Music or Weapon: Four Monologues from Ukraine
Episode 14 of the Timezones podcast series, co-initiated and co-produced by Norient and the Goethe-Institut. This episode features four testimonials from Ukrainian artists. They were recorded during the summer of 2022, a few months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The statements are candid monologues about music, dignity, and life during the darkest of times. The four artists speak about their visions of freedom and fear, their feelings about the future, and the influence of this war on their lives and their music; the situations they are facing and the choices they are making. What happened to their art and how do they perceive the role of the artist in this war?
Ukraine is fighting for freedom against Russia, and for many Ukrainians, this war, along with death and destruction, has prompted extreme and often unexpected transformations of consciousness. The country appears united again, more so than ever before. Artists have become volunteers and soldiers. Music and art have turned into a part of the total resistance. Every day, new meanings and concepts are being devised, everything inevitably changes, and a new future for Ukraine is being born as we speak.
A podcast by Dmytro Fedorenko
Co-initiated and co-produced by Norient and the Goethe-Institut
Featuring: Burning Woman, Symonenko, Ujif_notfound, and Igor Yalivec
Includes a bonus talk, moderated and produced by Peter Kirn, featuring Sophia Bulgakova
Interviews recorded in August 2022
Artistic Editor: Suvani Suri
Project Management: Hannes Liechti
Video Trailer: Emma Nzioka
Jingle Voiceover: Nana Akosua Hanson
Jingle Mix: Daniel Jakob
Mastering: Adi Flück, Centraldubs
Artwork: Šejma Fere
→ Full transcript of episode 14
→ Listen to further Timezones episodes
Burning Woman is the moniker of Kyiv musician, sound designer, and DJ Kateryna Kostrova who works in the genres of dark ambient, drone, techno, IDM, industrial, and noise. She constantly experiments with her own sound, using various methods of sound synthesis and processing as well as field recordings. Being born and raised in Eastern Ukraine, the artist has nurtured a tender love for industrial aesthetics and tries to reflect this in her work, creating noisy sound textures. Kateryna is a member of the Women’s Sound educational platform for female electronic music producers and has performed at many of its events. Follow her on SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.
Symonenko, born in Luhansk, is a live artist and DJ from Kyiv who works mostly with electronic dance music such as techno and its substyles. The artist came to his recent sound through classical guitar music and songwriting in the indie band Simon Stone. He recently immersed himself in a modular experimental setup and also works on a modular live dance performance. Follow him on Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Facebook, or Instagram.
Ujif_notfound is a media project of Georgy Potopalsky, new media artist, electronic musician, and composer. Founder of the alternative art space Kontrapunkt. Resident of the KVITNU label. Co-founder of BLCK BOX Media Art School and PHOTINUS Studio. As a media artist, he has participated in numerous Ukrainian and international projects and festivals. Lives and works in Kyiv. Georgy Potopalsky combines the practice of a media artist and a musician. His installations and live performances usually merge software, visual, and audio components. Follow him on his website or on SoundCloud, Vimeo, Bandcamp, Instagram 1, Instagram 2, or Facebook.
Igor Yalivec is a composer, musician, sound artist, and founder of the bands Gamardah Fungus and Submatukana from Dnipro, Ukraine. Follow him on Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.
Ukrainian Artists on International Terrain: Staying Connected, Being Heard
moderated and produced by Peter Kirn, feat. Sophia Bulgakova
In this bonus episode of TIMEZONES, we shift the focus from Ukrainian artists in a country at war to those who permanently live and work abroad. Independent digital media artist Sophia Bulgakova, based in The Hague, Netherlands, joins series producer Dmytro Fedorenko. Both artists have been politically active, interweaving their message with their music and art practice among other things.
Fedorenko describes how he envisioned this series and what he hoped to achieve with it. Bulgakova talks about how she’s managed the flood of news and trauma since the full-scale invasion in February, how she stays connected with loved ones in the country, and how she has adapted her artistic work. They also discuss the challenges of the international arena and foreign audiences. Bulgakova details some of the problematic aspects of the ongoing entanglements of international art with Russian artists and Russian funding. Both also reflect on where art, activism, and the Ukrainian and European arts communities may be headed next.
Peter Kirn is a composer, music producer, and journalist. He is the creator of the daily music technology and electronic music site CDM.link and writes for various publications, including recent contributions to Resident Advisor, Chapter Magazine, and others. For RA, he has written in detail about efforts by Kyiv clubbers to help free their friend Brahim Saadoun, imprisoned in Russian-occupied Donetsk. He is also a curator and organizer, facilitating the MusicMakers Hacklab for CTM Festival. Peter has worked on various international collaborative projects, including in Russia, prior to their full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. He now runs the label Establishment in Berlin and appears regularly on Refuge Worldwide.
Sophia Bulgakova (born 1997, Odesa, Ukraine) is an ArtScientist interdisciplinary artist and activist currently based in The Hague, Netherlands. Sophia is working on the intersection of art, technology, and society, focusing on the relationship between light, perception, and imagination. In her installations and performances, she engages viewers through various sensorial inputs, impacting their ways of perceiving reality and exploring new possibilities beyond it.
A selection of recent releases of Ukrainian experimental music, including artists from the TIMEZONES episode Ukraine. Several of the tracks were written or released in 2022 during the war.
To be released on Spotify January 5, 2023.
Curated by Dmytro Fedorenko
By Emma Nzioka
The Timezones podcast series plunges into the world of artists and their practices, asking: what does living and working in culture and the arts involve in different countries, cities, and contexts today? The artists’ thoughts on their moods, their social, political, and intellectual realities and their philosophies (of life) have been worked up into experimental audio collages.
The podcasts run the gamut of formats and content, from straight journalism to experimental and documentary approaches, ethnography and fiction, sound art, and improvisation. The Timezones series endeavours to create new artistic forms of storytelling, listening and exchange across the boundaries of geography, time zones, genres, and practices.
The Timezones Podcast Series is co-initiated and co-produced by Norient and the Goethe-Institut.
Air date: 29/12/2022 20:00 - 29/12/2022 21:00