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Playing Bach’s music accompanied by explosions. Accordionist Ihor Zavadskyi

15.09.2023    available: Українською | На русском
Andrii Didenko
Every day since the beginning of the war, a Ukrainian accordionist plays songs and publishes them on his channel to keep the spirits up. His work during the war became the basis of a new record-breaking album.

The first thing I did when I learned that large-scale aggression had begun in Ukraine was to find a piece that would suit my feelings. It was “Echo” by Bach. When on the first of March I recorded this work in the vestibule of my house, there were explosions behind the window. Music that comes from the soul and heart is light. And every piece that I perform — this is a ray of light. It so happened that every day, for four months in a row, I played a new piece as a response to the forces of evil and darkness. I spread this echo through YouTube and Facebook, writing daily posts — the first day of the war, the second day. I haven’t missed a day yet.

My musical battlefront is holding firm. A music album resulted from this echo in my heart, these events. It is the music album “Echo”. It became a champion.

I don’t think many albums in the world are 9.5 hours long. Here are three turquoise CDs. For me, this is already the 16th album. Goodness must be with fists; that’s why there’s a photo of a fist on the cover. The album contains 123 musical numbers I recorded for four months straight.

Ihor Zavadskyi — Ukrainian accordionist, photo: Andrii Didenko for KHPG

It is essential for a musician, like everyone else, to have his battlefront. For us, it is music. Everyone on this front must bring our victory closer, and together, we will win. I prepared this premiere for the opening of my concert season at the House of Actors on Yaroslavov Val. On September 30, I will be opening the concert season. I wanted to play four or five premieres and many pieces from my various musical albums from different years. Today, I decided to give a gift to my YouTube viewers. I’ll tell you two words about this work: “Memories”.

There is a scientific statement that when a person is declared dead, there is no longer a pulse and no heartbeat, but the brain still lives for some time — a minimum of 100 seconds.

So, I decided to create such a musical picture. Imagine what a person might feel when everyone thinks he is already dead, but his whole life flashes before him in these 100 seconds? My piece, which I will now perform, lasts approximately 100 seconds. These are memories from the first heartbeat to the last.

@ Andrii Didenko for KHPG

The tragedy in Chernihiv and at the front may have affected me. So, I imagine such a picture today. I imagine how the friends of deadly wounded soldiers pronounce them dead. They can run or sit in a trench, and their pulse beats quickly because of tension, stress, war, the sounds of bombardment, many deaths, and who is winning. I will also have this pulse, the heart beating at an accelerated pace. I made such a meditative part, which occurs during these hundred seconds: almost the entire foundation of this work is built on it. It is such a small, small musical tune about the most vivid memories and events in a person’s life.

This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Human Rights in Action Program, run by the Ukrainian Helsinki Group on Human Rights (UHSHR).

The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or UHSHR. The authors and KHPG are solely responsible for the content of this article.

USAID is one of the world's leading development agencies facilitating the end of extreme poverty and supporting the movement of recipient countries to self-reliance and resilience. USAID also contributes to the national security and economic well-being of the United States. Its activity is a manifestation of the philanthropy of the American people. USAID has been partnering with Ukraine since 1992: during this time, the agency's total assistance to Ukraine amounted to more than 3 billion US dollars. USAID's current strategic priorities in Ukraine include strengthening democracy and good governance, promoting economic development and energy security, improving health systems, and reducing the impact of conflict in the eastern regions. For more information about USAID's activities, please contact the Public Relations Department of the USAID Mission in Ukraine at tel. (+38 044) 521-57-53. We also invite you to visit their website: or the Facebook page:

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