Ambivalence of the notion "tradition" lurks its shadow to whatever it touches. Johann Herder define it as the main moving power in history and at the same time "spiritual opium" making individual initiative and critical thinking fall asleep. A creative person who is strengthened by natural talent and a fine perception of reality cannot ignore its duality. Our new columnist, popular Russian singer Varvara Vizbor writes about the weave of traditions and life choices.

Just occasionally, my confidence as an artist fal-ters, briefly, but when it does I journey in imagination to Kolomna. The ancient and beautiful city that is my grandmother's home. Small homely memories like eat-ing black bread with raw sunflower oil are enough to see me through and back to normal. I'm happy that I can sing my grandfather Yuri Vizbor's songs. His fans accepted me and are thankful for the new life of his songs in my performance and teens and youngsters know them today. We have audience of different age at our concerts including children with smart eyes. But the more I perform the more I feel need to make something new and mine. Maybe in this I resemble him and I'm sure that he would understand.
My work is not traditional, my choice is not con-nected to my grandparents. Vocal is just my favorite thing, I like to sing. It is like self-exploring, emotions you can never have somewhere else. The vent since my childhood — to sing. About love, friendships, faith. I believe that like my grandfather said the honor should be saved immediately, I believe that life should be unpredictable and unknowable so that there'd be always something beyond our understanding and possibilities.
Despite of the fact that I belong to a family with "Vizbor" as a second name I don't consider myself to be a person of traditions and I am not interested in being one. May be because of the inner protest to be on the contrary I don't even celebrate my birthday. I don't like the things everyone likes. Why one day of the year people become nice to you and sweet and then they go on being themselves? It resembles of a lie. Well up to some age it used to be a tradition but then became a matter of personal choice. I chose not to celebrate. Though I like to accept presents for some occasions I prefer it to happen after I deserved it by doing something effective. Not connected to my birth but for some reasons I can respect myself for, something done despite of the obstacles. Through hard times. For the ability to learn, to explore something new.

In any case I'm against traditions, nameplates, slogans, anchoring thoughts you are tied to through all of your life. Everyone has his own life purpose. There no unique purpose for everyone. People can create it the way they understand it. As for me I open the sense of my life through the lens of the understanding that we all will die. I realize that I have to use my talent and family opportunity to the best of my capacity. The temporality of our being proves that we choose the life meaning for ourselves. Paul Gauguin lived simply in Tahiti and never knew he'd become one of the most famous and his painting "When will you marry" will be sold by the record three hundred million dollars. The only meaning is in what happens now because there might be no tomorrow. This is the reason I don't have any purpose in music, no logical chain, it doesn't lead to anything.

A decision may seem in the short term to be wrong but in a longtime perspective it could be right. An example is my decision to participate in the show "Voice". Some say that any choice we made is right and each time it is the only possible choice we could have done. But it was an unreal story. When I do something, I like to be precise in it. I am a responsible person and always try to reach the goal, to take part in a competition, make my best in it and succeed. The judges showing their backs to me was a strike, a situation I didn't expect. It happens sometimes that some judges turn and some don't, you don't pass through it to the next round and go practically unnoticed but my case was different. Then another wave came through the Internet after I gave the interview, a lot of attention was attracted to me. You can hardly be ready to what happened and explain why it happened so. Many things affected the situation: the day of the week, the weather, simple things and strange occlusions. Someone in jury didn't push the button because she thought that the song wasn't yet over.
With all these contradictions, I'm an almost happy person, sometimes I'm strong enough to feel happiness and sometimes not.