Easter is one of those moments for family and friends to gather. Due to a small force major incident last Thursday I couldn't travel to my father's village to spend time with my cousin, his family and my godson. As a consolation I spent Easter with my business partner and someone who has become a good friend over the last months. After watching an interview with the Singing Rector, we channel surfed a little to stumbled across a Channel 5 broadcast of Vasyl Ilashchuk's documentary about Volodymyr Ivasyuk, composer and author of Chervona Ruta.
While watching this documentary we ushered back in time a little. After it was over, it was my business partner's idea to continue the historical journey and he put pulled out some old VHS cassettes. The first one he put on were early videos of Vatra that were recorded in L'viv in the early 1980s, a group in which he was a member of. Vatra, headed by Ihor Bilozir, former husband of Oksana Bilozir, and who was attacked by russophiles in L'viv and subsequently died in 2000. It was quite a difference to see the streets, which were almost devoid of any vehicular traffic, compared to what is it has become over 20 years later.
My business partner had explained to me a number of times how in 1984 he along with others were looking for a new sound. As a result they went on to form Zhayvir based out of Rivne, and while some Ukrainian sites note that maybe this wasn't the best place to start something up as experimental as they were at the time they don't go on to look at just how conservative people in the FSU were at the time. After watching the Vatra videos, we put on a CD of Zhayvir. As we went through the tracks I came across a song, that in its arrangement sounded very familiar. It was Ivanku, Ivanku! The last time I heard a similar arrangement was on Tamara Gorsky's album Vatra. I stopped to wonder where Tamra Gorsky had first heard that arrangement, could it have been Zhayvir?