“Our action ‘Instrument of Freedom’ united several goals,” initiator of the movement, activist of Euromaidan’s Public Sector Markian MATSEKH told The Day. “The first one is that after these events many people have refused to have anything in common with Euromaidan, especially in eastern regions, where they have started to call us extremists. With the help of a simple symbol, the piano, we wanted to remind and show who we are. The second important message is that we all in Ukraine are together. The events are taking place not only in Kyiv – in all regions people have common views and common culture. The third is that I wanted to show the origin of the power’s debility. For example, in Luhansk people with the piano were not allowed to the square, and several keys were torn from the instrument as a result. In Donetsk people were threatened, and in Zaporizhia teachers were not allowed to perform. We wanted people to set priorities and analyze the situation on these simple examples. In our opinion, this is a simple way of communication with those who were indifferent or cautious about the Euromaidan. So, on Sunday, except for the cities I’ve mentioned, the piano was played in Kyiv, Lviv, Uzhhorod, Chernivtsi, Kirovohrad, Kherson, and Kharkiv. I am glad the action was successful. Next weekend and later the same actions should take place as well in Simferopol, Odesa, Kremenchuk, etc.,” Markian announces. Below are reports of The Day’s regional journalists about the most interesting details of Sunday actions.
Nearly 150 people gathered near the blue-and-yellow instrument at the Freedom Square in Kherson. Three girls agreed to play for the public and at the request of the people accompanied to Ukrainian folk and modern songs. “Song about the Towel-Cloth,” “Chervona Ruta,” “Two colors,” Ruslana Lyzhychko’s songs, and other works were performed. The piano and the paint to cover the instrument were bought for costs raised by the Euromaidan activists. According to the organizers of the action, when they called the numbers from advertisements of sale, the owners of the piano, when they learned the purpose for which the piano was to be bought, made a discount. “We love art, we can play, and we want to involve our fellow countrymen in the beauty,” artist Ania Kysla, who painted the Kherson piano, told The Day. “It is very symbolical that no one has played this piano for 30 years, it was ‘sleeping’ at the owners’ place. And today it has woken up on the Freedom Square in Kherson. Hopefully, this is a good sign. We will continue this kind of action.” Ivan ANTYPENKO, The Day, reports from Kherson.
In Kirovohrad the people’s viche started to the sound of peaceful-revolutionary yellow-and-blue piano. The instrument was donated to volunteers, so they painted it into national colors and brought to the local Euromaidan. They sang “Chervona Ruta,” “A Barrel was Burning,” and “Vitia, ciao!” which has already became a folk song. The action gathered up to 100 Euromaidan activists. It was organized by local activists Zoia Lebid, Roman Krunich, Nadia Palyvoda, Valerii Lebid, Andrii Lavrus, etc. And everyone could sit at the piano and suggest a song. Inna TILNOVA reports from Kirovohrad.
Kharkiv piano, rented by the organizers, was not painted into blue and yellow colors, but was wrapped into the state flag. Professionals and amateurs performed classical works and Ukrainian songs for two hours, and the list of works was compiled jointly in social media on the eve of the action. “Guys with whom I organize jazz festivals helped us. The aim of this action is to show that we are not terrorists,” smiles one of the organizers, Borys Zakharov. His wife, well-known singer and musician Maryna Zakharova, sang “Cheremshyna” and “Cartridge after Cartridge.” After the concert and meeting Kharkiv Euromaidan activists united, creating a great procession, which went to the studio of pro-governmental TV channel 7. The rally also supported the Channel Dozhd (Rain), which has faced repressions in Russia. Aliona SOKOLYNSKA reports from Kharkiv.
The “Warning! Fresh paint!” announcements were glued on the Zaporizhian music instrument on Monday: it was painted right on the venue of the action. Student of Zaporizhia National University Ivan Bilyk played the piano at the Poliak Square and sang several songs of his own and famous hits of Okean Elzy band. Kateryna KIZIM reports from Zaporizhia.
Nearly 100 people gathered for the action “Piano for Donetsk,” which took place in the center of the city and lasted for an hour. One of the organizers of the Donetsk event, Hazeta po-ukrainsky reporter Tetiana Zarovna says: “This is my piano, which has been silent for a long time and now has a new life. I want to say that we totally support solving of conflicts in our society with the help of enlightenment, we simply love Ukraine. Among the audience I can see both activists of Donetsk Maidan and people whom I don’t recognize.” The repertoire of the pianists included modern romances, plays of classical composers, and even their own works.
There is aggressive attitude in Donetsk to the Euromaidan actions: on February 8 supporters of the power dispersed the event of commemoration of the victims of peaceful protests in the capital. However, the street concert was quite peaceful. There were no posters, speeches, or political flags – just music. Engineer Serhii Tolmachov graduated from music school 40 years ago and now decided to play for Donetsk residents. “The Ukrainian youth has shown that new time has come, which is different because the unity is felt from inside – that is what the Donbas has failed to understand. A person feels another person’s thoughts and is ready to rush to help. So, I wanted to rush to play the piano,” Serhii Tolmachov smiles. Young pianist Pavlo Shnurenko says, “I study in a music school, I wanted to perform here. Today at 12:00 people all over Ukraine play the piano. Music can help improve life in the country, because everyone likes it, it unites people.” Maria PROKOPENKO reports from Donetsk.
All mini concerts finished with singing of the Anthem of Ukraine, of course, to the accompaniment of the “Ukrainian pianos.”