Livanskiy’s operatic vocals and hazy beats put her at the forefront of Moscow’s underground club scene. Now she’s retreated from the city to the forest to nurture her imagination
Yana Kedrina’s earliest exposure to music came in a wooden dacha in a pine-forested village 2,000 miles from Moscow. Kedrina’s grandmother, who built the summer cottage with her husband, would invite Kedrina and her seven sisters over to sing Russian folk songs and drink cherry leaf tea. The rustic surroundings and feelings of kinship nurtured in Kedrina an infatuation with her culture’s folklore and a devotion to community.
“A large family, gathering to connect to its ancestral heritage, was an experience unique to a time that predated this individualism we live in now,” Kedrina says, speaking in Russian. Her grandmother never lived to see her blossom into an internationally recognised musician under the name Kedr Livanskiy (Russian for the Lebanese cedar tree). But Kedrina, 31, takes solace in the fact that her career has spiritually fulfilled her grandmother’s dream of travelling beyond her village in Russia’s Tomsk region.