Animator Samantha Smith from Halifax recently finished an animated short, which I did the music for. She said she was looking for something that sounded like an old Russian folk song, with words like “holy crap, that bird is on fire.”

To me, when I picture old Russian music all I can hear is Soviet military bands and male choirs – so that was what I aimed for from the beginning. At the same time, I needed some dynamic contrast, so an accordion/violin duet worked nicely for the low point.

This piece was actually a really fun collaboration for me – a friend of mine (Dennis Sv) translated the words into Russian and I did a freestyle vocal session with my cousin Jay Duncalfe. I worked with violinist Jordan Cabral on this one – needless to say, with all the creativity in the room we ended up writing multiple versions of this piece.

Here is the final video, with the English soundtrack: