Regina Spektor: Soviet Kitsch
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tion for your music from other genres like visual art or books?
REGINA: Well, in addition to the above--the list is too great to type out--but there is also tremendous amounts of classical music, pop, jazz, blues, hip hop. I might as well take you to a record shop and start walking through the isles, hand in hand, looking alphabetically. We are so blessed with the amount of music available to us. Good music. Definitely a lot comes from movies, photos, paintings, books... All art is an equal opportunity inspiration.
TWEED: You went to SUNY Purchase. How was your experience there? (My sister is currently studying there.) Do you keep up with your peers from SUNY?
REGINA: I have some amazing friends from there--life long friends. It still shocks me, the amount of talent that was so concentrated there, between the bricks and the nothing campus. Just tons of film makers, dancers/choreographers, and musicians, artists, everything... I learned the most from the students who were there... She'll have a good time.
TWEED: The signature red piano... When did you get it? How do you transport it?
REGINA: It belongs to Baldwin. They are kind enough to lend it to me for some of the shows and for TV. It is an amazingly beautiful instrument inside and out--I wish I could just have it, live under it, and dream red dreams.
TWEED: How do you typically write your songs? Do you start with a melody? The lyrics? Do you hear complete songs in your head or do you just sit at the piano and experiment for a while until something catches your ear?
REGINA: Don't really know how to answer that one...
TWEED: Could you describe your childhood? As I understand it you were born in Russia, played the piano from an early age, and ended up in New York City... I want to know more!
REGINA: Yeah, it was an amazing childhood, full of good times--a lot of music, a lot of classics--ballet, opera, books, interesting people, and in NYC too, it just continued, somehow. And it's amazing how little of it had to do with money. There was never any money around, but I think the main gift was education.
Both my parents are extraordinary and educated people, and I got the chance to love learning. It changes things, I was a very lucky child, always good people around. The more I live, the more I realize that's not the norm, and it should be. Certain things should just be a human right--reading, writing, going to a museum... They should just be available, and people should be taught to love them and understand them. It can really improve the quality of life.
TWEED: Do you keep up with Russia's current issues? Despite Russian President Vladamir Putin's opposition to America's voluntary war in Iraq he's a strong supporter of George W. Bush's administration. What's your reaction to this?
REGINA: I feel a lot towards Russia, it is a country that has been in pain and abused for hundreds of years. The Russian soul--the thing that we hear in the m
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