September 30, 2023
He greeted us with “Bonjour” along with his consistently bad-tempered expression and took an extended break. “Usually I might have added ‘mes amis’, however in the present day I gained’t as a result of you will have upset me enormously.” The truth that our class was as soon as once more a disappointment to our French trainer was nothing new.
The “Frenchman,” as we referred to as him, clearly didn’t appear to love us a lot, and the sensation was mutual. If I had paid extra consideration throughout his lesson 32 years in the past, I might need been in a position to comply with higher at tonight’s rehearsal with the Orchester Nationwide du Vetex.
Fascinating confusion of languages
In Kortrijk, Belgium, we’re working towards for our live performance in Tournai, and there’s a fascinating confusion of languages within the rehearsal room. Sixteen musicians from totally different locations on this border area play collectively within the band, talking each French and Flemish. Willy Fuego additionally traveled from Barcelona to participate within the live performance. With Willy we talk in Spanish, with me in English.
In 2020 we wrote two songs collectively. One among them, “Fly 2 Minsk”, is concerning the occasions in Belarus. After I noticed the primary photographs of the mass protests towards the presidency of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, they jogged my memory strongly of the times of the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine.
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I took half within the demonstrations in Berlin – and like many others there, I used to be optimistic concerning the future in Belarus. Our track displays this optimism. Contemplating that the tyrant continues to be in energy and that missiles have been fired from Belarus in the direction of Ukraine for months, you hear him in the present day with a very totally different feeling.
This time in Belgium I’ve the chance to get to know one other Ukrainian musician who I’ve heard loads about from mutual buddies over the previous few years. Chaim Rosenbaum comes from Zdolbuniv, a small city within the west of the nation, about 200 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Polish border. Polish, Ukrainian and Yiddish had been spoken at dwelling.
Chaim embodies the picture of a real troubadour – he not solely appears to be like the half, he additionally lives the lifetime of a vagabond. He has been touring all over the world along with his guitar for years and has lived in Poland, Nice Britain and Israel over the previous three many years. He at present lives in Brussels. His repertoire consists of Polish, Jewish and Ukrainian songs from the border space the place he initially comes.
What do you’re taking with you as a reminder whenever you hold shifting on? For me they’re songs that join me with the totally different phases of my life.
Chaim RosenbaumUkrainian musician
Within the courtyard of La Petite Fabriek in Froyennes we chat for hours, consistently switching between English and Ukrainian. We speak about fluid identities and understand that we each share a love of macaronic songs by which languages usually combine in paradoxical methods.
“My household was consistently on the transfer,” notes Chaim, “however what do you’re taking with you as a reminder whenever you hold shifting on? For me they’re songs that join me with the totally different phases of my life.”
The next day we play with Vetex in Tournai. I don’t enter the stage till the tenth track, so I’ve the chance to benefit from the starting of the live performance along with the viewers. On the bar I begin speaking to an acquaintance of the organizer who comes from Dnipro. Up to now eighteen months I’ve skilled this extra usually: Should you meet a Ukrainian nowadays, it seems like assembly a relative. Throughout our dialog I be taught that her sister’s eldest son died on the entrance.
I go away Tournai early within the morning on the primary prepare. I go to sleep and once I get up I see a younger blonde lady subsequent to me, accompanying her two daughters. The older one is engrossed in a guide. I take a better look and see that it’s a fourth grade textbook for Ukrainian literature.
Ukraine might as soon as have been a parallel world for Europeans. She is not that. The Ukrainians are there, they’re all over the place. And the warfare of their nation continues. It should finally be gained.