Estonian-Ukrainian band Svjata Vatra went on a tour in the middle of november to support Ukraine. The trip was very special, for the concerts were held in small town culture houses, music and art schools. Ukrainian musicians usually support soldiers and so the local people were extremely thankful and happy that music and support found their way to them. It was very emotional to meet local youngsters, because it gave the band a sense of hope. The band members were happy to see that the locals needed the humanitarian aid they brought and appreciated the simple communication through music. Svjata Vatra returned home convinced, that the Ukrainian peole wish to live in peace and welcome all kinds of help and communication, especially with youth youth organizations.
In Kyiv medical aid donated by Estonians was given to Aidar battalion, Pravoi Sektor and the spokespeople for volunteer organizations. The hosts were especially happy to receive drawings by the children of Märjamaa Art School, Viljandi Art School and Rannamõisa kindergarten. Recovering soldiers will now benefit from the sincere wishes put in the drawings. There was even a Radio Svoboda yournalist present when the delivery took place.
The folk-rock concert given at the Dnepropetrovsk art club was centered on gathering money to buy stretchers for those injured in battle. Svjata Vatra’s concert was filmed by two Ukrainian TV channels, the band gave interviews in Ukrainian and English.
The concert at the Slavyansk Art School was extraordinary. The hosts later wrote that there was a merging of cultures in the auditorium, friendship and empathy took hold and political views were suddenly of no significance. The band took to the stage literally without soundcheck after being late for more than an hour due to bad weather conditions. The audience welcomed Svjata Vatra with open arms from the first notes on. At first the audience was a bit shy to sing with the band, but later even the Estonian songs were sung together as a choire. The young people of Slavyansk have seen the gruesomeness of war and so the positive emotions of the concert stayed with them long, long after the band stopped playing. The organizers said that people attending the concert went home feeling happier, believing that although life takes many twists and turns, it is possible to understand and accept each other through all the hardhsip.
For Ruslan Trochynsky it was his first ever concert in Belitskoye – the town where he was born. The town gave his band received a warm welcome. At noon on Tuesday the local culture house was packed. There audienceconsisted mostly of pupils who had come to the the “star” of their little town who is well known in most of Europe. The young people of this little mining town found Svjata Vatra to be inspiring as the band showed them that it is possible to achieve anything they put their mind to it.
The local music and art schools both in Slavyansk and Belitskoye were given Estonian folk music CD-s, sheet music and books on jew’s harp. Slavyansk was presented with sheet music given by Estonian National Opera, to be joined by the Estonia piano. The teachers and students there agreed that music is a universal language that helps people understand each other better. Music studies are an important source of happiness for young people in these times of trouble.
The hosts were also given drawings by children of Viljandi Art School, Märjamaa Art School and Rannamõisa kindergarten that are now gracing their schools. The schools were also given cardigans, hats, socks and gloves knitted by the students of University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy.
In Kharkiv Svjata Vatra participated in a support concert that was dedicated to concertgoers who were injured in a bomb explosion that happened a week before and to rebuilding the culture club where the attack took place. Until that concert Ukrainian anthem had never before been accompanied by the Estonian bagpipe.
Svjata Vatra wants to thank everyone who helped them make this concert tour happen:
Viljandi Art School
Märjamaa Art School
University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy
Estonian National Opera
Folk musician Cätlin Jaago
Artur and Irina Gradov
Free Ukraine NGO
President of the Republic’s Cultural Foundation