Thursday, 17 July 2014

Three songs

Those three recordings below are a little taster of our Songs in Many Tongues evening at Sharmanka. You can listen to all performances HERE. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Joanna's song on Soundwave

Joanna Matwiejczuk's song 'O moja matulu' (Oh My Mother) can be heard on John Cavanagh's latest SOUNDWAVE! :)

John's Cavanagh Soundwave

Friday, 11 July 2014


photographs by Pawel Glowienka

The host of the event - John Cavanagh

Stepan and Wilf



Wilf and Jill

Hamish accompanied by Becca

Marzanna and Ula

Meray and Ceylan
 some of the audience

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Songs in many tongues recording

Songs in Many Tongues took place at Glasgow's Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre on 3rd June 2014. The idea to have an evening of melodies from around the world transpired in response to previous events highlighting the joys of poetry in many different languages: even if one did not understand all that was being said, the beauty of each linguistic "song" still carried a great deal of meaning to the audience. To those who organised those poetry happenings - Marzanna Antoniak, Anna Strzalkowska and John Cavanagh - it seemed only logical to expand the concept to feature music from different geographical and cultural backgrounds. The event was a great success, encouraging collaboration, listening, sharing and, hopefully, an ongoing process of harmonious understanding amidst the many nationalities who attended and who live in or visit Glasgow. Songs performed ranged from poignant solo a cappella renditions to full band & audience participations on songs from Scotland to Turkey.

Stepan Zatkulak 'Husičky' (Geese)

Joanna Matwiejczuk ‘O moja matulu’ (Oh, my mother)

Meray Diner & Ceylan Hay 'Yediküle'

John Cavanagh 'Freedom Come All Ye'

Ula Kinderyte 'Ko to tamo peva' (Who's singing there)
Elaine Nicol 'The urge for going'

Some of the Russkaya Capella:
Ashley Holdsworth, Elena Sedounov,
Elvira Martemyanova and Igor Martemyanov
'Ничто в полюшке не колышется' (Nothing sways in the field)

Hamish Kallin 'Mayn Rue Platz' (My resting place)

Two other tunes that were sung collectively were a traditional Scottish piece ‘The Island Spinning Song’ and a Polish folk song ‘To i hola’.

Fiona Frank
Wilf James
Jill Leavey
Miro Cuba
Stepan Zatkulak

Thank you all!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Voices of our 1st 'Songs in many tongues'

Stepan Zatkulak

Stepan sang a traditional Czech song 'Husičky' (Geese). This song is about a lady who is asking geese to pass a message to her lad, that she’s waited for him way too long... 55 years! Her hair has now started growing gray... Stepan is a musician from the Czech Republic. "I like to bound people together for a bit of culture and laughter" he says.

Joanna Matwiejczuk
Joanna is from a historic town in Poland – her beloved Zamoshch. For 28 years she’s been part of a Polish folk ensemble Zamojszczyzna. For the last 13 years she’s been a hostess of international folk festivals led by the International Council of Organisations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts.  She sang a beautiful song ‘O moja matulu (Oh, my mother). A daughter is asking her mother why she didn't choose a fate for her - be it good or bad...

Meray Diner and Ceylan Hay
Ceylan and Meray first met at a music festival last summer. Constantly colliding at other events since, they soon became fast friends, sharing a love of cultures and the arts, and a Turkish connection, as Meray is from North Cyprus and Ceylan is half-Scottish, half-Turkish. They sang a song by the socialist band Yeni Turku, about the seven towers of Istanbul prison where the protagonist is locked away with his baglama saz (a kind of Turkish lute). Ceylan first learnt this song from the Glasgow-based Turkish novelist named Defne Çizakça, who said that the prisoners used to carve notches into their saz to mark the passing of time. They were accompanied by Miro Cuba.

John Cavanagh
John Cavanagh chose to sing 'Freedom Come All Ye' written by Hamish Henderson. The main theme of this song is anti-imperialism and Scots’ role in the conquest and oppression of other people within the British Empire. One of fragments translated in to English says: “Broken families in lands we’ve helped to oppress will never again have reason to curse the sound of advancing Scots” – the scary sound of the bagpipes. The song ends with hope and anticipation of a future world where all races can live in peace and friendship. Although it’s written in Scots language, one of the admirers of this song was Nelson Mandela and it was sung when he was made a Freeman of the City of Glasgow. When John was fourteen years old, he met and recorded Hamish Henderson at Glasgow’s Third Eye Centre, now the CCA.

Ula Kinderyte
Ula Kinderyte, who is a great violin player, this time chose  an accordion. Ula sang a Serbian song 'Ko to tamo peva' (Who's singing there). She asked Marzanna to help her with the chorus. A huge thank you to Ula for introducing this lovely bitter-sweet piece to us! And for sharing the story of it as a road song.

Elaine Nicol
Elaine is known to many as a wonderful teacher. But not so many know (yet!) that she is also a wonderful singer. "Any free time I've got I love to spend singing and playing guitar. Actually, I'm usually singing or humming while I'm doing most things, and no car journey or walk to work is complete without some music on the go. I really enjoy playing on my own but sharing music with other people is one of my favourite things - I just wish I had a bit more time for it!"  
Elaine sang 'The urge for going'.
"I remember the first time I heard this song. I had the radio playing in the background while I was studying one evening when it came on.  Although I recognised Joni Mitchell's voice, I didn't know the song at all, and the combination of the beautiful lyrics and haunting melody compelled me to stop what I was doing and listen.  For me, it so perfectly captures the feeling of transition that autumn brings and the reflection that comes with it."

Ashley Holdsworth, Elena Sedounov, Elvira Martemyanova
and Igor Martemyanov

Ashley, Elena, Elvira and Igor sang a song 'Nothing sways in the field'. They are part of the Russkaya Cappella that was founded in August 2009.

"We are a small amateur mixed voice choir based in Glasgow and sing usually unaccompanied. The ensemble exists to explore the rich repertory of Russian music for choirs – primarily by singing it. While there is an emphasis on sacred music, folk music and secular composed music is also represented. The choir comprises of both Russian and non-Russian singers.

Many of our members do not speak Russian but this is not a barrier because the text we sing has been transliterated and we all share a passion for Russian choral singing. As one of our members said after singing at Sharmanka ‘We come together through music.’"


Hamish Kallin
Hamish hasn't sung publicly since his Bar Mitzvah, but his grandfather - a Glasgow man - always wanted to be an opera singer, and used to sing Hebrew in the most beautiful way. He is doing a PhD in urban geography, which he might finish one day.

"The song I'm going to sing is called Mayn Rue Platz (My Resting Place). It was written by a Polish Jewish poet called Morris Rosenfeld in 1905. Rosenfield worked as an immigrant tailor in London and New York, like most poor Jewish immigrants. He was known as one of the "Sweatshop Poets", whose work concerned the plight of the working class and the need for revolutionary change.
I came across the song on the soundtrack of a wonderful film about Jewish anarchists in New York which screened at my local cinema when I was about 15 and changed my life. I subsequently found an LP recorded in 1971 by the Jewish Students' Bund in New York called Yiddish Songs of Work and Struggle, which remains the most precious material thing I've ever paid money for, and the version I will sing is from that."

Thank you all for sharing your songs with us!

We also had some collective singing and it was pure fun!
It was great to see everyone leaving with a great smile on their faces!
Thank you all!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Songs in many tongues

Here are some photographs from our 1st 'Songs in many tongues' gathering at Sharmanka.

by Tatyana Jakovskaya

a recording will follow soon...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

A notebook

- a birthday gift for a RADIO PREZENTER and AVANGARDE SHIRT LOVER.

First work in progress:

And here the result:
It had to be an old school music theme fabric.
A cuff of an old shirt and a brass radio pendant also were necessary.

hand-made by Marzanna