Shchedryk Returns to Carnegie Hall for Centennial Performance

I sing, therefore I am.

“A 1919 review of the Ukrainian Republic Choir in the Genevan journal La Patrie Suisse mused that the Ukrainian National Republic established its independence through the motto, ‘I sing, therefore I am.’  Ukraine continues to sing and continues to be.”  —Notes from Ukraine (carolofthebells100.org)

How often does an art reviewer from a neutral country declare that a choir’s performance inspired a nation’s victory in their war for independence?  That choir performed for the first time in America in Carnegie Hall in 1922, during that war, which ultimately ended in Russia consuming Ukraine into the Soviet Union, though Ukraine had made itself an independent nation, and despite Soviet domination remained a republic to this day.  (Ask the UN who were the first signatories to its charter in 1945.  One of them was the Soviet Republic of Ukraine, a nation by UN’s definition.  Ukraine was the first republic to break away from the Soviet Union, causing the collapse of that Union.  It absolutely could not survive without Ukraine.)  One hundred years later, on December 4, 2022, Ukraine returned to Carnegie Hall to bring again the power of music during war.

“CULTURE UNDER THREAT” says the website of Notes from Ukraine (carolofthebells100.org), and then, that culture again exerts its centuries-old power to overcome the threat.  The website continues, with this inspiring statement:

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, has purposefully sought to destroy Ukrainian culture as part of its aims. Cultural sites have repeatedly been the target of attacks including works by painter Maria Prymachenko at the Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum, the historic home and museum of Ukrainian poet and philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda in the Kharkiv region, and the Theater of Music and Drama in Mariupol.

Just as in 1922, the Ukrainian National Republic used the soft power of music to preserve and promote Ukraine’s independence, Ukrainian artists today are once again turning to culture to communicate with the world. A 1919 review of the Ukrainian Republic Choir in the Genevan journal La Patrie Suisse mused that the Ukrainian National Republic established its independence through the motto, “I sing, therefore I am.” Ukraine continues to sing and continues to be.

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Bella Ciao – Obiymy – Embrace Me – Despacito – Do Something

Now that the Monster of Mar-a-Lago owns the headlines again, where is Ukraine?

I will continue rallying support for Ukraine, by raising consciousness of their culture, their natural resources, their contributions to the good of the world, their centuries-old democratic spirit, their Cossack spirit, their traditions.

If we had Ukraine’s democratic spirit, we would be a democracy rather than a twisted, self-corrupting anocracy.  We lost that quest.  The United States of America has fallen from grace.  As Bill Moyers recently put it, “We’ve run out of luck.”

Ukraine has not run out of luck.  It’s not about luck there.  It’s about commitment.  Commitment to what?

What does her flag stand for?  NATURE.  Blue sky and yellow waves of wheat fields.

If you are new to this blog or perhaps did not get a look at them before, take another look at my posts about Ukraine.  There’s a lot of history in those posts, and art, music, spirit … all that stuff I said I would continue raising up in our consciousness of Ukraine.

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Willa

Are her musical gifts enriched by color synesthesia?  Join me for an introduction to a new star born in our midst.
 
(Note: Willa Blog Post Review is a YouTube playlist of all 24 videos shown or linked in this blog post, in the order presented, including the music, news and interviews.  It is a one-stop source of all the video material presented here.)
 
I found Willa Amai while looking for covers of the 1993 song What’s Up by Linda Perry and 4 Non Blondes. It is a song that I would scream at the top of my lungs, as it says, if I could sing.  (Image above snipped from Willa’s music video of What’s Up.)

 



 
The song offers no solution.  Not a clue.  It just says how things feel, and how they don’t make sense, and how we ache because of it, trying to keep the faith, wanting to hope, despite the impenetrable insanity of the inhuman side of humanity.
 
The song cries out loud from the heart for revolution, the only solution.  As do I, at times in tears, wishing I knew how to start it, finding that all I have is a song short on hope.
 
It sings, “And I tried, oh my God did I try, I try all the time, in this institution.  And I pray, oh my God do I pray, I pray every single day for a revolution!”
 
The line demands a middle finger thrust to the sky in revolt.

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Щедрик – Shchedryk, On the Generosity of Spring, with Music

Updated May 30, 2022

Rarely do I wake from a dream realizing that in the dream I knew I was dreaming.

I recently dreamed that I was lost in the woods, exhausted, when I found a cave just before dark.  I reclined on a sloped rock with my head on my fanny pack and fell asleep.  That’s when I dreamed that I knew I was dreaming, making it hard to separate reality from the dream.  Even when I woke up I didn’t know if I was only dreaming that I did.

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Oh, Red Viburnum in the Meadow – Ukraine’s Second Anthem

For the love of Ukraine.

Слава Україні. Героям слава.
Slava Ukraini. Heroyam slava.
Glory to Ukraine. Glory to the heroes.

Слава в калині.  Slava v kalyni.  Glory to the kalyna.

Viburnum opulus, red viburnum, Ukrainian: chervona kalyna

This is an “epic length” post, loaded with inspiring pictures and music videos, factual information, a lot of history, and a lot of love.  Take it as a “time-out for Ukraine” for an afternoon, or a little day to day.  Of course, you should always scroll down if you are bored.  There will be something less boring ahead.  I promise.

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Speaking at the 2022 Grammy Awards ceremony by video from a bunker, Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said:

“The war. What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we’ll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters. But alive. Our loved ones don’t know if we will be together again. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.

“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom to live, to love, to sound on our land. We are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story.

Sunflower, national flower of Ukraine and major crop

“Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any — but not silence. And then peace will come. To all our cities the war is destroying — Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others — they are legends already. But I have a dream of them living and free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.”  — from NY Times April 3, 2022, Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to Grammys audience in a prerecorded video.

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“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes”

In a comment on my previous post (introducing the new video “Ukraine is a World of Love” by Alicia Kishe), a friend wrote, “It was painful watching the video of Alicia. The beauty and sweetness I saw … and Putin blowing it up.”



By the way, folks, be happy for Alicia Kishe.  I happen to know from experience of her elsewhere that she is thrilled to see Views and Likes and Subscribes.  Please reward her.  It will mean a lot to her.  For a little extra fun, here is Alicia’s latest self-made 19-second home video, posted April 26, 2022, titled, “I Just Dance.”  Stop by and give her a Like and good wishes:


Cracks me up.

My reply to my friend’s comment got out of hand, so I moved it to this new post instead of a comment.

Friend, I believe that you speak for many people who get struck by the video that way, but most would not say so out loud as you have, for fear that they would be admitting that they did not “get it” in the expected or “appropriately” sentimental way. That kind of expectation just adds to the pain.  The only “appropriate” way is to try, as one is able, to keep an open mind.  That can be hard to do in pain.

You got me thinking more about the ways Alicia’s video can affect people, and about the overall situation in Ukraine and my relationship with it.

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The Putin Circus and a child’s love of her homeland in song

Please share this funny Putin video if you like it.  That’s why I post them.  So you can share them.  This is the YouTube link to share: https://youtu.be/t-wFKNy0MZQ if you are not foolish enough to share the link to the blog post you are looking at.  Doesn’t matter.  I’ll never know.  But I do not mind at all being a fool for the glory of Ukraine, in silly ways and others.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you … below the comedy here, there’s also the April 24, 2022 world premier official music video of the Ukrainian very young lady Alicia Kishe, accompanied by her father Timothy, singing the song she wrote, “Ukraine is a World of Love” sung in Ukrainian (a language that gets more beautiful the more you hear it) with English subtitles.  I think some people will like it; fools like me and otherwise.  Please share it when you get done adoring it.  Then adore it some more.  Let Alicia be Ukraine to you for a while.

TURN ON CAPTIONS (CC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE VIDEO WINDOW) TO SEE THE ENGLISH SUBTITLES.  It works best if you watch it at the YouTube site.  For a special treat, run them in full screen mode.

Vladimir Putin – Putin, Putout (The Unofficial Russian Anthem) by Klemen Slakonja

[The name Vladimir means “ruler of the world” or “ruler of peace.”]



Enough of the funny stuff.  Now for the heart-melting beautiful stuff, what you always come here for, of course …

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Long Live the Dead

Watch this 97-minute Netflix documentary now released for free viewing in YouTube (or catch it on Netflix if you have it), “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”  It is about the 2014 Maidan (or The Maidan Revolution) by fearless, relentless, unstoppable, unarmed, non-violent protesters against ruthless militarized police forces and brutal mercenaries in Kyiv, Ukraine when the president sold out to Putin instead of signing an agreement with the European Union as promised to a People yearning to build upon the freedom they claimed when they declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 (is this still a sentence?).

This is a story that we can learn from, if we are to defend our freedom when our time comes, and it seems to be coming sooner than I ever believed it could.  Democracy in the United States is at greater risk than ever.  I know people don’t get it, don’t think so, can’t believe it.  They just don’t know, because, like Putin’s duped citizens, they can’t.  Some others may have to die because of it, if we are to succeed.

Watch this documentary and see what the dead can do when they know the truth and fight for it, when their courage inspires victory for the living, when they find out just how fragile democracy can be, and how precious, and give their lives for it.

Don’t waste your brain energy calling me pessimistic.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  Whether I am pessimistic or not, the warning must go out.  Whether my efforts are pessimistic or not, I must continue, especially because so many others will not prepare for the trouble we so likely face.  The Autocracy Party has just about all the guns, and the willingness to use them for delusional reasons.  Are you ready for that?

I am preparing for the fall of democracy in the United States.  You should, too.  You have nothing to lose by being prepared, and a free nation to gain.

My truly optimistic take on it says that with preparation and dedication to protecting our civilization, we can succeed.  Otherwise, we go into something like a Dark Age.  An optimist looks ahead and sees ways to succeed, not ways to act in the future, or to hope to do, but ways to act now for the sake of the future.  Preparation is optimistic.  It says there is a way, so take it.  Optimism is not merely about hoping for the best.  In fact, that’s just stupid in many instances.  Hope can be stupid.  I am preparing, not hoping.

Now, in 2022, Putin wants to take away from Ukraine what they earned in the past, what death bought for them in 2014.  Watching this documentary, you’ll see why they will NEVER let him take it from them, and they will continue fighting from the grave that they do not fear.

Me neither.  My grave is not something to fear, except by our enemies.


Slava Ukraini!  Glory to Ukraine!  Learn from them to never give up!

Long live the dead.

Olena was wounded on February 24, 2022, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.  She and over forty-four million Ukrainians and other residents there need our help.  Helping them helps us.  It may even save us from ourselves.

Wounded Olena Kurilo in Kharkiv Feb 24, 2022 color pencil

Wounded Olena Kurilo in Kharkiv Feb 24, 2022. (Color pencil derived from photo.)


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Anna Vorosheva wants help getting back to hell

Whether or not it is optimistic that we continue, we must continue.  –Hong Kong rebel.

Ukraine festive banner vertical cr2 enh 172x200In this recording from the BBC World Service Newshour podcast of 20220324, you can hear Anna Vorosheva, a 45-year-old resident businesswoman of Mariupol, Ukraine, talk about seeking ways to get back to the hell she survived.  She describes what she lived through in ways you rarely hear, with details we all should hear.  Her passionate explanation for going back she puts into one word: conscience.

Audio (7 minutes):

She wants help getting back:Mariupol condition 20220314b



#STANDWITHUKRAINE (https://war.ukraine.ua/support-ukraine/ … official Ukraine website) says, “You can save lives, no matter where in the world you are.  A simple donation. A few clicks on your keyboard. A message to the right person.  Everything you need to help Ukrainians in their fight for peace and freedom – in one place.”

https://war.ukraine.ua/support-ukraine/


To the women …


The dead fight.  People dead in streets.  They fight.  They fight in me.  I am not dead yet.  –Unidentified woman near Mariupol, Ukraine.


It’s one world NOW, huh?

“Dance” by Henri Matisse, 1909

I never paid much attention to this Matisse painting until recently when I added it to my screen saver collection. I now see that Matisse’s dancers are all women. Good. That’s the stuff of a one-world mind, because men are feudal. Women are the more evolved half of humanity. I’m not kidding.

In a pandemic, everyone is responsible for everyone else in the world. Everyone fights for everyone to win. If they don’t do it together, it cannot be done. The virus will continue to flourish. We walk and stand together or fall down together. Frankly, that’s a scary thought.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T ALL WASH OUR HANDS. Photo: Spencer Tunick Arrow To Washington, NYC, 1995

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