Interview: Tanya Pesnya – Jazz/Rock From Russia
Tanya Pesnya is a wonderful jazz/rock guitarist from Yaroslavl, Russia. She now resides in France playing jazz and zouk gigs with her band. Tanya studied in Moscow with the famous Russian instructor Igor Boiko where she perfected her jazz playing. In this interview Tanya talks about her favorite guitar, jazz and her plans to release her solo CD.
300guitars: Hi there Tanya. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started playing the guitar.
Tanya Pesnya: I was born in Russia in Yaroslavl. I started music at 7 years old in a classical musica school but it was Russian folk string instruments, the Domra and piano. I played it for 7 years and gave concerts in Russia My mother always forced me to play music. At 14 years old I discovered a German band Rammstein and become a fan, so at that time I had a strong desire to learn to play the guitar. In my home town we had only facultet of jazz guitar in music school so I learned jazz but at the same time I was playing in the women’s band for which I composed also the music. We played mix of rock, darkwave and pop music. Now I am 21 years old, so it’s been 7 years that I play guitar.
300guitars: When you first started to learn did you take lessons or are you self taught?
Tanya Pesnya: I left Yaroslavl at 16 years old and moved to Moscow. In the music school where I first learned guitar my teacher often gave examples from the book of Igor Boiko “My method” (by the way, it has been recently re-edited in Russia), that’s how I first knew about that great musician. When I arrived in Moscow I had an idea that maybe Igor Boiko gives guitar lessons and I started to search for information about him on the internet and I found his site. I wrote a letter for him and had a quick reply where he invited me for an interview. We met and I played few compositions and improvisation after what he told that he accepts me in the laboratory of guitar education. All the information that I got from his lessons is precious for me, it contains all the aspects of jazz improvisation.
300guitars: What type of guitars are you playing?
Tanya Pesnya: I play an Ibanez Art Star 120, it’s quite good guitar for jazz music but as I play also rock and blues I was searching recently for a new guitar and found Parker guitars. When I played first time Parker I was amazed by the authentic sound and really light weight of the guitar. I am woman and for me the weight of guitar is really important. For instance after a few hours of playing on concerts I don’t feel my shoulders =) Now I am looking forward to buy a Parker.
300guitars: How about amplifiers. What amps are you using?
Tanya Pesnya: At home I play with Marshall amplifier but personally for the concerts and recordings I prefer Mesa Boogie. Also I use Guitar Port Line 6 when I practice at home. It allows me to play at any time without complains of my neighbors =).
300guitars: Do you incorporate effects or just go straight to the amp?
Tanya Pesnya: I like to use effects. I have reverberator, chorus and handmade overdrive. In future I want to buy also Wah Wah Baby Cry, I am in love with that sound.
300guitars: Do you write songs?
Tanya Pesnya: I compose mostly music. Maybe I will write lyrics as well one day.
300guitars: Tell us about the bands and projects that you are currently working in. Do you have any CD’s available?
Tanya Pesnya: For the moment I plan to make my own jazz/rock project, compose music and then find musicians. In 2008-2009 I have played with zouk band(it’s folk music from French Islands Antiles, Martinique). My friends found that a strange mix that Russian girl plays guitar in zouk band(in Russia we don’t have zouk style at all, so I had to learn it). We gave lot of concerts in little towns surround Paris but now I am totally concentrated on jazz…
300guitars: Is there an audience for your type of music in France? Do you travel for performances?
Tanya Pesnya: Now I mostly play jazz music and in France there is a really large audience for the jazz. Though my dream is to go to London because I like English pop-rock music.
300guitars: What are some of your other interests besides music and guitar playing?
Tanya Pesnya: I am student of translation and interpretation facultet. Also I like photography, sport and tourism.
300guitars: What are your future plans for your music?
Tanya Pesnya: There is lot of work to be done for me, I am never satisfied with my playing and always want to improve it. Well I believe that it’s the same for the most part of musicians. Also I would like to record a CD with my own music.
300guitars: Thank you for taking the time for this interview Tanya. We love your playing here at 300guitars and wish you much success in the future!
Tanya Pesnya: It is a pleasure for me to be at 300guitars!
Here is a clip of Tanya playing “Sunny”.
You can learn more about Tanya and her music at MySpace and YouTube: