Kobzaring in the New World with Jurij Fedynskyj

Saturday April 8, 2017 at 4pm 

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From this March to May, Jurij Fedynskyj be “kobzaring” in a similar fashion as the traditional, blind kobzars would have.

The banduras which most of us have heard in modern times, are generally considered “traditional folk instuments”. But, what most don’t realize, is that this idea is largely a myth. The fully chromatic bandura, complete with modulating mechanisms and sixty steel, high tension strings is a modern instrument, designed to play not traditional, folk music, but rather modern arrangements and compositions, even though usually based on traditional folk melodies. The truly traditional, folk instrument known as the bandura has been forgotten for around one hundred years. As a result of modern progress, noisy streets, and of course, as usually the case, Soviet cultural repression; Ukrainians in the twentieth, and now twenty first centuries have been deprived of knowledge of the original bandura. That instrument was in fact very light and compact, had wooden pegs with about 20 diatonic, gut strings, and was tuned to a specific traditional tuning. Not only was the traditional bandura lost, but also several related instruments, once known and loved by Ukrainians, namely the kobza, and torban. They were almost completely erased from the national conscious.

The kobzars were not concert artists as most bandurists today are. They had their own unique philosophy of how to spread their word to those who needed to hear it. I will be presenting these three musical and cultural treasures through lecture and demonstration. I’ll also share my experiences in living in Ukraine as a cultural pioneer, working with ensembles such as Haydamaky, Karpatiyany, Khoreya Kozatska and Drevo; as well as creating the Poltava Kobzar Guild and the festival “Drevo Rodu Kobzarskoho.”

This spring we’ll have the chance to experience “Kobzaring in the New World.” More information can be found at www.kobzarskiytabir.bravesites.com.


content by Jurij Fedynskyj