While studying in Moscow, Mikhail (Misha) Smirnov, founder and director of Barynya, followed his passion for Russian folk music by traveling to different regions to collect Russian folklore at its source. He recorded over 100 hours of Russian folk music, which can change in melody, lyrics, and tunes from village to village, even when separated by only a couple of miles. ?I recorded this one in the Smolensk region of Russia (my mother?s family is from there). ... The line that is being repeated over and over means exactly ?The Christ came back from the dead, the son of God.?"

Alex Siniavski is an acclaimed balalaika virtuoso. He graduated with honors from Leningrad State Musical Conservatory. Prior to his arrival in the United States, he was a soloist with the Andreyev State Symphonic Balalaika Ensemble, one of the most prestigious musical groups in the former USSR.

If you get a chance to see Barynya perform, ?Ornaments? producer Joe Gunderman highly recommends seeing them at a venue where you can dance. It?s a fascinating and fun evening.