The two members of Duo Zikr are Igor Silin and Olga Tkachenko. "Zikr" is Arabic for "Prayer". The duo attempt to unite profound philosophy and unique combinations of vocal techniques with chamber and folk vocals, Tibetan Mantra vocal techniques, Tuvan guttural singing, Sufi Zikr, Orthodox rites and more. The vocal range of the duet composes 8 octaves.
In 15 years of creative activity they have made moore than 20 recordings, held concerts almost in every part of the world, and cooperated with many famous musicians: among them Boris Grebenshikov, Sergey Kuryokhin, Andrei Samsonov, and Djivan Gasparyan.
Viacheslav Zaytsev, the Russian couturier, has designed original stage costumes exclusively for the Duo and now plans to hold a fashion show accompanied by music of the magic theatre of voice. The voices of Igor Silin and Olga Tkachenko, according to him, “Calls up Stone Age-old associations, when there weren’t defined scales to play, in a time when the voice echoed the sound of water, rustle of leaves and peals of thunder...”
Duo Zikr was created in the early 1990s at “The Fireflower” drama school of Igor Silin (Kalinauskas), where Olga Tkachenko was mastering a unique vocal technique based on mantra singing elaborated by Igor. After Igor had realized the natural vocal talent and striking capacity for work of his apprentice he offered Olga to sing a whole performance together. Their first performance took place in 1993 in St. Petersburg at Smolny Cathedral. The debut of the Duo with no playbills placarded gathered about 1000 spectators.
Fifteen compact discs have been made together with the Russian producer Yuri Morozov, and two albums were cut on vinyl: one, The Mystery of the Cup was the very last vinyl disk produced by the renowned Soviet record company Melodiya. The albums To the Beginning of Times and To the Twilight of Times were recorded in France on the invitation of Daniel Kenzo, a European saxophonist.
Boris Grebenshikov (mantra), Djivan Gasparyan (duduk) and the world-known percussion player and Grammy-award-winner Evelyn Glennie (who worked with Björk) participated in the recording of Premonitions of the Shooting Star - one of recent joint creations of duo Zikr and sound producer Andrei Samsonov. The music from the latter became a soundtrack for an episode from the movie series about world cultures and religions India in Real Time, directed by Sergei Debizhev.
Soloists of the Magic Theatre of Voice fruitfully cooperated with Sergey Kuryokhin and jointly participated in Berlin Independence Days festival in Germany and also took part in the last work of the musician The Pop-Mechanics called Three Steps in Rave.
Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya were amazed and deeply moved by the vocal improvisations of Igor and Olga when they came to their concert. When the concert had finished the Duo received “blessings” of these great musicians.
The Duo has produced some striking videos which were recognized at various contests. The Road to Katmandu shot under the direction of Fyodor Bondarchuk won the prize at Pokolenie-98 (Generation-98) music clips festival. Irina Taymanova made a 20-minute film about duo Zikr called The Wandering of Souls that received the grand-prix of "The Velvet Season" international festival.
One rare event when the duo sang concrete words instead of spontaneous syllables and sounds was the soundtrack to "The Song about the Cheese Spirit", an animated cartoon based on Aesop's fable "The Fox and the Crow".
The Duo has performed concerts in the USA, France, Italy, England, Finland, Slovakia, Israel, Australia and other places around the globe. It has been featured twice at the international sound recording and music market MIDEM in Cannes and Hong Kong.
Ms. Tkachenko and Mr. Silin have long history of performing in Roman Catholic Churches and temples where, according to them, “You can perceive the music of the Duo the best”.
Jim Bessman, special correspondent for Billboard magazine (NY, USA) wrote "Apart from dynamic improvisations making the visitors experience unique feelings, there is one more thing about the Duo. That is an astonishing attraction of the passion in the very voices and the manner of the performing".
Olga completed the course at Kyiv-based Institute of Dramatic Art named after Karpenko-Kary. Joined the theater in kyiv and worked there for some time. Meeting with Igor Kalinauskas defined her further destiny. In the beginning she used to take part in the dramatic plays of Igor's drama studio called the Fireflower. While her work there Olga mastered a unique psychotechnique.
Igor Kalinauskas (Silin is his stage-name) graduated with honors from the drama school named after Schukin, Directing faculty, in Moscow. He used to work as a director in Minsk, Astrakhan, Izhevsk, Moscow, Kyiv having produced 68 plays altogether. Igor is the author of a unique psychotechnique initially elaborated for actors and later on widely applied in many areas.The Breath of Space (2008)
Angels in the city (2008)
Premonitions of a Shooting (2007)
Sound of Magic (2007)
Soul in the arms of God (2005)
Happy happy Crazy (2005)
Spring Journey (2005)
Place of Power (2004)
Mystery of the Fire (2003)
In Search of Light - disk 1, Our century (2001)
In Search of Light - disk 2, A journey to the love (2001)
Free Flight (2000)
Duo Zikr (1998)
The Wandering of souls (1998)
To the twilight of times (1998)
To the beginning of times (1998)
The Wormwood star (1996)
Vertical Section (1996)
Creation of the World (1996)
Time that Dances (1996)
Mystery of the Cup (1994)
Duo Zikr has taken part in various international music festivalsBID, Berlin, Germany
Christmas meetings in the Northern Palmira, St. Petersburg, Russia
MANIFECTI, Turku, Finland;
MEDIAWAVE, Djer, Hungary;
ITF, Monastery, Tunisia;
Golden Autumn, Slavutych, Ukraine;
Festival of new musics Citta del Castello, Florence, Italy
ORIENT, Tallinn, Estonia;
Third International Festival of Sergey Kurekhin, St. Petersburg, Russia
Forte, Riga, Latvia;
Sergei Oskolkov & friends, St. Petersburg, Russia
A CAPELLA, St. Petersburg, Russia
CHRISTOFER SUMMER FESTIVAL, Vilnius, Latvia;
MIDEM ASIA 96, Hong Kong;
MIDEM 95, Barcelona, Spain;
SXSW, Ostin, Texasс, USA;
LMW, London, Great Britain;
RSMS, Sydney, Australia;
Prize for video clip of Fedor Bondarchuk "Road to Katmandu"
Grand prix for video clip of Fedor Bondarchuk "Road to Katmandu"