Kirill Komarov

Kirill Komarov / Кирилл Комаров

Published: September 28, 2016

Kirill Komarov (Кирилл Комаров) is a Russian rock and experimental musician, one of the stranger and more interesting of recent times. From St. Petersburg, he studied Turkish philology at the Eastern Department of Leningrad State University, after which he began translating Turkish poetry and also writing his own original verses. He started writing the songs for the group Presence (Присутствие) while he was a student, though he didn’t actually play with the band. The songs he wrote became very popular in the Leningrad rock scene, but Komarov wasn’t satisfied with just writing the music, and he started giving concerts as a solo guitarist and singer. He wrote an album, Island (Остров), and then two others in the early 1990s. He experimented with different styles at first, mostly electronic and rock.

Komarov started his first band, Honest Word (Честное Слово), in the mid-1990s, though he also continued releasing solo albums, with the participation of his new band members. Things went on in this vein for the next ten or so years, with more albums, club appearances, concerts, and so on, and Komarov’s work slowly gained popularity. He published a book of his lyrics and poems, Shades of Green (Оттенки зелёного), in 2005. Komarov started experimenting with stranger forms of work in the 2000s, starting with his 2006 project Webbing (Вевёрки), with collaborator Vasiliy K. It started out as a continuation of Komarov’s last album, Transblues (Трансблюз), but it turned into an interactive, improvisational project: they would give concerts with audience participation, for example.

In 2007 Komarov transitioned into a different version of his same band, now called Kirill Komarov and Friends (Кирилл Комаров и Друзья—Anatoliy Bagritskiy, Dmitry Fomichev, and Evgeniy Guberman), and the group released the even more experimental album Sensense (same in Russian) in 2008. It was a sort of a cappella album, with all the band members saying various phrases superimposed one on top of the other in the recording. Komarov and Friends have released several more albums since then, and Komarov gives concerts both solo and with the group.


“Seasons of the Year” (“Времена года”), from Sensense:


“The Fool’s Way” (“Путь дурака”), from Komarov’s 2009 album of the same name:

Lyrics for “Путь дурака”:

Я прочитал надпись на камне,
Я долго стоял, не зная куда мне.
«Направо пойдешь – станешь богатым,
Налево пойдешь – удачно женатым.
А если прямо пойдешь – …»
А дальше не разобрать ни фига.
Я выбрал этот путь.
И это был Путь Дурака.

Ясные цели, понятные средства…
Любая судьба – она родом из детства.
Сказки о кладах, мечты о принцессе –
Так нас учат думать о деньгах и сексе.
Мир говорит с тобой, но ты не знаешь его языка.
Откуда я мог знать, что я иду по Пути Дурака.

Кто-то упал, кто-то поднялся,
Кто-то искал – аж сам потерялся.
Ставший богатым желает влюбляться,
Нашедший любовь ищет богатства.
В конце концов, мой друг, ты получаешь только то, что искал,
А я смотрю вокруг и иду по Пути Дурака.

Рядом со мной странные люди,
Они хотят знать, что было, что будет.
Я знаю, что есть. Есть вечер и утро.
Но они ждут и зовут меня мудрым.
Тут нету ничего, что я знал бы наверняка.
Не ходи за мной.
Мой путь – это Путь Дурака.
Не ходи за мной, друг.
Мой путь – это Путь Дурака.
Мой путь – это Путь Дурака.

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

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