The Braty bluzu – Newland gig

Well it wasn’t really a gig, it was more like a closed party for the Association of Ukrainian Architects, and a get together for some friends.

I entered the Hotel Rus where the reception for Architects was bing held Myroslav ushered me into an ante room just off the main hall. In a short while, Oleh Levytsky and Rens Newland appeared and we began to chat, after all over four years had passed since I had seen Rens. A couple of minutes later someone caught my eye, and somehow I had caught her’s as well. Natalka came running up to me and we gave each other a big hug. Rens laughed, and then I introduced him to Natalka, an old friend and journalist with ICTV, whom I hadn’t seen for nearly a year.

The gig was in fact divided into four different parts as part of the overall show. After the first set, another old friend appeared. In fact Olena had traveled to Linz, Austria as part of the original Music Without Borders project with us back in 2001. That was a great experience. As Olena and stood listening to the second or third set we looked at one another – I mentioned that I thought that maybe we were the only ones in the hall that knew that some of the material that Myroslav Levytsky was playing over 12 years old… Pieces, like Authentic Life, Letter, Wild Rain and other pieces.

Joining us was a young woman Ira who was serving as interpreter for Rens while he was in town. Between sets she asked me how I knew Myroslav and Rens, and I tried to keep it short and sweet. We stepped out to listen to one of the sets which included Vienna Woods. Ira asked, “Is it true that Myroslav recorded this in Vienna at Rens’ studio?”
Oleh Levytsky “Of course I replied, we spent just over six and a half hours in studio working on that piece!” Sure the arrangement had changed a little since it was recorded in 2001 Myroslav had to work in Oleh’s saxophone work into the pieces.

During one of the sets I met an editor of an Ukrainian architectural magazine, she was a little surprised to see me at the event, not knowing my connection to Levytsky. She said she was enjoying the show but noted that not everyone was ready for this type of music.

When it was all over we had a few drinks and parted ways. Rens gave me a copy of his latest CD “Rens Newland with the twenty second line circus – Freedom Street Parade” which have listened to a couple of times already… and then we all went our separate ways… Well there was a little bit of joking around and pictures taking but that is a whole different story unto itself.