We are lucky to fix alive impressions of student expeditions along ways and rivers of Poltavschyna, Podillya, Polissya peculiar, smell of peasant dwellings, callous hands and bright faces of singers who are the last to bring from the ancient ages wisdom of uncountable generations, incarnated in high poetry of folk songs...
Our understanding of traditional culture was growing from our field investigations of Ukrainian villages, in which we would like to take not only formal monuments, but concentrated emotional, mixed up with tears and blood, joy and love sincere prime of original national nature. Incredible cordiality, unaffectedness of peasants who passed through ordeal but retain touching child wisdom, have become for us criterion of real. Folk art contains works of different ages and value. Here you can find invaluable ancient melodies - "alive shivers" of pagan religions and refined polyphony traditions of baroque time, in which so exquisite music forms were found that their founders have to be named music elite of the people they belong to. It is also inspired harmony of kobzar epics, born in XVI century and sorrowful singing of itinerant lirnik. But there are jolly satiric songs and Philistine romances of modern times too. They arose an ironic smile, but prepossessed us by sincere melodramatic perception of the world.
Revived from searching of "unknown world" "authentic singing" of academic musicians has become thin string-hope for continuation of secular traditions. With nostalgic sorrow for past age of Ukrainian folklore and with pride for belonging to this magnificent culture and happiness to be heirs-performers of these melodies musical Kyiv youth presents this project at the boundaries of ages...
HURTOPRAVCI <shepherds> - an artistic project of Iryna Klymenko, ethnomusicolog and ethno-singer (of the famous groups DREVO, VOLODAR). In 2002 she invited young people not indifferent to the idea of reviving true Ukrainian art to make music. To the 20-years-old experience of researches and reconstruction of authentic rural music of Iryna Klymenko, a fresh stream of townsfolk noble culture of the XVII-XIX c. was brought by Taras Kompanichenko (collaborated with Hurtopravci during 2003-2006), building a bridge to European domestic musical traditions.
We mostly find a repertoire for singing in own expeditions to the Ukrainian villages, supplementing it by records from musical archives. Our favorite locations are: Pripyat' Polissya, Pereyaslavschyna, Siverschyna, Slobidschyna.
Musical material was recorded in expeditions or found in the musical-ethnographic archives of Kyiv, Lviv and Sumy by Iryna Klymenko and Olena Honcharenko. Some compositions were reproduced from the published notations by Taras Kompanichenko.
After the years of friendship-cooperation Hurtopravci can be proud of performances on festivals in Latvia (2003), Switzerland (Basel 2004), Lithuania (2005), Estonia (2005) and certainly in Ukraine (Organum-2003, Kyivs'ka Rus'-2004, 2005, Country of Dreams-2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), of a few audioprojects leaded by I. Klymenko ("Let's Gather the Family...", "Oh, Long Ago - Long Ago", "Tam Stoyaly Hurtopravci..."), of ritual-mystic action "Halyna and Vasyl or Adam and Eva" which from 2005 has been performed on the stages of Kyiv chamber theatres.
In 2005-2006 Hurtopravci restored from ancient descriptions and made several ritual-entertaining performances of the Country of Dreams' "vechornyci" cycle.
In Autumn 2006 two young members decided to get married and a wedding was accomplished, following all Ukrainian traditional canons. Hopefully such a wedding scenario will find its followers in Ukraine soon, because a documentary film about this event "Father Asked, Mother Asked..." is to be broadcasted on the 1+1 TV channel.
Iryna Klymenko, Taras Kompanichenko
information, photo from official site: http://hurtopravci.domivka.net/