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The new and first Italian album by Sasha Mashin, titled "Happy Run," features the participation of two extraordinary artists, saxophonist Rosario Giuliani and double bassist Makar Novikov.


Mashin, a Russian drummer, has chosen Italy and Rome as his place of residence for the past two years following the onset of the conflict involving his home country.


Sasha Mashin used to live in Moscow, where he had a prominent role in the city's cultural and music scene. There were two activities in particular that occupied much of his time: "Sasha Mashin Happy Lab," which took place once a week at Moscow's main jazz club, and "Sasha Mashin Happy Run," where friends would gather to run 10 kilometers and chat once a week.

The idea behind the music lab was to break down the barrier between the audience and the stage, fostering informal communication, concerts, and idea exchanges. In a short time, the lab became a regular event for enjoying great music and a meeting place for creative individuals who shared ideas and initiated new projects. Similarly, the amateur sports event became popular, with many of the participants being the same as those from the "Happy Lab." The rules were simple: as long as you run, you can learn whatever you want, not only from the event's creator, Mashin himself, but also from all the musicians or people involved in the 10-kilometer run, who came from diverse professional backgrounds.

The outbreak of war profoundly changed the dynamics, not only on an international scale but also, and most importantly, in the lives of individuals.


Sasha Mashin continued to "run," not just metaphorically. Arriving in Italy as a political refugee, he found new friends—exceptional musicians who welcomed him as both a person and an artist. Today, the Russian drummer feels he can call Rome his "home" and the rediscovered and new friends "his family." "I have the feeling that I have finally finished my race," Sasha Mashin explains in his album's liner notes, "for the first time in a long time, I feel genuinely happy. While the idea of emigration once filled me with existential dread, I don't even feel like I've moved away from home. Italians are so open, friendly, and supportive that it feels like I've completed a marathon and reached the finish line. I am at home."


The tracks on the album "Happy Run" are composed by Sasha Mashin himself. "Country of Obscurantism" suggests that it doesn't necessarily have to be beautiful, which helps the artist share it with a lighter heart. "I promise I will continue with my attempts, and maybe one day, I will write something more beautiful with a more joyful undertone." The album includes the beautiful composition "Yellow Blues" by Makar Novikov, the magnificent three-part "Suite et Poursuite" by Rosario Giuliani, the ballad "Darn That Dream" by Jimmy Van Heusen, and even a piece from "The Rite of Spring" by the artist's most beloved composer, Igor Stravinsky ("Introduction, Les Augures printaniers"), combined with Victor Lewis's composition "Hey, It's Me You Are Talkin' To" (music that the artist is convinced was inspired by Stravinsky himself).

"One of the most beautiful experiences related to running," Sasha says, "is the ability to think and plan while running. In these moments, the brain's chemistry changes significantly, producing more serotonin and dopamine, and you can think more clearly and precisely. Through regular running, I have realized an important thing: you cannot run away from yourself. But you can run away from the darkness, both inside and outside of you. Running is an intelligent sport. Run happy!"


"Happy Run" is an album that speaks not only of music but also tells a story. It's a metaphorical "run" that allowed the artist to distance himself from the darkness of a difficult past and brought him to Italy for a new life, to his new home!


Happy Run, also on Master Tape!

Sasha Mashin | HAPPY RUN

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