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Soundtrack at the Grammy: how a Ukrainian from the USA created the music for Chernobyl

The requiem song "Eternal Memory" became the soul of the mega-popular series "Chernobyl". How a Ukrainian producer from Washington joined her recording and who performed the composition, says "Voice of America".

Photo: shot from the official trailer for the Chernobyl mini-series, YouTube / HBO

Ukrainian music school, traditions and performers are not inferior to Western ones, the hero of this story is convinced. What is missing is ties in the West. Andriy Pidkivka, a musician and producer who lives in the suburbs of the American capital, undertook to bring together Ukrainian performers and Western customers. He has already managed to attract Ukrainian performers to the production of one of the most popular TV series of our time, the musical accompaniment of which was awarded a Grammy award.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

The British-American TV series Chernobyl became a real sensation last year and received a number of prestigious awards, in particular the Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. The soundtrack for the series received a Grammy. The music was written by an Icelandic composer, but Ukrainian musicians were directly involved in the creation of the compositions.

The piercing and deep song-requiem "Eternal Memory" has become one of the leading compositions for the series "Chernobyl". The author is the Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadottir, and the performance is performed by the Lviv municipal choir "Gomon".

Music author. Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

The participation of Ukrainian musicians in the creation of this soundtrack became possible thanks to Andriy Pidkivka, a Ukrainian flutist from Lvov who has been living in the USA for 25 years.

“I was very pleased that they approached my company, which I founded several years ago, Ukraine Recordings,” says Andrey. “The project was completed very quickly, everything was recorded in a matter of hours.”

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Choir "Gomon" has existed for over 30 years. The team became a laureate of regional, national and international competitions. Andrey Pidkivka says he chose the choristers for their sound.

“They have exceptional voices, especially low voices where you had to sing very, very low notes,” says Pidkivka. "It was necessary for the composer and arranger proper."

Choir "Gomon". Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

Usually music for films is recorded in the studio or on the stage of the Philharmonic. But for this composition, authentic sound was important.

“Since this is church music, we decided to write it in church,” says Andrey. - And there was absolutely no processing. As it sounded in the church, it was naturally transferred and then superimposed on the picture. "

In January, Gudnadottir received a Grammy for her work and became the first woman to win the Best Music for a Film or Television Film category. Recently, Andrey Pidkivka received an official diploma recognizing his participation in the creation of the soundtrack.

“Of course, I am happy that we received the Grammy, this is a great event in my life,” Andrey admits. “This will push me to further creativity, to development, to the best and largest projects with various musicians, composers from America, Canada, Europe”.

On the subject: Trip to Chernobyl: than the exclusion zone attracts thousands of foreign tourists. PHOTO

“Chernobyl” is not Pidkivka's first collaboration with Hollywood. Previous works include compositions for the documentary “To the Arctic”, which was dubbed by Meryl Streep, as well as musical accompaniment to the theatrical action “Medieval Times” with knights and horsemen. This music was recorded with the participation of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine.

“We have been doing this project for 12 years,” says Andrey. - This show changes every 4 years. You go there and listen to the music that was recorded by the Kiev Symphony Orchestra. You are listening to the choir, it sings in Ukrainian. By the way, my wife wrote the lyrics for all the choral works ”.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

In addition to establishing cooperation between foreign companies and composers with Ukrainian musicians, Pidkivka, together with his wife Solomiya Gorokhovskoy, created a music school and himself performs at various festivals and events. He says that Ukrainian musicians have something to show to the American public.

“We have exceptional teachers, we have exceptional musicians, that is, the school is unique and not inferior in level to schools from abroad,” he says.

Andrey Pidkivka has a Doctor of Music Arts degree. But in addition to academic music, he actively develops folklore music, believing that it can become one of the cultural business cards of Ukraine.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

“Knowing and performing Ukrainian folk music on various musical instruments, I promote Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian music in many American schools,” says Andriy.

music culture Chernobyl Ukrainians in the USA

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