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English \ Culture \ New site: Authentic Hutsul music from the Carpathian Mountains
Ukrainian music is beautiful. We have all grown up with it; listening to and performing songs, operas, instrumental music, enjoying the acrobatics and gracefulness of the dance, and by passing on the traditions of our parents and grandparents to our children.

Many Ukrainian music groups from Ukraine and the West have for many years successfully attracted our youth with their modernised versions of folk songs, and with their own interesting compositions.

Now a new wave is sweeping over the Ukrainian cultural scene - 'Back to the Roots'.

What did Ukrainian music sound like before? What were the traditions originally? How was dance performed and the songs sung?

Due to the present educational system in Ukraine, old dialects and traditions are in danger of extinction, and so many people travel around Ukraine, seeking out and learning the traditional - and original - songs, music and dance. In doing so, they have created their own groups, performing and presenting only this, the old form of Ukrainian culture.

One of these people is Valentyn Moroz, a Ukrainian-born journalist, now living in Munich, Germany. His marrige to his beautiful hutsulka, Halyna, a native of the village of Prokurava in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, opened up a new world for him, awakening the love for original Hutsul music and traditions.

Valentyn spent many long months travelling around the Kosiv/Kolomia region of Ukraine, preserving in video and audio form ancient traditional rites performed at weddings, Christmas, New Year.

Now he is sharing this with us. His new site: Authentic Hutsul Music from the Ukrainian Carpathians a trip back in time. The viewer is transported to the dreamy Carpathian mountains where time stands still, where the every-day greeting to passers-by or anyone resting on their porch is 'Slava Isusu Khrystu' - 'Glory to Jesus Christ'.

The beauty of the surroundings, depicted in Valentyn's excellent photography, is enhanced by video and audio delicacies created by him, in which the traditional sounds and performances of the 'trembita' (a Hutsul version of the Alpine horn), the 'tsymbaly' (version of the cimbalom), the original throat-singing - a special vocal technique, here performed in one of the many Hutsul dialects, can be seen and heard during weddings and other ancient celebrations. All of the video presentations are subtitled in English, in which the events are described clearly and in full.

The trilingual site (Ukrainian, English and German), and the accompanying CD recording, "Hutsul Magic", is full of information. The musicians are duly and respectfully presented, their songs and the traditions are described in a gentle and intelligible manner, and the reader can enjoy submerging into this little world without being swamped by unescessary and protracted descriptions.

This site is balm for the soul. Enjoy. -

Mariana Dzus
Musikstudio Melodia, Munich.

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