At some point during 2022 the war in Ukraine simply became too much and the agony of not being able to do anything became too unbearable. From this anger and unfulfilled energy came the idea of making music with objects from Ukraine. Our artistic sense told us that if real physical items from Ukraine were brought to Denmark and placed inside a piano to make sounds of war, then that could have an impact on whoever listened.
But none of this would ever have become real if it was not for these two musicians: Vladyslav Hrymalskyi and Danylo Dunets. They are all still living in Ukraine and even though the war was going on right outside their windows they helped collect objects and send them to Denmark. For this, Piano Days Copenhagen would like to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
A lot of other people also tried to help us, but not everything turned out as planned. It is hard to organize stuff when there is a war going on. However, we would like to thank the following people for their enthusiasm and effort: Jax Jaksgård, Oksana Nykytyuk, Mikkel Iversen, Maria and Lastivka, Nataliya and The Ukraine House in Denmark.
Vladyslav is a musician, composer and pianist living in Kyiv. He makes dark electronic music using modular synths and has been sending out almost an album every month since the war began. Please check out his music on bandcamp linked above.
During the fall, when the bombardments on the power infrastructure were most intense, Vladyslav would commute between recording spaces. When one rehearsal place ran out of power he would go to another and carry on working there. On New Year’s day, I wrote a message to Vladyslav just to say hello - when he wrote back he said that a shot-down missile had landed just three buildings from where he lived. Unfortunately, one person died. Despite all of this, Vladyslav has kept working, kept making great music and also sent us two packages of wonderful items.
Both packages from Vladyslav consist of items that he has used to prepare his own piano. So this makes a very direct musical exchange where he has been living in Kyiv and making music for prepared piano during the war. Now these items have been shipped to Denmark to make more music for prepared piano. Thank you, Vladyslav.
All the following items have been collected for us by Andreas Foss who started the organization Kolo Nordic. They collect food and other supplies from companies in Denmark and drive to Ukraine about twice a month to deliver it all over the country. These items were collected on such a trip in January 2023. If you have too many laptops, or cookies or blankets lying around, please get in touch with https://kolonordic.dk
Ukrainian beer with the motive of a man launching a grenade. Together with the toilet paper with Putin's face on it and the cherry wine, these items give a good impression of Ukrainian humor towards the war.
Two bags of luxury coffee picked up in Lviv, a city in the most western part of Ukraine, which is still quite peaceful and where life goes on quite unaffected by the war. In Lviv you can still sit on open squares and drink coffee from your favorite café.
An entire field ration for military personnel. Some of the items inside are from Denmark and Andreas´ organization have helped to put this together.
A small bag of tools designed to help you fix your generator. Andreas has experienced driving through dark cities where the sound of generators is everywhere. Together with the power pack these items say a lot about living in a city where you never know if you have power and for how long.
A tourniquet - a medical instrument. If somebody has a limb shot of this rope this is tightened around the remaining arm to stop the bleeding and save life.
A menu from a very fancy hotel quite close to the frontline. The owner of the hotel was a known oligarch/mafia-type and the two other reigning oligarchs in the area had recently been killed. Ukraine is unfortunately rife with corruption and it is still very much alive even during the war.
The socks and the candleholders are bought from an internet page called brave.ua. Here you can buy all kinds of stuff manufactured in Ukraine. Besides supporting a Ukrainian business, 25% of the money is sent directly to the war effort. To look at the assortment of merchandise with war motives on them is strange. For us Europeans, war is something of the past, but to see how a current war mixes with modern culture is mind-boggling.
A set of refrigerator-magnets painted in a traditional Ukraine style called "Petrykivka". Bought online.
Danylo lives in Lviv and is a musician and composer of beautiful and introspective music. All his albums are available online through bandcamp. Go and check it out. To help us with our project, Danylo contacted friends from the regions close to Kyiv that had been overrun by the Russians at the beginning of the war but were now back under Ukraine control.
Sending the package to Denmark suddenly became very difficult because the Russians started bombing infrastructure in Lviv and the post office closed because there was no electricity. When it finally reopened, they would not let him send the parcel out of the country because of what it contained. While trying to figure all this out, Danylo also asked us about Nordic folk music which he is starting to get into. So while we were trying to collect objects from Ukraine to inspire music in Denmark, he was finding inspiration in music from Denmark.
Stanislav is an amazing musician living and working in Kyiv. He is a pianist himself but now works mainly with modular synthesizers. Stanislav is involved in a lot of different projects, but his solo work is released under the name brainhack_musicbox and can be found on bandcamp. Check the link above.
Stanislav collected very interesting objects for Piano Days Copenhagen and was able to send them to us during the very dangerous period in the fall when there was frequent missile-attacks on the Kyiv. We are very greatful for this.
PIANO DAYS COPENHAGEN 2023 supporters: William Demant Fonden, Knud Højgaards Fond, Dansk Solistforbund, Københavns Kommune, Dansk Musiker Forbund, Art Music Denmark, Skel.dk, Koncertkirken Blågårds Plads