Mark

From the liner notes of the forthcoming record, by folklorist and musician, Таня Осінь:

The Mykolaiv region is located near the lower stream of the Southern Bug, its territories part of the Black Sea plains. It is an area with diverse demographics and a complex history.

For thousands of years, these lands had been the point of contact between various nomadic tribes and settled people. The territories weren’t densely populated until the XVIII-XIX centuries. Then an active colonisation began: Germans, Bulgarians, Jews, Moldovans, Belarusians, Russians, et cetera, settled here.

In the 1950s, people from Western Ukraine were deported to these lands. In addition, seasonal workers who came to work in agriculture for almost fifty years, also had a significant influence on the formation of Black Sea folklore. Although the ethnic composition of the modern population of the region is extremely diverse, Ukrainians make up over 80% of it. However, even among them, it is difficult to find indigenous people, which makes the study of the territory more complicated.

Late settlement and mixed ethnic composition of the settlers became one of the main reasons for the low interest of folklorists and ethnomusicologists in these areas. They directed their expeditions mostly to Polissya, Podillya, the Carpathians and some loci of Naddnipryanshchyna. The antiquity of these regions became key for the preservation of various rituals and song genres in these lands. While Slobozhanshchyna and the Pre-Steppe Zone eventually awaited their researchers, Mykolayivshchyna remained "behind the scenes" of scientific interests.

(...until now...)

*

Stanley Schtinter on behalf of purge.xxx:

Honestly? Part of the reason for announcing this record now is to ensure that it doesn’t seem opportunistic later on, drawing on the war in Ukraine.

I feel very uneasy about organisations and individuals who think any ‘action’ like the one we’re taking is somehow an answer, or even much of a contribution. It is what it is. A tiny and well-meaning gesture. We have the option of doing it and so we’re doing it, because, as I’ve said, it ‘might’ help.

One purge.xxx record release enables us to produce another. It isn’t a profit-generating exercise (all surplus is sin). The higher amount payable for this record will be sent in full to those we know on the ground in Mykolaiv (one of the first areas to be targeted by Russia, and at the time of writing its city namesake is subject to intensive bombardment) and Kyiv, without any third party involvement. It will be spent on whatever they need to spend it on.

It also feels important to comment on the British government, as just one example in the West, coming in for so little criticism, as they do their darnedest to brandish values and virtues that their own actions and policies at home and in other countries so obviously and enthusiastically betray.

Meanwhile, in Britain and throughout Europe, it has apparently become accepted and even celebrated to despise all Russian people and Russian culture, past and present, on the basis of the current invasion. I know at least one ‘cultural centre’ in London who almost cancelled a screening of a liberated, Khrushchev-era Soviet masterpiece of international cinema, without anyone there having seen the film (literally because it’s Russian). The university of Milan reversed their decision to cancel a course on the work of Dostoyevsky, but this was obviously only because the issue was given media attention. All of this is as shameful as it is bizarre, and while Putin’s actions have their historical precedent—so do these actions. They are testament to how ruthlessly commoditised, desperately confused, ignorant, flimsy, and inspired by division and hatred (while marketing themselves as bastions of the exact opposite) the institutions and the so-called social movements ‘changing’ them have become. The vain simplifications and totalitarian ideologies of our insane (end) times are the enemy of presentism and future. Moreover, they are the enemy of art.

A good thing to do today: buy this record. Another good thing to do today, and every day: read Dostoyevsky.

(back)

Mark