Part 2: Family history

While we were together (which was very often, we lived in the same apartment building) he would also tell me (because I begged him to) the story of his “escape” from Ukraine and what it was like to grow up during the pogroms, where the music was also used to dampen the children’s fears and push the horrors away. This part of my family history was never spoken about at gatherings during my childhood. Instead, it found its expression in the music and culture surrounding us which could embrace and express the feelings and experiences that were too hard to put into words, and thus became a central element of my family understanding and an indispensable part of the story of my family history.

After repeated visits to the exact areas that my grandparents grew up in (Ukraine and Poland) I started an informal study of the music mentioned above. I then gradually started composing new music inspired by this music, culture and family memories from my childhood, and the feelings and emotions attached to it, and started touring with it around Europe. During concerts in Ukraine and Poland with my band Kibrick, I experienced the audience having a very strong emotional reactions to the music. Conversations with audience members after concerts revealed that many could feel and recognize their own stories in the music (many of which were similar to mine), and that thru the music were able to address emotions that previously were difficult to articulate linguistically. Many also expressed joy in having a feeling of “community” regarding these emotions.