Musical analogues: John McLaughlin, Ralph Towner, Lyle Mays, Paco de Lucia, Vicente Amigo, Jimmy Page
Album genres: fusion, world music, acoustic, instrumental
Written and arranged by Ivan Smirnov (in CD1 – 1-3, 5, 7, 8; in CD2 – 2-8); Mikhail Smirnov (in CD1 – 1; in CD2 – 1); Sergey Klevensky (in CD1 – 1, 4); Andrey Vinogradov (in CD1 – 5, 6), Akhmad Bakaev (in CD2 – 2, 4, 6)
Record participants: Ivan Smirnov – acoustic guitar; Mikhail Smirnov – keyboards, accordion, percussion; Sergey Klevensky – clarinet, svirels, blowing horns, bagpipes; Dmitry Safonov – acoustic guitar
Recorded in 2002 / Released in 2012
Catalogue number: AB-CD-09-2011-004
Languages of the booklet: Russian, English, each piece has the author’s annotation
Publishing House: OOO “ArtBeat”, 127051, Moscow, Trubnaya st., 32, building 4
Sales Department: + 7.903.2090450
The famous concert album of Ivan Smirnov, the best acoustic guitarist in Russia. Music inspired by Russian folklore and performed with the highest mastery, artistry, and absolute taste. Music is written on junction of genres: flamenco, classic intonations, Celtic themes, energy of rock culture, but it remains very Russian. Its tracks are a long and interesting journey to the Land where the Sun slumbers.
Album review“This double album is a jubilee reissue to the 10th anniversary of the original. On January 31, 2002 in Le Club the concert of “Ivan Smirnov Quartet” was held, its recording became the disc “The Land Where the Sun Slumbers” released under Sketis Music label. The album was sold at once, became an event and for today a rarity. Many want to have it in their collection but do not have opportunity. “ArtBeat” Company decided to correct this (the only one) defect of the album and released it in the same design of the booklet, photos and texts, having added only translation to English.”
From the press release of the jubilee edition of the album
“Ivan Smirnov’s music combines the depth of national tradition and contemporary musical language; it is always creative discoveries and the highest performing mastery. Concert records are interested because they bear the immediacy of the performance, of improvisation and of communication with the audience. In the live Smirnov’s concerts these three components are embodied especially brightly, so his concert album will give to the listeners an atmosphere of a real musical festivity “Ivan Smirnov Live”. The concert program includes well-known compositions in new arrangement as well as new compositions. The program is divided into two parts and is built in the form of musical journey. The first part bears elements of Russian folklore. Here we feel the aspiration to express spirit of Russian life that has gone visually but which is indestructible inwardly, the aspiration to find language and from that can express the music of Russian soul. The journey has not been finished and we go further, miles and miles away, to the land “where the Sun slumbers”.
From the album booklet
“On Ivan Smirnov’s site there is an epigraph, “Ivan Smirnov, undoubtedly, is the best acoustic guitar player in Russia”. Despite a little categorical character of the statement, it is true in its core. It has been proved by the results of different polls, competitions, numerous awards, and love of people. Anytime you listen to sonorous, transparent like a crystal, Smirnov’s guitar, his brilliant and virtuoso playing on the one hand and hearty, tuneful playing on the other hand, where different traditions – Russian, Spanish, Celtic, academic, folk, jazz, rock, and psychedelic – have merged and you feel good in your soul. It’s a pity that Smirnov (who became famous due to his work in “Arsenal” and in other teams) hasn’t released many solo discs. In fact, he has studio album “Merry-Go-Round Man” (1996), concert disc “The Land Where the Sun Slumbers” (2002), and mutual with Mikhail Smirnov disc “Crimean Holiday” (2003). And people have high demand in Ivan’s music: it’s not by chance that his discs have been reissued: for example, “The Land…” (first time released by Sketis Music) have been republished several times and every edition was all sold. In 2012, to the 10th anniversary of the original issue, Alexey Kozlov’s Foundation “ArtBeat” decided to publish the famous disc in the originally version of double album, without any bonuses and additives, but with the double-language booklet and in more “deluxe” design.
Yes, the design is luxurious, but executed with big taste, and the gold spiral on the white background symbolizes the sign of “infinity”, the eternal life of this concert album. And this is not by chance: because only in live execution there is an opportunity to feel that fragile, unrealistically wonderful atmosphere that is created by the prominent master and his team”.
Elena Savitskaya, “InRock” Magazine