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Music

Stereokarpaty (Stereocarpa- thians)

In September 2011, ‘Stereokarpaty’ – the long-awaited second studio album of the band, was released. This album includes songs inspired by folk music from the Polish and Ukrainian borderland that are sung by Marysia Jurczyszyn in Ukrainian and Eastcarpathian dialects. “Στέρεος” (read: stereos) in Greek, apart from its reference to sound quality, means ‘solid’, ‘powerful’, ‘well-built’ and ‘well-constructed’. These very qualities are pertinent to TOLHAJE’s new release – more mature, perfected, and wrapped with Carpathian stereophonic inspirations.

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“STEREOKARPATY” is a CD that contains a collection of musical pieces with the lyrics that had mostly been taken from traditional Carpathian folk songs. They are multithreaded kolomeykas (“Oj, powiszu kolysoczku”, “Bojkowska kołomyjka”, “Ej, bylo ne hrymilo”) that tell stories of love and everyday life as well as encourage the listeners to dance and have fun. This kind of songs was meant to cheer people up and add some color to the otherwise grey and harsh reality, which is also why they were prevalently performed as popular dance songs. Periodicity in nature was depicted in folk compositions, too. Wesnianka (i.e., a song performed during springtime) “Da selo, nasze selo” is about a joy brought by the spring’s arrival, and about the rebirth of human soul. “Rusaloczky”, also sung during the period of transition from spring to summer, is a water-nymph’s peculiar incantation. The motif of love, which enters human life and alters it, was an important element of the Carpathian folk songs. “Hora, hora i dolyna” and the ballad “Kraj mylyj” talk about such love, whereas “Lita ptaszok podpid daszok” is a traditional wedding song. “Oj, ne budu, ne budu” tells us about a girl that marries a man whom she does not love and thus a hard life awaits her. This song also expresses attachment to the homeland. In the final piece on the CD, which is a typical lullaby, children talk with the moon before they fall asleep. Maria Jurczyszyn wrote the lyrics for “Tajemna nicz” and “Da za góra, da za lias…”. The former depicts the mysteriousness of night, as night in the folk culture is considered to be a quaint period since this is the time when the souls of the dead and mysterious apparitions become active. The latter was inspired by a game “The Witcher”. It is a story about a mighty magician, which is sung in the mixture of the Old Church Slavonic, Old Ruthenian and Old Polish languages. Thanks to this approach, the lyrics sound ancient and archaic without being attached to any nationality – they are simply Slavonic.