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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Kyiv Culture

In the Swing

His music was the soundtrack of a generation that lived through the turmoil of the Great Depression and World War II. Glenn Millers brand of swing music played a large part in peoples lives through the 30s and 40s as people tried to shake off the depression and the conflict by dancing. The language of swing is still spoken today by a number of musicians and swing bands and that includes the Glenn Miller Orchestra, which carries the torch for its namesake and brings it to Kyiv this week.

A band ought to have a sound all of its own. It ought to have a personality, Glenn Miller once said. His orchestra had both in spades, so much so that when on 15 December 1944 the then army/air force captain Miller boarded a transport plane to Paris, never to be seen again, his legacy would continue. It does so in the form of bands determined to preserve the big band sound for future generations one of them is the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Whats On speaks with current bandleader Wil Salden about the enduring appeal of swing.

Bandleader and the orchestras namesake Glenn Miller disappeared 69 years ago, but youre more than a tribute act, so what basic idea does the Glenn Miller Orchestra stem from?
Even as a child and later as a music student I was a fan of swing music of the 40s. For me, Glenn Miller is the epitome of this music. It is my desire to present on stage the same style and perfection he achieved with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra has been described as The Beatles of the swing era why does this music endure?
This music will always be known, because it is timeless, famous and still used a lot, for example many commercials are backed by this wonderful music. Names like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and so on.

It is up-beat music played in dark times, but the original audience is dwindling. What is it like preserving the legacy and introducing this music to new listeners?
Even though the development of music during the last decades has influenced the training and performing styles of the musicians, we emphasise a perfect interpretation of the original sounds, and our new listeners are enthusiastic about our performances 70 years on from when this sound was first introduced.

And Glenn Miller is basically a franchise isnt it? Theres one on constant tour in the States, yours touring Europe, one in the UK and one based in Scandinavia how does it work?
Indeed there are several bands worldwide, we work across 34 countries and our territory is quite amazing. I once saw the Glenn Miller Orchestra US but never visited the other ones. There is no general format and every band works in its own way. I only can say that our band has maintained a very high standard for many many years and that gives me a good feeling.

So there are really no changes in the arrangements, no room for improvement from when this music was first played 75 years ago, not even when technology?
We use the original, fantastic arrangements of the original Glenn Miller Orchestra. Those arrangers really were excellent, so there is no use at all trying to do this job better. Also our audience wants to hear the original stuff.

The present Glenn Miller Orchestra Europe was officially licenced to use Millers name in 1990 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of up to 200 live dates a year.
A schedule with up to 200 shows a year indeed is rather crazy. In the last four years we pared it back a little doing around 150 gigs a year. That still is amazing but it also proves our band is still hot and as long as we can maintain the workload, it is a great pleasure to be on stage in all these countries.

In the past decade youve regularly brought the big band sound into former Soviet countries. What was it like introducing the East to music that is so associated with being all-American?
At the beginning of our shows in Eastern Europe, we really were very surprised about the amount of young people coming to our shows. Besides that, they really knew a lot about swing music and they were very, very enthusiastic. It is always fun working in all these countries, like Ukraine, Russia, Baltic States, Czech Republic, Poland and so on.

Is there still something you dream about achieving with your orchestra?
My dream is to have a calendar full of appointments for a lot of years to come and a captivated audience in sold out concert houses. Oh, and of course to keep swinging.

Glenn Miller Orchestra (DE, jazz)
8 November at 19.00
Tickets: 1001,000hrv
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkiyvska 103)
247-2316

by Jared Morgan

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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