Yeah, it’s been a while since you heard from me – I had a hard time with my ABRSM teaching exams preparations – really lots of books to read and thousands words to write. Finally it’s all done now, and I’m excited to show you a rough sketch of song I made up recently:
I was experimenting with sounds I can get from my electric violin (and so I still do), so don’t be surprised to hear some new things from me. Also, you might hear some oriental motifs, mixed with artificial electronic stuff – well, ideas kept popping up and I didn’t resist. It can sound somewhat eclectic (very unusual for me, isn’t it?) but that’s how I see it for now.
The sketch is entirely DIY, no other musicians were employed – sketch is a sketch. Will see, what it becomes in a future. Check it out and subscribe with the form below if you like it, so you’re not gonna miss the album when it’s ready (oooh, yeah, it will be an album one day, for real…).
P.S. Please, don’t keep it inside if you hate it – shout it all out in comments. Better I get butthurt than you get a heart attack, I’m serious (of course, I am).
Some of you may know that during the last winter holidays, I set aside my violin. Instead of hard practice and preparations for upcoming events and recordings, I packed my things and went to Nepal for almost two weeks. I aimed to visit three places: Kathmandu (the capital), Lumbini (Buddha’s birthplace) and Pokhara, from where I went to the Himalayas for my first four days of trekking. I don’t have a degree in storytelling, so I prefer to share with you the photos I took on the way there and back. Because I stayed only three nights in Kathmandu, which means two full days, I visited just a few places.
First day – Thamel area, including the local school of arts, Durbar Square and Swayambhunath. Durbar is the historical center of Kathmandu, and Swayambhunath (also known as Monkey Temple) is a Buddhist Stupa.
Here is a short video of monkeys:
Second day – The Garden of Dreams, Pashupatinath Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa – one of the largest Stupas in the world.
I didn’t hire any taxis and instead walked all the way, so here are pictures from the non-tourist parts of the city.
On the third day, I traveled to Lumbini. The trip takes nearly 10 hours by bus, going over cliffs. It’s a good challenge for someone like me, who has a fear of heights. Check the video below (18+ language)
Lumbini is the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha. I had only one full day there to see the sacred places. Mainly, they are Maya Devi (Siddhartha’s mother) Temple and Asoka’s Pillar. Also, there are a number of temples. I stayed in a place called “Siddhartha Guest House,” where we had long, interesting evening conversations with Krishna, the guy who works there. The manager of the hotel was nice enough to give me and another guest a ride to the bus station early in the morning.
The next day, I traveled to Pokhara. It was the craziest roller coaster ride through the mountains, though it had amazing views. Just check out those pictures and videos:
Pokhara is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. My hotel was located in the area called Lake-Side (because of Fewa Lake, which is nearby). I had my breakfasts on the roof of Hotel Harmony, which has the nicest views ever.
Check this amazing view from my balcony:
I couldn’t miss a chance to rent a boat and travel over the lake to visit a World Peace Stupa.
I took the same way back. After that, I kept busy obtaining my trekking permits and buying the required goods, as the four-day “Ghorepani – Pun Hill” trek was a major reason why I had traveled to Nepal.
Day 1. Started from Nayapul village. Stopped for the night in Ulleri. That could have been an easy day if not for the 2.5 hours going up to the village at the end. Some people called those stairs “Stairway to hell”. It’s very hard, guys, trust me, especially for a person like me whose daily job is to sit back and talk to kids. I saw one lady crying along the way.
Day 2. Ulleri – Ghorepani. Quite hard walking. I was almost dead when I reached the village. However, I decided to go on top of Poon Hill (the target point, 3,200 meters in height) to see the sunset. This is the highest point of the entire trekking route, and it offers the best views of Annapurna’s peaks, as well as of Machapuchre and a few others. I recorded a Happy New Year video at the top of Poon Hill:
Day 3: Ghorepani – Tadapani. The most beautiful views were seen on that day.
Day 4. All the way down from Tadapani back to Pokhara. In the last village, I got a car lift that took me right to the hotel. I sent “Happy New Year” messages along with a video I’d recorded at the top of Poon Hill to my family, friends and subscribers. Then I went to “Godfather’s Pizzeria” where I celebrated the New Year with a decent pizza and beer. I took some more to the hotel.
A day later, I was returning to Kathmandu, where I stayed a night before I took my flight back to the UAE. Luckily, I had chosen the right seat near the window. Here are some photos from the plane:
Well, the album is almost done. It will contain seven pieces, all composed and recorded during my Qatar-Bahrain-UAE period, and 5 out of 7 are ready, which means recorded. Not edited, nor mixed and mastered yet.
I still doubt should I release it on CD or are downloads enough. Are you guys gonna buy CDs? Tell me in comments. Also I’d be happy to hear back from you about the impressions from listening the drafts below. Which one do you like more? Or maybe you really hate it, lol )
Anyways, feel free to comment! I have some bonuses for those who will take an action in comments, upon the album release date.
Ok, too much words. Just check it out and tell me, what you think.
Hey, folks, that’s just a brief notice that I found my music on Spotify )
If you guys listen to music on Spotify, there is a small thing you can do that will be a big help for me: FOLLOW me there
Once I get 250 followers, Spotify will “verify” my account, which opens up some cool possibilities for my music, and I’ll also be able to keep you updated whenever I release new song or album.
It really be a huge help and I’ll send and immediate psychic hug in return. Thanks!
The song is angry, actually. You should be aware. Very angry and very fusion.
It’s alive and it’s dangerous. The title is “Razzberty”, and nobody knows what that means. Even me.
The song was composed during one of the worst periods of my life. I was facing big problems I had no idea how to manage. I had lost my grandpa and I was discovering just how snaky and selfish people could be. One day I went to my university and saw a big sign depicting a flower growing out of the snow. The inscription said “All reborn”. That made me cry like a baby but turn into a right way. But it will be the next day, and the day before I felt like a big piece of darkness.
I went home and drank first beer, then cognac. After this medicine, all my black thoughts came out and this song was born. I used the distortion pedal for my violin to incorporate a positive moment.
The sound is very different, so I’ll provide a few words about the equipment I used.
Since I still hadn’t received my electric violin, I used an acoustic one with an AKG C-411 contact mic. Also, I used my beloved orange pedal Fender Starcaster flanger, Digitech Whammy and custom overdrive based on Ibanez Tubescreamer TS9DX scheme. Audio interface Alesis IO14 + MacBook Pro. Software: Logic Pro and plugins.
Since olden times, Ukrainians have been known for their musicality – and not just in terms of folk music. Ukrainians don’t sit by and ignore modern music. It isn’t only about winning European contests; our performers are well-known even in the Middle East.
For instance, last week, the Ilya Netkach Band achieved great success in the Battle of the Bands in Bahrain. “Three weeks ago, I received, from the organizer of the Battle of the Bands at the Hard Rock Cafe Bahrain, an invitation to participate. I gathered my colleagues and we formed a band. Before the semi-final, we had less than a week to rehearse. Then we had only another week to rehearse before the final. During the final, the judges gave us a standing ovation. People had a very emotional response to this very specific style of music,” said Mr. Ilya, the band leader.
Approximately 20 bands took part in the contest and six of them made it into the finals. “The brightest moments for us were on-stage performances. The audience’s response was absolutely unexpected. This was twice as valuable to us because we don’t have our own audience in Bahrain,” – that was how the musicians described the experience.
Mr. Ilya is a jazz violinist who composes his own music, mostly in the fusion style. He originally hailed from Kharkiv. In Ukraine, he had his own band, which performed at Fete de la Musique (Kharkiv). After moving to Qatar, Mr. Ilya participated in jazz jams and recorded his own music, which he posted to iTunes. Later, Mr. Ilya returned to Ukraine, where he stayed for six months and continued his musical activities. He played two tours as part of the Sympho Show “World Hits” and then moved to Bahrain.
Though the band was created specifically for the contest, the musicians will continue collaborating. “We have plans for the future. At present, I have invited a few more musicians and we are working on a full-scale concert program. The first show is scheduled for after Ramadan. Our band will be international. The keyboardist (Alina Kharchenko) and I are from Ukraine, the guitarist (Sunny Salis) is from India, the bass player is from Pakistan and the drummer (Ryan John) is from Bahrain,” said Mr. Ilya.
The band has its own creative vision. The musicians cast away any comparisons and state that music is not sports. The main point of any contest is to perform for the audience, not to win. Present-day musicians often forget this. “Winning the contest was not our main goal. Even in the finals, we did not expect anything. I knew that we would win something only when the judging panel gave us a standing ovation. It’s still possible to read our communication with the organizer of the contest on the Hard Rock Café page. There, he said, “We’re waiting for the result,” and I responded that this was not the most important thing, that we had achieved our outcome when the last song ended. It’s not good to forget the real reason why music exists,” said one of the musicians.
Online, there are quite a few compliments about the band’s performance. Users emphasized the unique character of the music and the outstanding giftedness of the musicians.