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Songs for Ukraine V
Ukraine and I Collide
“It is not all right for Russia to decide Ukraine's future.” Antony Blinken
I’ve had a wild week and weekend as I built two 3D recreations of places in Ukraine. The first is of an apartment in Kyiv that was destroyed by a Russian bomb. When the owner, a concert pianist named Irina Maniukina returned, she found that the only thing that had escaped destruction was her piano. Rather than collect her belongings and evacuate immediately as she’d planned, she sat down and played the piano one last time. It was a defiant act of courage and a gut-wrenching reminder of what is being destroyed in Ukraine.
My 3D recreation is being used as a small concert space for musicians like my friend Cylindrian Rutabaga (Grace Newton) to perform in support of Ukraine. It was also one of three sites that filmmaker Draxtor Despres chose to film for his upcoming video about the project (stay tuned for links once it is published).
Below is a photo of the space. Click it to see the video of Irina playing her piano.
The second place we filmed will be familiar to you all - the main event space featuring the Singing for Ukraine logo and sunflowers sprinkled all around. We had about 20 people join us for the filming, and Rasp was kind enough to play some songs to keep us occupied while the videographer got his shots.
The third and final space we filmed was the 3D recreation of the subways where Ukrainians have been living to escape the Russian bombing. As many of you know, they are making music, singing, and holding mini-concerts to keep their spirits up. The space is deliberately small and designed to help visitors empathize with what the Ukrainians are going through. There is also a small, grassy area above the subway where people who have trouble with tight spaces can go to sit and listen and dance.
We held all three of this week’s concerts in this space - two below ground in the subway itself and one on a grassy plot of land above the subway. Below are two images - one in the subway and one above. The photo behind the violinist is of an actual concert taking place in a subway.
Recordings of all three concerts from Saturday (04/09/22) are below, but I have one final thought and question to share. Some folks have said that I am asking them to focus on negativity or to feel bad by building these spaces and holding concerts there. But in my humble opinion, there's a difference between giving energy to negativity and denying real issues that need to be addressed. Plus, to really understand what the Ukrainians are going through, we have to be able to put ourselves in their shoes, right?
What I'm saying is terrible things are happening in Ukraine. The Ukrainians are making the best of a horrific situation managing to sing and make music even in the face of war. But they don't have the luxury of looking away and neither should we. What I’m asking - what I’m hoping - is that everyone who reads this post, listens to the recordings of the shows, and watches the videos we are producing will do something, however small, to bring light back to the world.
Please share your thoughts about how best to stay informed without being sucked into a morass of negativity, and whether or not you feel hosting music concerts in honor of and to raise awareness of the attack on Ukraine is a good idea.
THE “SONGS FOR UKRAINE” CONCERTS for Saturday, April 9, 2022
Cylindrian Rutabaga (Grace Newton) and Jay
Cylindrian brought her friend from her first life to play with her and it was a hoot!
Frogg was in rare form this Saturday. His melodic voice and song choice were a wonderful reminder of how healing music can be.
Rasp held his show outside in the grassy area above the subway, and it was creative and inspiring as always. Bravo Rasp. BRAVO!
For information on how you can help Ukraine, click HERE and scroll to the bottom of my March 20th post.