Introducing Das Wortspiel, a new experimental music project from Ukraine. Its founders are the sound producer and composer Max Smogol and the incredibly talented singer Maryana Golovko. Maryana is a professional opera singer, a member of the world famous Ukrainian project NOVA OPERA.
In Das Wortspiel Maryana goes even further — into the territory of avant-garde spoken word genre, continuing the work of Anna Clarke, Kate Tempest and Laurie Anderson. Their debut LP with Max Smogol, Chapter I, is a concept album that combines melodeclamations with ethnic singing and theatrical performance.
The project’s name translates from German as ‘wordplay’.
Created in 2022 during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, ‘Chapter I’ includes the musicians’ reflections on the war. While in Berlin, Maryana and Max joined numerous events aimed at supporting the Ukrainian community against Russian aggression. This became a source of inspiration for creative decisions that resulted in the birth of poetry and musical accompaniment to it.
“The poems were created in different periods of 2022: when it seemed that there would be no more reason to smile, and when hope looked into the heart as a thin ray through the narrow gap between apathy and inspiration. This is a very important job for me. In particular, to touch the poetry of my favorite Ukrainian poet, Yuri Izdryk, again. This is my journey through this difficult year…
Now it seems to me that this album is my salvation. This is what all our experiences of that most terrible and difficult, but also the most productive period immediately after the war started resulted in. It’s the adrenaline of those first days and aggression and anger; but also sadness, despair, and uncertainty… A complex bouquet of emotions that I think is reflected in the different tracks of the album. In addition, all the recordings were made not in a studio environment, but wherever and however we had to, and using a very limited set of instruments that was available at the time. This can be heard in the final mix, which is permeated with a very sincere sound…”
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