "Pooh") in the Russian city of Penza during early 2003. The first musicians to enter the group were Anton Tkachuk (clarinet) and Ilya Antonov (accordion). Antonov, in turn, after the very first practice session, brought his younger brother violinist Kirill Antonov into the group. The bass guitarist Kirill Vasilyev came along soon afterwards along with the accordionist Vladimir Generalov, introduced to play the drums.

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In January 2004, when the bass guitarist Kirill left the group, his place was taken up by Oleg Ermakov playing the bass. That was the group's formation when, in May of 2004, they recorded their first album, "Postoronnim V." ("Trespassers W"). A year later the group, having maintained its structure, recorded a second album called "Le derrnier tango pour le combinat". Following that recording, the "Willows Gone" gained an empty spot with the departure of the accordionist I. Antonov. V. Generalov made haste to learn the entire accordion program and swiftly replaced Ilya.

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In the mean time, the group leader, S. Kondratyev already had new material ready and was planning to work on it in a group of three with Ermakov and Generalov. However, in June of 2005 the guys left for the summer on a tour full of club and street performances in Samara, Saratov, Rostov-na-Donu, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Yalta, Partenit, Evpatoria and other towns.

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Having returned to Penza at the end of August, Kondratyev, Generalov and Ermakov swiftly began work on the new album. After a few practice sessions it became clear that at lack of accompanying instrument the music was sounding stale and monotonous so K. Antonov and A. Tkachuk joined in as well. The work went on well and the "Willows" had ordered themselves a studio by the end of October. But Ermakov and Kondratyev had the fortune to get into a fight and Oleg suffered a broken finger. The recording was delayed but the therapy was swift and soon enough the "Willows" were back to studio work again. The choice of studio and sound producer wasn't a tough one. The group turned to the renowned Alexander Yakuba and he didn't disappoint. The resulting album was named "Simphoniya C-dur dlya durakov ih dur" ("C-dur Symphony For Dummies").

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Now for the album itself. The group's unique style acquired since recording "Le derrnier tango pour le combinat" showed itself with more maturity and vibrancy. The album recordings contain no drums so O. Ermakov went out of his way to fill that gap and even decided to play with a bow in certain places in order to add more diversity to the music. K. Antonov's violin became more emotional and precise, Tkachuk's clarinet became decisive and "wise" and Generalov's accordion outgrew the highest praise! By the way, two pieces from the album used quotes from Generalov's "Dedication to Jim Morrison".

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Meanwhile, the group took in a new member: Ilya "Lars" Vyatkin (alto sax). In May of 2006, Kondratyev got the idea for a new album. The material was being prepared as a dedication to Vladimir Generalov's deceased father while the key pieces were based on Vladimir's original creation called "The 340th". By June, the group used the studio to record two pieces: "The 340th" (S. Kondratyev) and "Nothing Happened" (A. Litvinov) but as is typical, summer brought a number of tours and concerts. Further work was delayed and even now the album is still not recorded.

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The next notable event in the group's work came to be an odd one. On one hand, the group's concert performances grew livelier along with performances on TV and the radio. On the other hand, however, all studio work ended and the musicians give concerts with their old line-up.

The summer of 2007 wasn't very productive both concert-wise and concerning new album work but was filled with trips that left many good impressions. In August, the group lost two of its founding members. Kirill Antonov moved to Astrahan' to study at a conservatory while Anton Tkachuk left for Moscow and put an end to his musical career. Soon, however, the "Willows Gone" gained new musicians, introducing Valeriy Titor (viola and piano) and Nikolay Komyshenkov (cello and lead guitar). These new members brought the beginning of a new concert season and continued work on newly developed material.