The international festival āThe Faces of Friendsā exists since 1996. It was designed as a meeting and joint concert of acting and former musicians from Cahul, people who have worked in the industry of music for the youths. The fate has led them all over the world, but love for the native city, love for music let us gather them all together.
The idea to organize this festival belongs to Serghei Orlov and Dimitrii Retingher, a man with the biggest experience in the cultural life of Moldova. Since it appeared to the implementation of this idea, many months have been spent in the lookout for support from the authorities, for the coordination of details, search for sources of coverage, equipment, lights and many other details that help organize any kind of festivals.
In spite of all this hardship, the first musical festival āThe Faces of Friendsā was held in July 1996 and attracted such a large number of spectators that it became quite clear ā the festival has become a need, and it will exist! Participants included the bands āFlacaiā, āTriukā, āKurortā, vocalist Igor Copilov (Cahul, Moldova), Vladimir Zabuga (Langepas, Russia), Valeri Barsucov (Cahul, Moldova), Vadim Morozov (Kagalym, Russia), Valentin Uvarov (Cahul, Moldova), Stefan Hagiu (Brussels, Belgium), Valery Chenky (Noyabrsk, Russia), Ekaterina Timofeyeva (Vienna, Austria) and many others. All these people had once been on Cahul stages, gave their talent and soul to guests and residents of this town.
The festival opened with a speech by Natalia Ovchinnikova, then the chief of the local culture department, who also enjoyed the public for many years as as a singer for the band āFlacaiā, the best band of the 1970s. This was the first professional band from the point of view of quality, a band that made a name for many musicians and singers from the town. At the closure of the festival, the rock band āTriukā interpreted the ballad āThe Faces of Friendsā. This song was written by guitar player Vladimir Pogrebniuc (Cahul, Moldova) and Irina Ermolayeva (Belgorod, Russia), the author of many wonderful texts and poems, which in the 1970-80s were published in different newspapers and magazines. This song gave its name to the festival:
āIāll be looking through the heavy album, at night with candles,
One hundred pictures, with new and old friends,
Each page with faces; you may cry or laugh,
All birthdays and holidays, days of misfortune, days of luck ā.
These words exactly mirror the atmosphere of the holiday, very pleasant with a feeling like being home, where everyone knows all and all respect everyone. It doesnāt matter where they live now, in Moscow, Tyumen, Brussels or Cahul. The festival has become a meeting of old friends, who have been dispersed by their fates around the world, but who never stopped loving their town or songs they had once performed or continue singing now.
In two years, in August 1998, the festival āThe Faces of Friendsā held its 2nd edition, which gathered even a larger number of musicians and spectators. The stage saw Alexander Harash (Murmansk, Russia), Alexander Arseni (Kogalym, Russia), Filip Kushnarev (Moscow, Russia), Iurie Tanga (Cahul, Moldova), Anatoli Albina (Romea, Italy), Vitalie Cazacu (Chisinau, Moldova), Alexander Galkin (Tyumen, Russia), Boris Orentlihter (Paderborn, Germany), Vadim Alyev (Prague, the Czech Republic), Ivan Efimenco (Cahul, Moldova) and many, many others.
Children of musicians performed on the stage along with their parents. Olga and Vladimir Zabuga have sung on the same stage. Vladimir works as a musician, teacher, and a band leader in the city of Langepas, Russia. His daughter, Olga, is a student at the famous āGnesinkaā ā the High School of Music in the name of Gnesin ā the oldest institution of musical arts in Russia. Olga studies pop and jazz as a vocalist in the class of Andrei Bill, a known singer and musician. In July 2002, Olga Zabuga represented Russia at the national song contest for youths āSlaviansky Bazar in Vitebskā, where she won a notable place and gained the special prize of the press.
The newspaper Nezavisimaya Moldova said on August 29, 1998 about the artists who have participated in the 2nd music festival āThe Faces of Friendsā: āThey have succeeded to seed hope and confidence that the feeling of beauty is still alive in our souls.ā
After the second edition, it became clear that the festival has turned from a provincial event into a true holiday for guests and locals. The number of professional and amateur artists, people willing to take part in the festival has grown significantly. Including all in a single concert became, simply, impossible. Therefore, it was decided that the 3rd festival āThe Faces of Friendsā be held for two days.
The level of organization of the 3rd edition, which took place in August 2000, was much higher than the previous two festivals. For the first time, organizers installed professional lights; for the first time, they brought audio technics for professionals. One of the best sound editors in Moldova operated the sound block - Artur Munteanu. For the first time, the festival featured artists from the neighboring counties of Moldova and from the neighboring countries ā Romani Ukraine. As usually, there were many artists from Russia. And finally, Moldovan stars were invited to attend the event as honorary guests, too. These were the āCuibulā and āO-Zoneā.
The concert program was inaugurated by one of the eldest musicians in Moldova ā Iuri Nicolae Arseni. At his 73, Iurie Arseni feels fine. At the stage, his son Alexandru, a known saxophonist player, performed near Iurie Arseni. Alexandru, who now lives in Kogalym, Russia, is laureate of many contests. He was succeeded for two days by many other artists. Among them the āCushā and āAirbagā from Cahul, guests from the Romanian city of Vaslui, Iulia Bianco and Silvia Moraru, as well as young singer Ana Pussicova from Chisinau, guests from Tiraspol, and many others. The concert culminated in the performance of the Moldovan stars ā the bands āCuibulā and āO-Zoneā.
āO-Zoneā are some of the best bands in Moldova, taking a special interest in modern dance music. The troupe has launched two albums and became very known in Romania and Moldova. Their song āFiesta de la noceā has risen to a truly popular hit. The boys closed the first day of the festival. In the Hora Square, where the festival was held, there was not a single spot to drop an apple. Spectators danced and sang all the day long of the concert, and the entire neighborhood ā not just the square ā transformed into a big discoteque when the āO-Zoneā touched the instruments.
The āCuibulā took another turn in music. They enjoy a quality funk with a mixture of hip-hop, jazz, soul and something else that makes the tune unique. The band is formed of the toughest guys in Moldova. Bass, arrangement and programming rest with Serghei Teaca. Guitar Serghei Vatavu. Goog piano jazz ā that is Serghei Macarov. The leader, vocalist, author of music and texts, producer and simply a live legend ā Igor Danga. No matter who joins the band, Igor Danga always took care that the sound trembles a high quality, a true drive that in combination with the nice texts and changing styles created and still creates a wonderful coctail named the āCuibulā.
Igor is not just a musician, but also a known producer. Namely he had noticed the young members of the āZdob and Zdubā, became their director and āgodfatherā. Under his leadership, the Zdubs saw themselves one day famous in Moldova, CIS, Romania and entire Europe, especially in its eastern part.
Igor Danga and the āCuibulā closed the second day of the festival āThe Faces of Friendsā, which has grown to an international event. The last song, as usually, was the balad āThe Faces of Friendsā, which was interpreted by one of its writers, Vladimir Pogrebeniuc, and all participants in the concert joined him. Embraced, holding each other from hands, all sang the following:
āHere is the place we sing and the strings always tremble
Words that we had whispered and now found a way back through the years.ā
We hope that these songs will be heard for many years ahead and that the 4th edition of the festival āThe Faces of Friendsā will bring new unforgettable meetings, new songs and new happy faces.
The Faces of Friends Festival is now complete!
The Fourth Edition of the "Faces of Friends" Music Festival took place on September 22. The town's central Plaza was overcrowded with people who came to watch the performance of the best artists. Mr. Stefan Bratu, Mayor of Cahul, opened the celebration with a speech. What followed cannot be called an ordinary concert, for it brought together, on the same stage, young performers and bands making their first steps into the stage, as well as real professionals, in a perfect blend of music, friendship and mutual respect.
The Festival was started by the "Callypso" Dance Ensemble, continued by performers from Cahul, Balti, Chisinau, the Ukrainian city of Reni and special guest performers, Moldova's best artists, including singer Nelly Ciobanu, the "Graiesti Moldoveneste" Band and the acclaimed rock band "Zdob si Zdub". All of them provided a show that is impossible to describe in words.
You can read more about the 2002 Edition of the "Faces of Friends" Festival soon.
We are waiting...