||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia. (September 2013)|
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Hebrew Wikipedia. (September 2013)|
Yanka Dyagileva in Zelenograd. September 1, 1990
|Birth name||Yana Stanislavovna Dyagileva|
4 September 1966|
|Died||c. 9 May 1991(aged 24)|
|Genres||singer-songwriter, folk rock, post-punk, noise rock, underground|
|Instruments||Singing, guitar, bass guitar, glockenspiel|
|Associated acts||Grazhdanskaya Oborona
Velikiye Oktyabri etc.
Yana "Yanka" Stanislavovna Dyagileva (Russian: Янка Станиславовна Дягилева; 4 September 1966 – c. 9 May 1991) was a Russian poet and singer-songwriter and one of the most popular figures of her time in Russia's underground punk scene. She both played solo and performed with others, including Egor Letov and rock bands Grazhdanskaya Oborona ("Civil Defense," a name shortened by fans to Gr.Ob., meaning "grave") and Velikiye Oktyabri ("Great Octobers"). Dyagileva was greatly influenced by Alexander Bashlachev and Igor "Egor" Letov, who were her friends. Her songs explored themes of desperation and depression, punk-style nihilism, and folk-like lamentations.
Yanka Dyagileva was born on September 4, 1966, in Novosibirsk to Stanislav Dyagilev and Galina Dyagileva, both engineers. She attended public school and studied piano for a year at a music school before quitting. This sparked her interest in the guitar. While still in school Yanka started writing poems (which have been lost) and performing, singing and playing guitar in school talent shows. In 1984 she entered the Novosibirsk Institute of Water Transport Engineers, but dropped out in her sophomore year. During this period she performed with the political band AMIGO. The earliest of Yanka's poetry that has survived is from 1985. In December 1985 she traveled to Leningrad, where she may have met Alexander Bashlachev. In October 1986 Yanka's mother died of cancer.
In April 1987 Yanka met Egor Letov and joined his band Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Gr.Ob.). From 1988-1990 Yanka toured and performed with the band. She recorded her first album "Not Allowed" (Russian: Не положено) in January 1988. Her first performance before a large audience took place on June 24, 1988, at a punk festival in Tyumen, recorded in the bootleg album "To the Drop-Outs" (Russian: Деклассированным элементам). In 1989 Yanka performed in Leningrad for the first time as part of a concert produced by Sergei Firsov, who became Yanka and Gr.Ob.'s first producer. Yanka's album "Sold!" (Russian: Продано!) was recorded in Firsov's apartment. Yanka's final known public appearances took place in November 1990 in Irkutsk, Angarsk, and Leningrad. Her final live concert recording took place in Irkutsk on November 10th, 1990. Several more performances were planned for February 1991 in Irkutsk; it is unknown if they ever took place. At the end of February 1991 Yanka wrote her last songs in a Novosibirsk Electro-Technical Institute dormitory: "Legs [Feet] Above the Ground" (Russian: Выше ноги от земли), "Five-Kopeck Coin in the Road" (Russian: На дороге пятак), "About Little Devils" (Russian: Про чёртиков), and "Water Comes In" (Russian: Придёт вода).
May 9, 1991, is accepted as Yanka's official date of death. That evening she left her family's countryside home outside Novosibirsk and didn't return. Her body was found by a fisherman on May 17th in the Inya River. She was presumed to have drowned near Novorodnikovo Train Station and been carried 40 kilometers by the current. On May 19th she was buried in Novosibirsk's Zaeltsovskoye Cemetary. 
The exact time, place, and conditions surrounding Yanka's death are still unknown. Some believe that she committed suicide, others that she drowned accidentally. Her death was ruled an accident based on the forensic evidence. Proponents of the theory that she committed suicide point to the fact that her step-brother and close friend Sergei Shurakov had just died of causes related to medical malpractice on April 23, 1991, affecting her deeply. There were also rumors that Yanka was murdered, as it was alleged that her skull had been fractured and there was no water in her lungs (indicating that she died before falling in the river). There was no formal investigation into this allegation. Unconfirmed accounts indicate that a few of Yanka's close friends received postcards from her on May 10, 1991. The text was (approximately): "May everything be good with you. I love you very much. May God protect you from misfortune."
Yanka and her music became more widely known across Russia after her death.
1988 - Ne polozheno (Not Allowed)
1988 - Deklassirovannim elementam (To the Drop-Outs)
1988 - Live in Kurgan
1989 - Prodano! (Sold!)
1989 - Krasnogvardeyskaya (Live in Moscow)
Named after the Moscow Metro station. A.k.a. "Akustika".
1989 - Live in Kharkov (Ukraine)
1989 - Domoi! (Going home!)
1989 - Angedonia
1990 - Yanka & Grazhdanskaya Oborona live in MEI
1991 - Styd i Sram (Shame and Reproach)
There are two variants of this album, one containing four acoustic songs. The other is a compilation with remastering done by Letov; the compilation contains seven songs, mostly electrified (not acoustic).
2009 - Angedonia (remastered)
- Tribute web site
- Yanka Dyagileva discography at MusicBrainz
- Yanka, Messenger of Russian Anguish (Biography)
- Life of Yanka