Radio Tenthaus 112 : Walk with Wei -Ukraine
24/08/2022 20:00 – 23:00
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Welcome back to Radio, how are you today?
I had a long day since this morning. Tenthaus is having meeting every Tuesday for curating the biannual Momentum 12, which takes place next year from 10th of June to 08th of October in Moss. So I have been working this morning at 10…
Well, I believe that a lot of people are having long working hours. So for the people out there, no matter you are still on duty or relaxing at home, i hope that I can bring some refreshing energy by taking you for a walk.
Today we are having the first ever episode of a new radio series “Walk With Wei”.
Walk with Wei is a radio series where musician and composer Wei Ting Zeng introduces classical music and sound art around the world. Today, we are going to take a walk with our ears, in Ukraine. We are not walking in 2022, I would like to bring you back to the time before Ukraine is being violated by Russian government.
Today, I will be introducing two female Ukrainian composers Stefania Turkewich and Katarina Gryvu.
Stefania Turkewich-Lukianovych was born in Lviv in 1898, and passed away in 1977. She was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, and musicologist, recognized as Ukraine’s first woman composer.
Stefania grew up in a musical family, she once mentioned:
At the centre of everything was my mother, who played a wonderful piano. As a child, I loved very much to listen to her play. Then, we began a salon orchestra in our home. We played thus: father on the bass …, my mother on the piano, (Льоньо) Lyonyo on cello, me on the harmonium, Marika and Zenko … on violins. Father started a family choir as well. These were our first steps into the world of music. Father never skimped on money or made excuses when it came to our musical life.
She began her music studies in playing piano in Vienna, then she continued at the University of Lviv, and also attended lectures on music theory at the Lviv Conservatory.
And then of course that Ukraine was under the authority of Soviet Union, which is from 1922 to 1991, and Stefania’s work were banned in Ukraine.
A lot of people who received higher education were being politically pressed, including musicians. And some of them managed to escape to other countries, and continued their freedom in expressing whatever they want with music. But some of them, actually wanted to stay in their motherland, but to able to avoid being killed or put in jail, they would hide information in their music, as a protest, at the same time, remaining their freedom and dignity. like Shostakovich, he is a very classic example.
After the Soviet annexation of Eastern Galicia and Volhynia, Stefania worked as a tutor and a concertmaster at the Lviv Opera House, and from 1940 to 1941 was associate professor at the Lviv Conservatory. After the closure of the Conservatory during the Nazi occupation, she continued teaching at the State Musical School. In spring 1944 she left Lviv for Vienna.
Today, we are going to listen to Stefania’s Symphony no. 1 , which was written in 1937, but didn’t receive its premiere until 2020 when it was performed by the Ukrainian Festival Orchestra, conducted by Igor Ostapovych. And that is the version that we will be playing today.
As the years went by, and the Cold War became ever colder, with its strange space race, Stefania must have had mixed feelings as some of her fellow Ukrainians made it into space as astronaut, part of the Soviet space programme.
Late in 1968 / early 1969 Stefania finished her Space Symphony, which was finally premiered by the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine on August 30, 2021 in Mariupol; a town little known outside Ukraine, until the events of the last few weeks. Many members of the youth orchestra have had to flee their homes recently, as Stefania did so many years before.
I tried to find the recording of Space Symphony, but it was probably not been recorded or released.
Ok, enough talking, I can talk about music history or theory for hours… Let’s start the evening by listening to Stefania’s Symphony no. 1, as I promised. It was performed by the Ukrainian Festival Orchestra, conducted by Igor Ostapovych.
Stefania Turkewich-Lukianovych’s symphony no.1,
now we are entering the second layer of today’s episode, just like the movie Inception. a Ukrainian-born sounds artist is going to bring us to the river in Krakow.
Katarina Gryvul is a Ukrainian-born, Poland-bread and Austria-based composer, sound artist, music producer, violinist and educator. She was born in 1993, In her work she focuses on a varieties of timbres, sound textures and mixing organic, classical music with progressive forms of electronic music production.
The border between authenticity and virtuality, the interplay between the digital and the analogue.
I would very much like to let her introduce herself. We are going to continue listening to one of the episode from Riversssounds. Featuring Katarina Gryvul.
TYSHA (Ukrainian for silence) is the second longplayer of Ukrainian-born, Poland-bread and Austria-based multi-instrumentalist and singer Katarina Gryvul. Following her enigmatic song ”In Coma”, which released in 2020 on Standard Deviation, Gryvul delivers an 8-track long album of blooming, emotional and tactile electronica pop ballads, resulting in an intensely personal journey into the artist’s inner world at the most silent time of her life.
In an attempt to deal with her decaying perception of reality and the overwhelming sense of isolation caused by the experience of global pandemic, Gryvul finds refuge in silence. She is mesmerized by the all-consuming absence of sound, and the many ways in which silence can be perceived: silky, enveloping, calm, but also caustic, fractured and sharp. TYSHA was written entirely during the pandemic. Gryvul describes that being surrounded by people during that challenging period started feeling like ”a potential threat” and as something unnatural and artificial.” She says: “It made me feel like I was torn between two realities, virtual and real, and did not belong to any of them”.