Sunday, February 13, 2011
Alexis Kochan - Budyk - Царівна
A selection of Ukrainian ritualistic songs arranged and conducted by Arthur Polson
1. Благослови Мати - The Call for Spring
2. Царівна - Czarivna
3. Покладу я - Oksanna
4. Вербовая Дощечка - Footbridge
5. Вийди Іванку - Ivan
6. Ой Вербо - Oh Willow
7. Кривий Танок - Crooked Dance (Ivana Kupala)
8. Ой Посію Рожу - Sowing of the Rose
9. Купала На Йвана - Kupala
1. Та Ходила Уляночка - Ulianna
2. Марина - Maryna (Violin Solo-Arthur Polson)
3. Купала На Йвана - Rituals of Ivana Kupala (Wedding songs)
4. Сірі Гусі - Silver Geese
5. Думай Марусе - Marika
6. Що Й У Недільоньку Рано - Sunday Morning
7. Ой Глянь Мати - Mother, Gaze at Me
8. Та Прощай Прощай Ти Марійко - Marika's Parting
Alexis Kochan-Budyk is a Winnipegger of Ukrainian descent. Several years ago, she studied music in Kiev with the folk ensemble, Veryovka. This experience stimulated interest in researching early Ukrainian folk songs dating back to pre-Christian times. Ms. Kochan-Budyk felt that the preservation of this uncommon music was important because it reflected many of the rich traditions and rituals of the Ukrainian culture. The early folk songs she selected for this album - Czarivna - illustrate many of the important customs still observed by modern Ukrainians.
The collection of songs on this album strongly reflects the importance of the seasons in Ukrainian culture. Since Ukraine is and was primarily agricultural society, much of life's important activities, such as social gatherings, courting, marriages, and festivals were held during the most productive times of the year: spring, summer, and autumn. Each season was celebrated by festivals, dances, and songs laden with rich symbols and rituals.
The first season of the year, spring, was marked by a large number of folk songs pertaining to the earth and rebirth. The change from winter to spring marked the fertility and rebirth of the soil. The first song on side one of the album, The Call for Spring, is a call by the woman of the village to spring itself: "Give the blessing Mother(nature)/ call in spring, see off winter." The calling of life is a foremost here, but more importantly, it was done by women, symbols of fertility themselves. The sooner spring came, the sooner crops could be planted. To increase the tempo of the oncoming spring, formed by the men of the villages. The Czarivna and Footbridge, both spring games, the purpose was not only to hurry the arrival of the season, but also to initiate courting. Spring was the season of wooing, when promises of love where intermingled with promises of life. Hopefully, the wooing ended in marriage. Oksanna and Ivan, both deal with the theme of marriage and fertility symbolized by a myrtle wreath.
The courting games continued well into the summer, reaching their pinnacle with the midsummer festival of Ivana Kupala. Ivana Kupala, the festival of the sun god, was celebrated by an evening of magic, superstition, mating games, and fire and water rituals. However, this festival was more than just merry abandonment. In its symbols of fire, water and nature, the promises of love, matchmaking, and marriage were intensified, especially so for women. The color red, as in the red rose of Sowing of the Rose, the red berries of Kupala, and the red shoes of Ulianna suggest passion, if not definite eroticism. In Maryna, young woman make wreaths from the roses and myrtle, then ritually dance around a tree (a symbol of growth and life). The symbolism of the rose is combined of that of water in the Sowing of the Rose. Here a young woman begs for rain so that her rose might bloom - so that her wish for love might end with marriage. This wish for marriage was stronger among women then men. A woman not chose in midsummer was left alone again for another fall and winter. Promises of love were not fulfilled. This tragedy is reflected in Kupala where only Mary does not pick the red berries. In Rituals of Ivana Kupala, only one young woman meets disaster in a matchmaking game by the river. Yet, others, as in Ulianna, are fortunate, for the end of the summer brings them the promise of marriage.
Most marriage ceremonies would usually take place during the early fall. Though wedding celebrations were stereotype as joyous occasions, many of the wedding folk songs were morose. Sung by the future bride, the songs lament the woman's loss of youth and the separation from the family. Frequently, these laments were not expressions of real fear, but only rituals used to express respect for the original family unit. The folk song Marika expresses both the respect and the fear of separation by offering the young woman an alternative: "Mrika - think it over, while you still have a chance and you're happy." Whereas in Sunday Morning the young bride asks her brother to rescue her from her fate.
Not all songs expressed fear of marriage. Many revealed anticipation of the future wedding change of status, and new family. In Mother, Gaze at Me, the ritual combing of the braid signifies that the young girl shall very soon be a "hospodinya", a married woman:
"Gaze at me Mother
All my friends are wearing braids,
Dew fell on my braid, so I must comb it out."
Finally she will be the wife of the young man idealized in the early wedding song Silver Geese.
However, this happiness is short-lived. Marika's Parting, the farewell song sung at the end of the wedding drama, brings back a note of sandess to the celebrations. The loss of the bride's freedom is reaffirmed by the young husband who is now "hospodar", master of the house:
"It's not for intimacy that I marry her,
But to say whether or not she may go dancing."
This loss of freedom was not surprise to the young bride. Through the songs, dances and rituals of each season, she was prepared for the fate.
Arthur Ploson is a noted Canadian violonist, composer and conductor. He is presently Concert Master of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. He has worked extensively in many CBC broadcasts for radio and television and is a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Composers Authors and Publishers Association of Canada. His most recent work includes a concerto written for Roman Parcells which has been performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Polson's arrangements for this album took two months to complete. The interludes to Call for Spring and Crooked Dances, as well as the 'Chimes' preluding Silver Geese are all original compositions by Mr. Polson composed specifically for this album.
Official Website - Веб сайт Олесі Кохан
Arthur Polson - Leader/Violin
Alexis Kochan-Budyk - Vocals/Vocals Overdubs
Rennie Regehr - Viola
Bryan Epperson - Cello
Laurel Ridd - Flute/Piccolo
Kenneth Strahl - Horn
Gregory Hodgson - Timpani/Percussion
Jonathan Jensen - Bass
Mark Friedman - Violin
Douglas Bairstow - Oboe/English Horn
All the players on this album are associated with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Produced by Alexis Kochan-Budyk with Arthur Polson.
Orchestral Arrangements and Direction - Arthur Polson
Recorded and mixed at Century 21 Studios, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Engineered by Ralph Watts
Design and Art Direction - Walter Kulyk
Photography - James Hammel
Recording Studio Photography - Garry Budyk
Hand Colouring - Walter Kulyk
Calligraphy - Walter Kulyk
Ethnographic Material - Oleh Ilnytzkyj
Narrative - Christina Bylyna-Klymkiw.
Music Copyist - Wilf Jones
Typography B/W Type Service
Separations and Negatives - Jack Berger Ltd.
Special Thanks to:
Multiculturalism Program, Government of Canada
Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre (Oseredok), Winnipeg, Manitoba
Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko
Ukrainian National Federation - St. Boniface Branch
Additional Thanks to:
Walter Klymkiw, Robert Klymasz, Oleh Ilnytzkyj, Myron Spolsky, Vasyl Balan, Risia Sytnick, Cecil Semchyshyn, Walter Kulyk, James Hammel, Garry Budyk, Christina Bylyna-Klymki, Ray Bryk, Andrew Serray, and Andrew Ogaranko
My Love to:
Nestor, my Mom and Dad, my parents-in-law and Donna
This album is dedicated to our grandparents.
All the prepared arrangements and the complete original lyrics may be found at the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba (all rights reserved)
Yevshan Records (YFP 1030)
Executive Producer - Bohdan Tymyc
Manufactured and distributed by Yevshan Communications Inc. 1983, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Olesia Productions 1982, Capac