Polina Dessiatnitchenko is a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University. She holds her PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto (2017) where her research on Azerbaijani mugham has been generously supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Polina was inspired to learn how to perform mugham on the tar in order to gain greater insight into mugham creativity which she has been exploring in her studies. Since 2015, Polina has been under the apprenticeship of Elkhan Mansurov, the main successor of the Mansurov classical mugham lineage. He has been tirelessly teaching Polina the secrets of the Mansurov school – sophisticated plectrum patterns, resonant tremolo technique, meditative pace, and complex internal arrangement of musical phrases – showcased in this CD. Polina also studied the tar with Ramiz Guliyev, Vamig Mammadaliyev, Valeh Rahimov, Aslan Maharramov, Elkhan Muzaffarov in Baku and Mohammad Amanollahi in Toronto.
Polina performs mugham bayatı-kürd, çahargah, şur and mahur hindi, beginning each with a rhythmical introductory section called daramad. The following tracks mənsuriyyə, səmayi-şəms and heyratı are zərb muğam. The featured Azerbaijani songs were performed with the accompaniment of Elkhan Mansurov on the tar.