Stary Olsa

Stary Olsa


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Stary Olsa is an early music band from Minsk, Belarus. It was founded in 1999 by its present leader Zmicier Sasnoŭski and now consists of six musicians. Stary means "old" and Olsa is the name of an old brook in the central part of Belarus. Stary Olsa’s path is deeply and inextricably linked to the traditional culture, history and musical traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The band's music makes it possible to restore sounds of many forgotten instruments, which have been reproduced with authentic materials and techniques. Stary Olsa uses maximal exact copies of old aged instruments such as Belarusian bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, gusli (Baltic psaltery), jew's-harp, ocarina, Belarusian trumpet, rebec, shawms, lute, cister, tromba marina, native flutes, drums. Stary Olsa has recorded 14 albums (10 studio albums, 3 live albums, 1 audio spectacle), 2 singles, and the band's music is included into seven collections of early music. The band's repertoire includes Belarusian folk balladry and martial songs, dances, works of Belarusian Renaissance composers, compositions from aulic music collections (e.g. Polack Notebook, Vilnian Notebook), Belarusian canticles of the 16th - early 17th centuries, as well as European popular melodies of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Besides its own concerts, the band performs at medieval festivals, spear-runnings, folklore and music festivals in Eastern and Western Europe, USA.