Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anti-Social Socializing in Kryvorivnia

We just finished playing a show in the relatively small Carpathian mountain village of Kryvorivnia, next to Verkhovyna.  This was a very strange show both for us and the audience.  Many small children were present, which meant we had to muzzle Pat and take away his vodka.  There was some bewilderment and some amused reactions (and hey, fair enough).  However, the applauded warmly and gave us a great send off by clapping along to Jeff's tune that repurposes a famous Ukrainian melody about the village itself.

Afterwards, both the newly elected mayor and head priest told us over dinner (!!) that they loved the performance.  They sang many traditional Hutsul songs to us while we ate all kinds of delicious but untranslatable meats and cheeses.  They wanted us to sing them some traditional American songs, and we realized to our shame that we didn't really collectively know any good examples.  We ended up stumbling through some hoarse and drunken renditions of "You Are My Sunshine," "Amazing Grace" and "This Land is Your Land." To our surprise, they immediately followed our performance of "You Are My Sunshine" with their own performance of the exact same tune with Ukrainian lyrics.  A key international bonding came when we all agreed that the song becomes surprisingly sad during the second verse.

Both the priest and the mayor offered some really beautiful kind words to us.  They told us that the best honey is made from many different wildflowers, and though our music may be extra wild and harder to listen to than other music, it still provides a necessary spice. Actually, it's hard to convey the exact meaning of their compliments, but even our hard and dirty hearts were moved.

Now, sleep.

- Pat Muchmore

PS: And here's a picture of Drew with a cute kitty.  This is at the house of Maria's friend were we ate way to much food, and were then yelled at by the friend's mother for not eating more.

And here's a picture of some of us at that dinner with the mayor.

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