The third day of the Ethno port. Polyphony from the Poltava region, music from the Maramresh, the Karaites, and the stories of Persian women

Musicians from Ukraine, Iran, Palestine and Karim are brilliantly summoned by the music of “Carolina Sheesha & Company”. Musically, a very diverse, very feminine and sometimes surprising day – and unfortunately also the last day of the Ethno Port Festival.

Traditionally, after workshops and meetings on the last day, concerts began with the performance of Dziczka – a Polish-Ukrainian women’s group singing polyphonic songs, mainly from the Poltava region of the Dnieper. For fans of choral singing, it was pure pleasure: exquisitely harmonious and harmonious feminine voices, a perfect sense of the artists’ style – and beautiful songs, sometimes with a pronounced influence of Caucasian music, a little strange. The lightness, ease of connection, interweaving of sounds, and musical richness made Dziczki a great pleasure to listen to.

Hudaki Village Band’s next concert was also Ukrainian music – but of a completely different kind. Hudakis plays and sings music from Maramuresh, a land in southern Ukraine, on the border with Romania. A band of nine plays cheerful music from local weddings and christenings, and sometimes also from funerals, and their style winks at the scenes.

The multiculturalism of the Maramures is reflected in the music of this region: there is a distinct Balkan rhythm, and after a while you can hear sardash-like violin singing, Roma antics, and the behavior of a taragot (an instrument similar to a clarinet) immediately brings to mind Jewish music. In addition, there are Ukrainian sounds and energy, and we have a very rich, diverse and innovative record of the music of this land lost in the mountains. You can laugh at it, you can cry – and of course, dance.

Karolina Cicha and Spółka, well known to fans of Ethno Port, because this is not the first time that they perform at this festival – this time they presented a new and ground-breaking project – “Karaim Music Map”. Karaim are of Turkish origin, a minority in Poland who currently number – as Carolina Shesha said – about a hundred people. More and more Kraimes live in Lithuania, where the complex history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has let them down. At the end of the 14th century, they were brought in by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytutas.

The clues have preserved their language, religion – they profess Karimism, a form of Judaism – and music. They have always been an important component of Karim’s culture, helping to preserve their uniqueness and cultural identity. From the Polish point of view, this music is oriental, strongly rooted in the Turkish style, but many elements are also similar to the music of the Crimean Tatars and refer to the Crimean peninsula.

It was a great musical story about a very close and very strange world. Of course, only because of the Crimea, the Ukrainian elements could not be missing. As Carolina Shesha notes, at a time when the national and cultural identity of Ukrainians is being undermined by the Russians, this is further evidence of how rich the culture they created – so rich that other nations drew from it.

The performance of Kareem’s songs by Carolina Shesha and her band was a wonderful journey through this pearl-filled culture of music. It was a real pleasure not only to listen to the musicians, but also to watch them play. And the guest cake appearance was Misha Kolyzhenko, whom we had the pleasure of hearing in a duet with Carolina Shesha. Big applause was given, deservedly, to Patricia Betley, the brilliant drummer, Carolina Matuszkiewicz was ably delighted in playing the caimanche (stringed instrument), and Mateusz Szmraj turned out to be the true master of the cymbal, the Arabic lute, the saz, and the mandolin. It was a great musical journey.

Atine is the last band to perform at the Ethno Port this year. The four artists took viewers into the world of Persian music from the Kajar dynasty, which reigned until 1925 and when religious censorship was relaxed in Iran, leading to the development of highly accurate and sophisticated poetry and music.

It was a brilliant concert: the virtuosity of the instrumentalists, complemented by the incredibly rich and wonderful voice of the singer, was something that no party participant will forget for a long time. Powerful and expressive music played with feminine sensitivity and mood – it was a unique experience. The story and what it is like to be a Persian woman today has fallen into hearts and will remain in it long after the festival is over.

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