Batyrkhan Shukenov (1962 - 2015)
My main critics are my relatives. Especially, my cousins often criticize me. I listen to their words carefully, and then conclude.
30 years of my life in music can be assumed as my ongoing trips. That is evidence of being Nomad generation!
It would be better to add the section “100 Cultural centers” to the Governmental program “100 schools, 100 hospitals”. Last year during my tours to ten cities of Kazakhstan I noticed that there aren’t any good concert halls in the suburbs. I can say that there are some convenient stages for concerts in Almaty, Astana and Karaganda. But in other places the situation is worse.
There are no authorities who can analyze and discuss the problems on cultural issues comprehensively. For example, when Kazakhstani young singers took part in Jurmala, they were broadcast live on Russian and other foreign TV channels. And at that moment the first channel of Kazakhstan was broadcasting “The Bandit Petersburg” series. It is difficult to educate our generation with such cold attitude about patriotic feelings.
When I was a child, I wanted to be a pastry chef. Then I was keen on football. But I can say that in the 5 grade my life changed completely. When I went to “Artek” camp, I unexpectedly took part in a song contest. In the 10th grade I decided to become a musician.
Let me tell you how I received my first honorarium. In 1978 I was in the 9 grade. I was playing the saxophone at the night disco, hiding from my parents. I don’t know how much I earned, however I remember that we celebrated very well with my friends.
For me the main thing is to bring up my son, to keep on doing research on my creative work.
My father was a head of finance department of a big region, and my mother was an accountant. They knew accounting very well, so they had good skills in spending money. But they didn’t teach us (he laughed). I can’t spend money efficiently. I spend the earned money on buying presents for my friends, traveling and musical instruments. I never learned how to save money.
For me care and love of my close people is a perfect present. When I was a child New Year eves with my family were the best gift for me. I’m still happy when I recall those moments.
If we talk about “wedding-business”, “wedding” is a celebration, happiness is a word. Eastern countries play music which makes people dance immediately at the weddings. Nowadays the development of wedding-business in our country is not the problem of music, but a social problem.
When people sometimes face difficult situations, they start to think “why did all these things happen to me?” You understand why that challenge has been given to you later, when years have passed.
I have met good teachers in my life. At the age of 17, when I arrived in Leningrad I had great musicians among my teachers. They were very polite and really intelligent people.
How to choose music? Once we went to the Hermitage Museum with our group. One of the students asked a teacher “how to understand a painting”. The teacher answered “how do you listen to music?” When you are listening to music, you do not have to think, you have to feel. And when you are looking at a painting, draw attention to its nature, feel its aura.
Love to your Motherland is a beautiful feeling. I understood that at the age of 20. I was traveling on a train from Almaty to Kyzylorda. It was hot. If you looked out of the window of the compartment, there was a boundless Kazakh steppe. At that moment the dombra music was on the radio. I was thrilled with the melody which fitted the scene in front of me.
I divide clothes into two kinds which I like and dislike. Clothes that I like are jeans. And ties are what I dislike. I wore a tie only twice in my life: when I finished Conservatoire and at the official meeting in the USA.
When I was a child, I was keen on football. I was a midfielder in our team. I wore a uniform number 10 as Pelle.
Eh, my happy childhood! Your parents are with you, everything is wonderful! People should go back to their childhood from time to time.
The material is based on Batyrkhan Shukenov’s all annual interviews to Kazakh and Russian media.