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  • ENERGY 2012 - статьи, репортажи, отзывы

    Anna Arkhipova, music expert

     Опубликовано: 23-12-2012, 09:43  Комментариев: (0)

    “We all breathed out…” or Improvisation as the art to survive.

    The first contest of pianists-improvisators named after Dmytro Tiomkin is over in Kremenchuk.

    Jazz in Ukraine is in the stage of the certain renaissance nowadays. This virtuosic art has pulverized a great deal of admirers for the last 10 years. Jazz Festivals have appeared almost in all large cities of Ukraine: Uzhhorod, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne, Lutsk, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kryvyi Rih, Odesa, Kyiv; Koktebel, Sevastopol in Krym, and it’s not a complete geographic list of hot “jazz spots”. There are many jazz-clubs and the new ones are opened almost in any little town of Ukraine. Today it is an exact index of cultural level of the town and its cultural environment. Vivid and charismatic personalities put the jazz art forward, the admirers support their favorite jazz, while buying the tickets to the concerts. Their number increase consistently, and the army of pop concerts admirers is melting gradually at the same time.

    And at last the remarkable cultural event took its place: the first contest of pianists-improvisators named after Dmytro Tiomkin (1894-1979) was held in Kremenchuk as a part of II International jazz festival “Energy” on May, 16th – May, 18th, 2012. Dmytro Tiomkin, composer and pianist, who was born in Kremenchuk has won the worldwide fame of one of the best music author for Hollywood motion films. The contest took its place with the assistance of the Embassy of Ukraine in Great Britain, Patrick Ras (USA) and Olivia Douglas-Tiomkin peculiarly (Great Britain). Beside the official prizes of the festival for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, she founded the special prize fund which was the confirmation that contest was considered to be a remarkable cultural event. Every participant who got into the final round has got the cash prize. The information on competition events is posted on the official website of Dmytro Tiomkin in USA.

    «Volta Music», the official publishing company of Dmytro Tiomkin’s music in USA, prepared the special present for the competitors – the book “Dmytro Tiomkin: Portrait” written by Christopher Palmer, and also the official congratulation on video “Greetings from Hollywood” which was taken special for that an event. All competitors, participants of the Festival, guests and the large audience have seen it the day of gala-concert, on May, 18th.

    It is not a surprise that the founders and organizations of the concert were the musicians – Jazz band “Apple Jam”, and also the Social organisation “Agency of Kremenchuk territories development” and Culture administration of Kremenchuk Municipal Council.

    The honorable Jury of the contest was headed by Volodymyr Solianyk – the Honored artist of Ukraine, pianist-improvisator, professor of R.M. Glier Kyiv State Higher Music College (Kyiv), the honorable art-director of annual international festival Jazz Koktebel.

    Natalia Leshchenko, the president of steering committee, said at once at the press-conference in honor of contest’s opening that the contest brought a lot of surprises: “The idea of contest of young pianists-improvisators belongs to the member of Steering committee, Leshchenko Ihor, and arose a year ago, when we were holding the commemoration meeting of our countryman, pianist and composer, Dmytro Tiomkin in Kremenchuk. We were preparing for the contest of improvisators for almost a year, but, unfortunately, the terms of studying and examinations were moved because of Euro-2012. It was the reason why a lot of participants just couldn’t come… Anyway we had a very good cast of performers-improvisators in different styles, including academic and jazz music, and we picked over 18 applications of competitors from 12 towns of Ukraine and town of Tula (Russia). We were getting the audio and video materials of participants and I was just listening with delight of their artistry. That time it was clear for us that the Contest put quite a difficult task for the jury of picking over the winners.”

    Improvisation is the sum and substance of jazz art. Actually, the jazz was born from the spontaneous collective improvisation the hundred years ago. And today it influences all forms of music-making, including the academic music. Improvisation is a large notion and is typical for all kinds of art. But improvisation in jazz is the core of all its lines development as it is the compulsive part of jazz composition. If you can not improvise, then you should not be taken as the real jazz musician. It is the same with the situation nowadays when the ability to improvise in life is the condition of surviving in it.

    So, the improvisation is the opened sky for aerial acrobatics of artistry as during the solo in life, as also during the solo of musician at the stage. So it is clear why the contest of improvisators is a fascinating competition of the best from the best ones. Nowadays such events are constantly held in the USA and in Western Europe. As for the former Soviet Union area, such events took their place in the Baltic states and in Russia. In Ukraine it is the first Kremenchuk contest of pianists-improvisators.

    That’s why, as the Head of jury, Volodymyr Solianyk pointed out, unfair judging and political prejudice is not the fear for that a contest ever: “It can take its place only in case of sound-tracking. But it is unreal in jazz as it is, that is the nature which can not be sold. Why should anyone here be moved along? Is you are not a professional, you will not be accepted anywhere still. Jazz is a very special music, it is honest and vivid, there is no “lip synching” in it. It sets it apart from popular music and saves from inevitable financial conditions, which take their place in show business. When the medal places are bought in such contests, it doesn’t refer to music anyhow. Improvisation as the great art to compose the music this very moment, here and now, - is the real art, and I am very glad we set up this contest in Ukraine. I think it will be very popular in future.”

    So, 18 formidable performers from 10 towns of Ukraine passed to participate in the 2nd round. Among them there was such a famous pianist as Oleksiy Bogoliubov, town of Kyiv; and also pianist Andriy Denysov from town of Tula (Russia). Thanks to the high level of different stylistic lines where the participants were improvising, the contest turned out to be not only virtuosic and original, but also quite spectacular.

    The participants were given two hours for preparation to the task-improvisation on the same melody for everybody, taken from works of composer Dmytro Tiomkin, and also for improvisation on melody at their choice, taken from the works of maitre. It should be pointed out that printed music with the works of Tiomkin are published by company “Volta Music” in USA, and it was the first time for the musicians to see them. One of the most difficult steps for the performers was the third one, - tapeur contest, - it was the task without time for preparation, where the participants had to improvise the background music of the silent screen fragment, which the legendary Dmytro Tiomkin composed music in his day to.

    23-years old musician-improvisator from Oleksandriia – Ivan MOKHIY, blind from childhood, was the real creative breakthrough among the contestants. He was helped to take part in the tapeur contest, while synchronously telling about the events of Hollywood western shown on the black-and-white screen. The musician got through this task in a perfect manner, and became the hit, the spectators greeted him standing, and also he became a favourite for foreign guests of the festival, the band of famous Brazilian bossa nova performer Filo Machado (vocal/ guitar), consisting of: Ark Ovrutski (contrabass, bass guitar), Jorge Continentino (saxophone, flauto), Adriano Santos (tympana). Ivan made a brilliant performance at the jam-session with them after the official program of “Energy” festival. The Head of the jury, Volodymyr Solianyk, personally presented a heart-stirring souvenir to Ivan – a small white piano model brought from Los Angeles. Foreign guests also noticed the excellent performance of their colleagues at the “Energy” festival – Lviv band “Shokolad”. The young band stroke everyone dumb by the spirit and incredible beauty of Ukrainian melos, they conquered the emotions of the audience by magnificent ethno-jazz sound, creative interpretations and European level of mastership. Even the list of the countries, where they gained the affection of listeners, is quite impressive. Jazz-band Apple Jam (town of Kremenchuk) prepared a special program of Dmytro Tiomkin’s works for the performance at the festival as in original, as also in their own version. It was the first time for many Ukrainian listeners when they heard the works of their countryman. Although the Hollywood style was shining brightly with ultrawhite smile at each work, but also the Slavonic melos, smooth temper, humor and heart-warming melodies of Dmytro Tiomkin’s works have definitely pulverized the audience by perception of the native roots in his music.

    In the final round of the contest, in conditions of the most acute competition, young improvisators showed such a high level, that the jury caused to invite for participation 10 contestants instead of 7 as was announced beforehand. By the decision of the jury the best at the final were: 1st contest prize winner - Albert Saprykin, town of Kyiv, student of the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music, the improvisator in academic music sphere, and Oleksii Boholiubov, town of Kyiv – 2nd contest prize winner, a well-known Ukrainian pianist, composer and jazz improvisator.

    The remaining places at the contest were divided as follows: three of 3rd contest prizes were presented to Andrii Rybalchenko, town of Donetsk, Pavlo Polonchuk, town of Cherkassy, and Andrii Denysov, town of Tula, Russia. The contestant from Kremenchuk, Davyd Panasenko, second-year student of Kremenchuk flight college, got the special nomination “The pride of Kremenchuk”.

    The surprise of the contest named after Dmytro Tiomkin was the victory of Albert Saprykin, who challenged the stereotype that the art of improvisation is the patrimony of jazz: “I think there is more freedom for improvisation in academic music, because there is no need to walk the line, you can fold wherever you like and determine the fate of the work in a very unexpected way even for yourself. But there is a “dark side” in the improvisation as it is – one risks to melt among the piles of styles and turn into an apologist of the whole music history”. Oleksii Boholiubov, the winner of the 2nd prize, said: “It was widely thought for a long time that improvisation ended up with Bach works. It is true – nowadays there are few real masters in jazz. In academic music this ability is not encouraged by official educational programs at all. We came here to breathe out! – And finally, there is a contest where we can be ourselves”.

    Summarizing the events of the contest, the member of jury Petro Poltariev said: “Anyway, the contest of improvisators is the contest of the highest mastership. The musicians, who passed this school, can conquer any summit without any problem”.

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