Kalush Orchestra contributes to the war effort with its concerts

On May 14, Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision, in Turin (Italy), with the song Stefania. The Ukrainian group was overwhelmingly acclaimed by the public of the competition: it received points from the thirty-nine voting countries and twenty-eight awarded it the maximum score of 12 points. “This victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Glory to Ukraine! “, had then reacted hot Oleh Psiuk, the leader of the band. As we wrote at the time, this triumph was a cry from the heart and the support of the European people for the country at war.

The members of Kalush Orchestra were already a symbol of Ukraine fighting for its freedom. Several weeks before the musical competition, they had obtained special authorization to leave Ukraine and travel around Europe. “It is very important for us to seize the opportunity to represent our country and be of as much use to it as possible. It is essential that Ukraine is not forgotten”, underlined in April Oleh Psiuk, in 20 minutes who met him in Amsterdam (Netherlands). It was not long before he put the Eurovision trophy up for auction in order to participate in the war effort: the Crystal Microphone went for 900,000 dollars.

“A great responsibility”

One year after the start of the conflict, the group continues its mission to soft-power. On February 15, he was in the European Parliament where he held a joint press conference with Sabine Vereheyen, President of the Culture Committee. “Being the spokespersons of Ukrainian culture is a very big responsibility. It is that of every artist representing Ukrainian creativity on the international scene and who tries to help his country in every way: by carrying the voice of his country, by collecting money for the army or humanitarian organizations…” , says Tymofii Muzychuk, player of sopilka, a traditional flute, and another singer of Kalush Orchestra that 20 minutes met in mid-February, before the concert of the Ukrainians at the Cabaret Sauvage in Paris.

The members of the group now have Poland as a base between each concert in Europe or in the rest of the world. “If we have a wide window between two shows, we go back to Ukraine as we did for New Year’s where we were able to see our relatives and friends, explains Tymofii Muzychuck. When we are not in our country or in concert, we devote ourselves to writing new songs. Even when we are not in a favorable mood for creation, we are obliged to find the strength within ourselves to continue working. What we do, we do first and foremost for Ukraine. We are working in our own way to get closer to victory. »

“That the news of Ukraine does not leave the front page”

For Kalush Orchestra, touring “aims above all to ensure that Ukraine news does not leave the front page” of the Western media and to “remind Europe that Ukraine is at war”. “We say at each concert that we need support,” continues the musician. Each time, a kakemono is deployed at the forefront. It presents the QR code through which the public can send a donation. During the previous tour, no less than 1.5 million euros were collected.

“Wherever we perform in Europe, the welcome is warm. In North America it is particularly strong, because the Ukrainians who live there tell us that listening to our music is like breathing a breath of fresh Ukrainian air,” says Tymofii Muzychuk. The group is also preparing to take off for the United States: between March 9 and 13, it will perform in Cleveland, Orlando, Detroit, Atlanta and Austin.

A few days earlier, Kalush Orchestra will have unveiled, Changes, a brand new song. Then he will prepare to contribute to the next edition of Eurovision. “We are disappointed that the competition cannot be organized in Ukraine, but we are grateful to the United Kingdom for accepting to be the host country”, advances the flautist.

In Liverpool, where the competition will take place, Kalush Orchestra will perform Stefania “and another song, of which [il] keep it a secret”. The group also hopes to witness the victory of the Ukrainian duo Tvorchi, in contention with heart of steel “and that Eurovision will take place in Ukraine next year”. It would also mean that his mission is over.

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