Krasnodar, 10 October – Yug Times. Since his boyhood, Fedor Shak has been surrounded with music: his father, a jazzman by spirit, was a teacher of brass and guitar, and his mother was a musicologist.
Now Fedor Shak works at the Krasnodar State Institute of Culture as Head of Sound Production Department, writes academic articles and holds conferences. Serious repertoire, first of all jazz, has always prevailed in Shak’s family.
“When I was 15, something clicked in my head, so that suddenly I began to become aware of jazz concepts and, what was most important, to like them,” he recalls. Fedor Shak defended his D.Sc. dissertation last summer. The theme, “Jazz Performance and Rock Music in Sociocultural Processes of the 20th - 21st Centuries,” was not an easy thing - but he proved that the seven years of self-criticism and perfectionism had not been wasted. Shak included the pop-music segment into his dissertation, but he did it otherwise than the older academics had done it before.
“I was building up my doctoral thesis with a support on the concepts put forward by the Frankfurt school of philosophy and Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, in particular,” Fedor Shak explains. “Theodor Adorno notes one significant trait that has been ignored by his colleagues - namely, it is that it is the modern market that affects the contents of mass popmusic, dissolution of morals, obscene vocabulary peculiar for the words for music, its pornofication and sexualisation.”
Shak believes that it is important to analyse how we arrived at the contemporary situation when both Western pop-music and national variety art underwent so much kitsch and degradation. Although the situation looks rather disquieting, Fedor Shak remains optimistic. He is confident that mass culture will necessarily rise up after the fall.
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