Dolya Nash Krai

An idiosyncratic blend of stylistic types.... the music comes across vividly....

SPNM Reading panel
Dartington Gamelan

Dartington College of Arts Balinese Gamelan Orchestra

Photo courtesy Susanna Mo

A setting of 2 traditional Ukrainian folk texts for Soprano, Alto, Electric Guitar and Gamelan Gong Kebyar. Shortlisted in 2004 by the SPNM.

1] Nashe Slavne Tovaristvo (a folksong)

Hej! Povij vitre iz stepiv
Hej! Daj nam sylu Kozakiv
Hej! Daj nam sylu
Nashe slavne tovaristvo
Hej! Marshiruje, raz, dva, tri!
Hej! Vidno selo pid goroju
Oj tam jidut' nashi Kozaki do boju
Poperedu jidut' starshi otamany
Khto okhotu maje, khaj jide z namy
Khloptsi zh bo to khloptsi sokoly
Nashe slavne tovaristvo
Hej! Marshiruje, raz, dva, tri!

(Free translation: Cossacks appeal to a strong wind for its strength. In order to protect their freedom, they are marching through the village to battle; the bravest first.
"Join us if you will! We have been marching; one, two, three!")

2] Visluhay, Bozhe, Blahannya (a prayer)

Visluhay, Bozhe, blahannya
Niszhit ne dolya nash krai
Vyednosti syla narodu
Bozhe, nam yednost' podai

(Free translation: O Lord, give us the unity we need for our strength).

With thanks to Halyna Ovcharenko for providing me with these texts and offering her free translations.

Halyna Ovcharenko

Halyna Ovcharenko

Photo courtesy Halyna Ovcharenko

In 1998, when directing the Composers and Choreographers Exchange in London, I met the Ukrainian singer and composer Halyna Ovcharenko. Her stunning 'Authentic Voice' singing style immediately captured my imagination and some years later I decided to write a piece for her, setting two Ukrainian folk texts. It was not my intention to imitate the Ukrainian folk music style and, almost as if to make this point, I chose as her accompaniment the Dartington College of Arts Balinese Gamelan orchestra, an electric guitar and a second, non-Ukrainian voice.

Totnes Castle

Totnes Castle. Photo by Troxx (public domain image)

Dolya Nash Krai was subsequently premiered at Totnes Castle and recorded at Dartington College of Arts. The ensemble (also heard in the extract here) was as follows;

Christopher Best - Conductor
Maryam Best - Soprano
Halyna Ovcharenko - Alto
Paul Swoger-Ruston - Electric Guitar

With members of Dartington College of Arts Balinese Gamelan orchestra;
Elizabeth Hall, Konstantin Bikos - Pemade
Georgina Watts, Saj Heming - Kantilan
Michael McInerney - Ugal, Ceng-ceng Kopyak
Julia Brown, Tamsin Irving - Jublag
Yvette Worrall, Matthew Ratcliffe - Jegog
Wayne Cardy, Neil A. Kay, Kathryn Barker - Reyong
Benjamin Burge - Kelentong, Kempur, Gong
Jane Morley - Kajar, Ceng-ceng Kopyak

Page in progress
Words by 
Traditional Ukrainian folk text
Soprano, Alto, Electric Guitar, Gamelan Gong Kebyar
First performance 
Totnes Castle July 2004, conducted by Christopher Best.