Text by Anna Morgan
Video by Volodya Kuhar
RichMix, a culture space in East London, once again proved to be the place where the most intriguing, extraordinary, cross cultural projects got the stage and appreciation of the audience. Last night, on 23 April 2015, the main space was filled with truly magical sound produced by Ukrainian singer Mariana Sadovska and German percussionist and electronica specialist Christian Thomé.
Mariana Sadovska was born in L’viv, a charming old city in Western Ukraine, which is rich with tradition and ancient Ukrainian culture. Using her powerful voice and the ability to produce a vast range of tunes, she presented her own modern interpretation of old traditional folk songs. Her performance is more than just singing, it’s more theatrical – sometimes it’s a monologue addressing the audience, reading poetry, or barefoot dancing, other times it’s a dialogue with Christian supporting her with his drums and electronic sounds.
The most emotionally powerful part of the performance was her tribute to those suffering from the war in Eastern Ukraine. Being part of a cultural project, where artists from around Ukraine and abroad travel to liberated towns in Eastern Ukraine, she spoke and sang of her own experiences of communicating with Ukrainians who experienced the horrors of war. She wrote music to one of the poems by young Ukrainian poet Sergiy Zhadan.
We once lived in the city of stone and metal
Now we all have travel suitcases in our hands
And each suitcase is full of ashes that we collected
While guns were pointed at us
And now even in our dreams it smells like something is burning…
Ukrainians in the audience couldn’t hold their tears back as they listened to this song:
“I’m always thinking of Ukraine in the back of my mind, and it makes me restless – I boil with anger, confusion, fear, and helplessness. Mariana’s concert had a therapeutic effect on me – I relived my emotions through her storytelling and songs about love and forgiveness, fate and the courage to embrace it, and was guided to the harmonious ending. There was a particularly powerful piece about refugees in Eastern Ukraine, I never before felt as acutely what these unfortunate people are going through”, Karyna, Ukraine
Christian Thome, a German multi-instrumentalist, caused lots of jaw-dropping moments in the audience. Using drums, a computer, and some unique specialist instruments, he produced a vast variety of sounds that painted pictures, created an atmosphere of theater performance, and put us all in a meditative state.
Mariana and Christian have 3 more performances in the UK.
Friday, 24 April, Manchester RNCM
Saturday, 25 April, Cambridge, The Junction
Sunday, 26 April Bristol, Colston Hall2
See more information here http://www.makingtrackslive.org.uk/#/mariana-sadovska/4584845763