If rock-n-roll had been invented 500 years ago, this is what it would sound like.
In 1999, Zmicier Sasnouski brought together a diverse group of musicians, some classically trained and some self-taught, who shared a common love of history. Like many bands, Stary Olsa’s roster shifted until it settled on the current line-up, which includes bagpipes, flutes, shaums, lute, rebec, tromba marina, and percussion (including wooden shoes), with front man Aleys belting out vocals in Belarusian.
The band has recorded twelve albums of traditional tunes from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Popular European dances, rowdy Slavic drinking songs, and epic tales of knights and victory, all performed exactly as they sounded when they were written in the 15th century. Stary's latest album, “Medieval Classic Rock," was produced by a Kickstarter campaign, after fans worldwide discovered the band on YouTube playing favorite rock tunes on their medieval instruments. Until you've heard "Iron Man" performed on the hurdy-gurdy, your life is just not complete.
Today's hits are but "a small stop on a long musical continuum." Stary Olsa shows just how much our current musical traditions owe to their medieval roots.
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