Ryan Harsono | email@example.com
Igor Morozov, an eccentric freshman at d.tech, plays a very unique instrument that has strong ties to his culture: the accordion. Leaving the home he knew so well in Russia only seven years ago, the accordion has remained a constant in Morozov’s life, a hobby that he enjoyed throughout his childhood and is now a crucial part of his identity.
Q: When did you get into playing the accordion?
I got into playing the accordion back in Russia, when I was around six years old; I had been studying music, like choir and music theory at music school for a year before, and I saw someone at a concert playing the accordion, so I decided that I really wanted to play that instrument. So at the same music school that I already attended, I took accordion lessons.
Q: Why did you go to a music school in Russia rather than a traditional school?
I did go to a traditional school normally, it’s just the music school was my extracurricular activity that I would do after school, two times a week, and it was just something that my parents thought I would be interested in, so they enrolled me into it and I stuck with it.
Q: Why did you choose to get into playing the accordion versus other instruments?
At the concert that I was attending ‒ it was a somewhat annual event that the music school was hosting where all the students who played different instruments performed ‒ there were a lot of pianos and violins, because those are the popular instruments that people are playing, but then suddenly somebody just brought an accordion on stage. I’d never seen an accordion before, and it looked really intriguing, also very large, so it just caught my interest.
Q: Have you performed recently?
I haven’t performed lately, but I did do so in Russia. The elementary school that I attended here, McKinley Elementary, also had “multicultural night” events, where I would play Russian songs on the accordion to represent Russia.
Q: Do you participate in any groups where you can play the accordion, like a band?
Currently, no. I wanted to do d.music this year, but I joined Robotics, and I didn’t end up having any free time for it.
Q: How often do you practice?
Well, I used to practice much more often when I took lessons, but I stopped taking those lessons because they weren’t going anywhere, so now I practice a couple times a week, maybe for half an hour. But also, we have an electrical piano in our house, and the right hand for the accordion is the same for the keyboard on the piano, so I tend to just walk over to it and play things that I know on it.
Q: Do you usually play songs on the accordion by ear, or do you read notes?
I prefer reading notes, but I have also learned multiple songs by just listening to them. It really depends; if there are notes available, I try to use them, but sometimes there aren’t any.
Q: Have you studied a lot of music theory?
No, I learned how to read music in Russia, but I never really learned how to compose it, so any music that I try to compose now, it’s just me guessing based on songs I’ve already heard or played.
Q: Do your siblings play any instruments?
My brother used to play the saxophone, and now plays the guitar sometimes, but not to the same extent that I used to play the accordion. I’m probably the most musical person in my family.
Q: Does the accordion have any significance to your family heritage, or your culture?
The accordion and variations of the instrument are important to Russian culture; they were a type of instrument that were very prominent to see, for example, in World War II, because you didn’t need to have a full band if you had an accordion, because an accordion could sound like many different instruments. A couple members of my family also play the accordion, or used to play an instrument like the accordion, but mainly that wasn’t really the reason I picked it up. The reason I picked it up was just that it looked interesting.