Networking Frenzy + Fieldwork videos

I’ve gone into a networking frenzy today, and finally signed up for Twitter (see sidebar).

I also set up a Maria Sonevytsky youtube channel, where I’ve posted three short videos from some of my fieldwork in Ukraine in 2008-2009.

What prompted this manic surge of virtual activity? One word: Prezi.

I saw a presentation at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference last November that blew my mind, not necessarily for the ethnomusicology of it (though I recall that it was actually cool), but for the swooping, soaring visual design of the presentation. Definitely not Power Point. I asked the young woman what the program was called – Prezi – and then forgot about it until yesterday.

Yesterday, I sat down to make my dissertation defense presentation – because that is happening on FRIDAY, hip hip! – and attempted to make my power point program swoop into my map of Ukraine. No dice. My brain fog lifted for just long enough that I remembered of a swooping visually-driven presentation program, and I tracked it down on the internet. Prezi. Free for educators! Yes!

And then, excited to make something visually alluring, I started combing through field materials, discovering gems that I haven’t listened to recently. And I made an insane (but visually engaging) Prezi presentation, 10% of which I will actually be able to show on Friday. But never mind!  I also edited together a few short videos, now on my youtube channel, and then decided that the most appropriate course of action was to tweet to nobody about that.

The first film I edited together features Mykhailo Nechay, the last Hutsul mol’far (shaman), who was brutally murdered in his home July. (There’s a detailed Ukrainian-language article about the murder here.) I visited him numerous times over the last three years, sometimes bringing my American friends to have their future’s prophesied – he is also one of the main subjects of the first chapter of my dissertation. I was really shocked and disturbed to learn of this tragedy. He was an individual with wide and inclusive beliefs, a practitioner of native and spiritual healing who considered himself both Christian and pagan. I use the language of Ukrainian Christianity to say, Вічная пам’ять.

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This week: Majsternia Pisni

Just back from a week in the Carpathians, where I had an opportunity to visit with some of the key figures in my dissertation on the Hutsul side, attended a rainy festival (Polonynske Lito) and finally carpe diemed up to the top of Pop Ivan on possibly the most ideal day of hiking weather this year. Today, Franz and I bade farewell to Alison Cartwright, who is flying home and then making her way to her new Colorado home.

We’ve decided to stay in L’viv this week so that I can attend a four day singing workshop with Natalka Polovynka (of Майстерня Пісні) and see the Yara Arts Group performance of “Raven” that I managed to miss in NYC. Afterwards, we’ll mosey to Simferopol by way of Odesa.

Crimean Tatar musicians & cookies!

First full day in Kyiv was a blast – I got to sing, see old friends, sample various green borschts around town. AND I just got exciting news – a confirmation that five Crimean Tatar traditional musicians and two dancers will be coming up from Crimea to perform at our exhibit opening on June 7th at the Honchar Museum in Kyiv. Apparently, they will also be traveling with many qurabye, those exquisite and crumbly Crimean Tatar cookies! We have been instructed to have tea on hand…