Sunday, May 14, 2006

They were playing Ukrainian folk music and dancing to it on Khreshchatyk today. Beautiful music, and those who danced had something Ukrainian on them - one girl was wearing a really nice plakhta over her jeans (but I don't have a picture). It's very embarrassing to admit it, but from a distance I somehow thought the music was Irish...


  1. And in the background of the dancers...McDonalds :)

    Kyiv looks beautiful in the summer. I was there last year for Eurovision and Khreshchatik's a lovely street when they clear the cars away.

  2. Though I don't know his name, the violinist in your photo--the one who is holding his instrument tucked into the corner of his arm, rather than on his shoulder--is from a very musical family with whom he makes music in a group called Buttja. He also has played with a group called Bozhychi. He is very serious about Ukrainian music. His family has traveled the country seeking village players who still know how to play real folk music, i.e., village-style music. Buttja has some 14 or so CDs of music covering just about every region of Ukraine. On their CDs, they present music that is MUCH closer to what our ancestors would have danced and listened to, or played than the music you will hear if you buy any of those "folk music CDs" from vendors on the maidan, or most anywhere else. That kind of folk has its place, too, and I am a fan, but what really gets me excited is the authentic village style. The way that violinist is holding his instrument in your photo is indicative of what this fellow is all about. I don't recognize the others, but there are more than a few people in Ukraine serious about Ukrainian music from a village-based perspective. Thanks for the photo. . .

    I have been out of cyberspace for a while, as I have been busy physically re-emerging in Riga!

  3. Traditional music is amazing!

    How can anything beat melodies refined over the course of centuries!

    And free music on the street !

    Paradise for me.

    P.S.- Still i couldn't tell the difference regarding being "village-style" or not. If its old and survived to our times, its probably not bad. :)

  4. Nice photos. You know, my mother is a musician and has stated a few years back that Ukrainian folk music and Celtic music share the same musical roots. I have never looked into it, but after listening to some Celtic music, I can hear a similarity.

    I actually found a great Ukrainian folk music CD which I highly recommend. It can be found here:
    Air Mail Music: Ukrainian Folk Music