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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

When Fall is Poetic

Finnish rockers Poets of the Fall took a different route to success from many other contemporary acts rather than being manufactured by producers, going viral on YouTube, or being plucked from a TV talent show, they made their debut with a song for a video game. Late Goodbye written for Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne reached millions worldwide. Ten years and five albums down, the Poets are still going strong and they are bringing their hybrid sound to Kyiv this week.

One of Finlands most popular rock bands, Poets of the Fall formed in 2003 in Helsinki. It was singer Marko Saaresto, guitarist Olli Tukiainen and keyboardist Markus Kaarlonen who put the bad together battling through financial struggles and desperate times. They sold everything they had. They moved into a friends basement, built a custom made studio in a living room, and used their car as an office space. Then came success courtesy of the gaming world and the rest is, as they say, history. Adding Jani Snellman (bass), Jari Salminen (drums), and Jaska Makinen (guitar), they went from success in virtual reality to the real world. Whats On chats with Saaresto ahead of the group taking the stage at Kyivs Stereo Plaza.

The name Poets of the Fall really fits the mood of your music. What other names did you consider?
We thought of the name Spice Boys for laughs, but all in all we had about 200 different options, we even nearly called up these grunge era guys in Seattle to ask if we could use a name they had used for their band some years earlier, but then stumbled on Poets of the Fall.

What is the source of inspiration for the Poets and how do you compose songs?
We get our inspiration from many different sources, everyday life and what happens in it being one of the major contributors to our form of art. For me personally, I believe one has to live and experience life to have anything worthwhile to convey artistically. I guess we all like solitude most, when were working on something new. Only after the initial spark has ignited, do we come together to expand our ideas.

Your style is hard to pinpoint ranging from almost-pop through to hard rock, how do you describe it?
I dont think we ever chose a style. We just do what comes naturally, what we enjoy most, what excites us.

You have garnered acclaim for your music videos, particularly Carnival of Rust. Walk us through that creative process?
When we did the Carnival of Rust video, I had this mask on which was supposed to crack into a flaky paint on my face in the video (Zoltar in the fortune booth). It was only supposed to touch my skin for max fifteen minutes, lest my skin dry out for real. But the shooting schedule stretched out, as they often do, and I ended up having the goo on my face for several hours. I lost my eyebrows and had to use a whole bunch of moisturiser during the following weeks to repair my skin. Still, it looks great in the video.

Your 10th anniversary is your biggest yet and doesnt wrap up until New Years Eve in your hometown of Helsinki, but what comes next?
I guess we are creating a mutual vision of what we want to do in the next couple of years. Thats all still at the thinking stage, nothing concrete yet like music or anything. The tour with everything involved from organising to the actual shows takes up all our time right now.

How do you deal with being separated from loved-ones while on tour?
With Zen-like patience.

What are your interests outside of music?
The guys are mostly in love with their trade, I know our bass player is into architecture, and Im into too many things for my own good, things like acupuncture and Chinese medicine, martial arts, all sorts of design to name just a few. The list goes on and evolves all the time.

Do you have superstitions or rituals you perform before going on stage ahead of a performance?
We do have a secret ritual we call the hand, which lifts our spirits and gives the show a good start.

What can the Kyiv audience expect from your performance?
Im sure well have a great time with our Ukrainian crowd. To be honest, we dont even quite know what to expect, and thats the best part of our live performances.

Poets Of The Fall (FI, rock)
10 November at 19.00
Tickets: 300 400hrv
Stereo Plaza (Chervonozoryaniy 119)
222-0022

by Olga German and Jared Morgan

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Comments (1)
You are not authorized! Only registered and authorized users can add their comments!
mubin | 07.12.2013 18:16

Cradled in love is simply an awesome song by Poets of fall,i want some good songs like this in the near future from you guys,Keep rocking :)


 
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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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