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Mariya Mykolaychuk, the singer who remains loyal to the Ukrainian folk song

 

The deep, chest voice of Mariya Mykolaychuk is of the kind that once you hear her sing, you will never forget it and will always recognize it among any number of other voices. She is a holder of the honorary title Peoples Artiste of Ukraine, and if there were such a title as the Peoples Artiste of Bukovyna (Ms Mykolaychuk hails from the Land of Bukovyna), she should have been awarded this title.

She, as a member of the Trio Zoloti klyuchi (Golden Keys; the other two members of the trio are Valentyna Kovalska and Nina Matviyenko) travelled to many countries of the world with concerts which were warmly received.

The trio was formed almost forty years ago when Mariya Mykolaychuks husband, Ivan Mykolaychuk, a remarkable actor and film director, encouraged the three women who were good friends, to start singing together. It was Ivan Mykolaychuk who later suggested that Mariya collect folk songs of Bukovyna in the villages and perform them in public at concerts. Ms Mykolaychuk began her search for folk songs in the village of Chortoriya, the native place of Ivan.

Mariya Mykolaychuk has collected over 300 songs of the Land of Bukovyna and performs them in her own, inimitable manner. Listening to them, one feels that each song comes straight from her heart. She creates a musical image, full of nuances and of philosophical depth.

The dramatic history of Bukovyna, its traditions and rituals, life of its people in all of its controversies are reflected in folk songs sung by Ms Mykolaychuk. These songs are evidence of rich spirituality of the Ukrainian people, which finds its expression in many ways, folk songs being one of them.

Some of the songs on the album Bukovyno were written down and arranged by Volodymyr Ivasyuk, a Ukrainian composer. It is the first time Mariya Mykolaychuk presents them to the public. The orchestra that accompanied the singer was conducted by Yury Blyshchuk. In addition to the more usual instruments such as the violin, cymbals and double base, the orchestra played old traditional Ukrainian instruments  drymba, tylynka and didyk.

 

By Mariya VLAD

Photos by Yevhen ADAMCHUK

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