Leadership / 02.22.23
Being a Musician in Ukraine: 'Hearing Bombs Explode Changes Your Relationship With Sound'
Pollstar (02/16/23) Gottfried, Gideon
Ukrainians like Daria Kolomiec are making their voices heard to keep the world's attention focused on the war, which in her case involves a podcast showcasing stories and monologues of Ukrainians talking about how their lives unraveled since the invasion began. She says the music she DJs is intended "to engage people who [have] never been to Ukraine, who have never heard Ukrainian music, just to show the beauty of our country and culture and sound. For me, it's very powerful because I can't carry a gun. I can't serve in the armed forces of Ukraine. Many of my friends are, but I just can't. These are my weapons right now." Vlad Yaremchuk, booker for Ukraine's Atlas Weekend festival, explains that the war has transformed the significance of live concerts in the country, calling them "a chance for people to unite, grieve, vent, support and cheer each other up." Test events in subway stations and other underground places were held last summer for their security and acoustics, according to Alona Dmukhovska of Music Export Ukraine. An 11 p.m. curfew remains in effect, and all events have moved to the day and evening. "Local promoters and music enthusiasts started organizing small-scale gigs," says Dmukhovska. "Small, because when you have an event for 200 people, you have to have a bomb shelter right next to it for those attendees, so that when the alarm sirens start, you can quickly evacuate all of them." Yaremchuk says the lack of international touring gives local talent the opportunity to shine, and artists are raising money for military and humanitarian aid.
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Tags: Leadership , Ukraine