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Pyotr Mamonov, From Punk rock to Orthodoxy

Пётр Николаевич Мамонов (Pyotr Nikolayevich Mamonov) is a famous Russian rock musician, actor and writer born on April, 14th 1951. He is also fluent in English and Norwegian (his translations can be found in many anthologies of poetry).

In the early 80s, he founded the legendary band “Звуки Му” (The sound of Mu), a band that became famous for the absurdities of the lyrics, and Mamonov’s extraordinary on-stage presence. His collaboration with Brian Eno in the late 80s, brought him международное признание (an international recognition), but after 2 years of touring around Europe and America, he decided to settle back in Russia.

Pyotr Mamonov was скандалист, провокатор нон-конформист и алкоголик (a rowdy, non-conformist provocateur and alcoholic), that greatly influenced Russian rock. Музыкальный стиль – что-то между пост-панком и инди-роком (his musical style is somewhere between post-punk and indi-rock). Russian punks have all grown up with his music. Among his hits: “Досуги-буги” (Leisure boogie), “Серый голубь” (Grey Dove), “Люлякибаб” (Lyulyakebab), “Лифт на небо” (Elevator to the sky).

From the late 80s, he started his career as an actor for the cinema and the theatre. His best know film appearance was in the leading role in Павла Лунгина (Pavel Lungin’s) film “Такси-блюз” (Taxi blues in 1990). The film won a prize in the Cannes Film Festival that year. In 2006, Lungin directed him for the second time in the film “Остров” (The Island), which won the Nika award and Golden Eagle award. Lungin and Mamonov again worked togetherin 2009, in the film “Царь” (Tsar) in which Mamonov was playing убедительно и страшно Ивана Грозного (convincing and scary Ivan the Terrible).

In the 90s, Pyotr Mamonov converted to Orthodox Christianity and settled away from the bustle in the remote village of Ефаново, Нижегородская область (Efonovo, region of Nizhegorodskaya), where he spends his time молится Богу (praying God), копается в огороде и в себе (cultivating his garden and his soul), пересматривая свою жизнь (redefining his life). He occasionally comes back to Moscow to give a series of concerts.

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April 14th, he celebrated his 60th birthday, a good time to take stock of his life. Here’s a short excerpt from an interview he gave at that time:

“Отец Небесный любит нас, к Нему всегда можно за помощью обратиться. Вы знаете, какое это чудо?! Сидим мы здесь с вами, такие червячки, – и можем напрямую сказать: “Господи, помилуй!” Даже маленькая просьба – запрос во Вселенную. Вот крутняк! Никакой героин рядом не лежал!”

gt;(Father from Heaven loves us, we always can ask help from him. You know what so wonderful?! We are sitting here together like worms, and we just can say: “Lord, have mercy!”, Even a small request is a request in the Universe. It’s cool! There is no heroin around here.)

Pyotr Mamonov went a long way indeed, and has not finished to surprise us.

Елена Коновалова