The whole world is struggling with pandemic challenges. Governments close their borders and international events are cancelled. But, actually, the need for cultural life is becoming even stronger. Social distancing makes one feel cut off from life and the best way to solve this problem is observing virtual events. One of our newspaper workers Yury Dubovik, the leader of the musical project called “Vochy” (“Eyes”), shared with us personal experience of creating a music group and taking part in virtual events.
– We are a project. Not a band actually, because a band usually consists of several regular members. But in a project the number of members is unlimited. For example, about 12 people were involved in our album recording. And during concerts it’s not a problem to gather together a particular number of musicians. Each of them can have their own music band but we are still united by common ideas.
What we do is called Neofolk. We don’t use folk music as the base for our songs, but we create songs by ourselves hoping that one day they will likely be called “folk”.
Yury told us some facts about their project. It was created in 1993 and was called “Imagined people”. Gradually they changed language of songs, style of music and, finally, their name coming to what they are today. They released album nominated to “Rock Profi” award, 2 clips and now are working on the 3d one. In 2019 they won international award on “OPPA-2019” festival in Warsaw. As a result, “Vochy” got multiple invitations to perform in Poland, but coronavirus interrupted their plans. The project members had to return to Belarus.
But they didn’t give up and started using all possible benefits of online life.
Yury says it’s natural that music bands want to continue being active even during the pandemics. Some choose to close their studios and play for themselves honing their skills. But “Vochy” went another way. They started organizing online music streams. The first was held in April and was devoted to medical workers. The second stream was in favor of Grodno shelter for homeless animals and even helped the project to collect some money for the shelter.
There are no recordings of streams, but later “Vochy” took part in online project “Rock Monday” held by Grodno Philarmonic. This performance has been recorded and now is in free access.
Regarding the future Yury thinks online-streams will become even more popular. It’s not a mere recording in the studio, because you know people are watching at you right in the moment and listening to your songs. So the feedback is great. He also emphasizes the role of open-air concerts in the near future.
So now you know what Neofolk is and how to enjoy music concerts during the pandemics. Surely, our lives have drastically changed in the last months. But despite any challenges we open our minds and hearts for music.