Astana duo records album of Kazakh songs in French

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - FRANÇAIS À LA KAZAKH, a unique musical album by Almas Duo, will be presented in Astana in early March, Kazinform correspondent informs.

The members of the duo are Assem Abdykassymova and Polina Tyrina, talented and charming residents of the capital of Kazakhstan.
Assem graduated from the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University with a civil engineering degree. In Nantes, France, she majored in Environment and Urban Planning under the Erasmus Mundus program, a post-master degree in Business and Management, and completed an internship under the Copernicus program from the French Embassy in Kazakhstan. Now she works at the France-Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. As for Polina, she graduated from the Astana Polytechnic College as a manager of tourism. Having studied at the Omsk State University, she received a diploma of a journalist.

The singers made up the duo in 2016. Presently, their repertoire includes songs in 9 languages: Kazakh, Russian, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Ukrainian.

"The album includes 15 tracks: 5 Kazakh folk songs translated into French, 5 Kazakh folk songs in the original language, and 5 unreleased French works of authorship. Recording it, we used dombra, jetygen, sybyzgy, cello, violin, and guitars. A complete mixture of cultures and styles truly reflects the essence of our duo," Assem smiles.

According to her, the project was implemented with the support from the French Embassy in Kazakhstan within the Francophone spring festival.

"Both Polina and I love the French language and France. In addition to speaking it fluently, I also write songs in French. Together we have been in Paris. Both of us have won Francophone music contests. I think that's what accounts for why the album is in French. When the French Embassy offered to start a joint project, we agreed to do it without a moment's hesitation," says Assem.

According to the duo, their album will be of interest in France as well. Besides, brilliant Amre Kashaubayev is still remembered there.

In addition to Almas Duo, 8 more musicians took part in the recording of the album.

"Katrina Viloria, the most unusual member of our team, was in charge of percussion. Kat is from the Philippines. Katrina teaches English at Miras International School. She plays drums, guitar, and piano. She composes beautiful songs," says Polina.

The other musicians include Venera Tabys (playing the jetygen), Sanjay Almishev (sybyzgy and shankobyz), Ardak Yeleusiz (dombra), Azamat Temirbayev (bass guitar), Vlad Russanov (guitar), Asya Nurzhigitova (violin), and Aidar Kazken (cello).

"We would like to thank you the musicians who worked with us! Thank you for being with us, helping, believing, and supportin us. They came for recording in freezing temperatures and blizzards, at weekends and on holidays, having cold, and with children. All of them are not just professionals but people who are in love with music," says Assem.

"The preliminary presentation of the album of Almas Duo FRANÇAIS À LA KAZAKH will take place on February 28 in one of the restaurants of the capital, and the official one will be on March 9 in a Meloman store," Assem and Polina told the residents and guests of Astana.

For those who cannot attend the events, there is an opportunity to contemplate the duo's works via its pages on Instagram and Facebook.

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