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Chornobyl Songs Project

2011 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster that irrevocably transformed the ecological and social dimensions of life in the Ukrainian and Belarusian regions now known as the “Chornobyl Zone.” Since 1986, the traditional communities of the Chornobyl zone have been largely dispersed and destroyed, and today, very few people remain in the region. Yet, a trace of the human spirit that used to populate this region remains, in the form of archival field recordings that document the ritual and quotidian aspects of daily life before the disaster.

Beginning in the 1970s, Kyiv-based ethnomusicologist and singer Yevhen Yefremov conducted numerous field expeditions into the Chornobyl region. As the foremost expert in polyphonic singing styles of Central and Northern Ukraine, Professor Yefremov has traveled from Ukraine to train and lead the newly formed NYC-based Ensemble Hilka in reinterpreting traditional songs from the Chornobyl region; the ensemble features some of NYC’s leading East European folksingers.

Admission $15, with discounts for seniors/members/student. To purchase tickets in advance, go to: http://www.ukrainianmuseum.org/ and click on “Tickets.”

The program will also tour to Princeton University (Dec 1), Washington, DC (Dec 3), and Philadelphia (Dec 4).

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