Informally about interesting things in the first person

Photo of Yurii KotPhoto of Yurii Kot

Dear friends, taking advantage of the fact that my beloved wife created my own site for me, I will try to run the first blog in my life here. It will resemble the "What are you thinking" section on Facebook. I plan to describe here my memories, as well as feelings from the present. I hope I succeed, and you might be interested! Let's go!
At certain periods of our lives, we have a need to analyze our biography, to look at it from the "third person" angle. This is also called "reflection". My reflection is in myself, but as if a third person is watching it. Initially, I had a need to keep a diary as a child. I don't remember whose influence it was. However, I later learned that our grandmother kept a diary. Oh, what the memories... She was born at the end of the 19th century, in Prague, in 1895, the year the Lumière brothers patented the cinematograph, the year of the historical discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Röntgen, the year of the birth of Borys Lyatoshinskyi and Maxym Rylskyi, in the year of the death of Mykhailo Drahomanov, Friedrich Engels and Alexandre Dumas-son, my grandmother described her memories almost from the moment of birth, in an almost perfect literary form, often with a wonderful sense of humor. So, whose influence on me happened here - it is clear. I just don't remember exactly how it happened, which prompted me to start a special notebook and write down everything that seemed extremely important to me at that moment. Likewise, I don't remember how my grandmother taught me to read sheet music, so that I began to "swallow" almost all the musical literature that was at home at that time. Among other things, one volume (second) of Beethoven's sonatas edited by Goldenweiser, a large brown volume with all the Mozart sonatas also by the aforementioned editor, and both volumes of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier edited by Mugellini, of course. There were many foreign notes, usually German and Czech, but they attracted me more with obscure Latin words. Again, I don't remember with what joy I copied these unfamiliar words, and it turned out to be my first acquaintance with foreign languages. At least, in the future, I never had a problem with writing and using the Latin alphabet. I remember the first diary in my life, where on the first page it was written in capital letters (the handwriting was terrible even then!) - "To be as Beethoven was, to live as Beethoven lived"(!). It was just the beginning...))
These photos are me and my grandmother Emilia.


Thank you very much for your support, dear friends! It inspires me to continue my journeys into the past and stimulates my desire to share these memories with you. So, I continue to fill my blog with content))
I have been very lucky in my life with music teachers. I often looked to them not only as teachers of music, but also as teachers of life. Somehow I will collect my thoughts and write about each of these wonderful people. But today I’m talking about one more teacher - about a gramophone records.
Analyzing the way I play, I realize how much of a role listening to records played. It even seems that often when I came to a piano class, I already had my "own" concept of a particular work. Moreover, I didn't have to listen to the piece I was playing. Often it was thanks to listening that an almost unerring understanding of the composer's style appeared. Fortunately for me, I listened to the records without analyzing, without explaining anything to myself. Just the sounds entered me and I enjoyed them.
As in almost every family, and even more so in the family of musicians, there was quite a large collection at home, from old records to more modern ones. Of these recordings, I had two of my favorites - F. Chopin's First Concerto performed by B. Davydovych and A. Jansons, 1960, an old worn-out record that reproduced magical sounds through noise effects and the skipping of the player's needle. Listening to the Concert, I imagined myself in the center of Warsaw. And the second record - two symphonies of Schubert, 5 and 8, on again very old vinyl produced by Muza in Poland with a Polish orchestra conducted by W. Rowicky. I could listen to the Fifth Symphony several times a day, and the result was that one day I was able to play all 4 movements of the Symphony by ear without ever seeing the sheet music!
B. Davydovych's performance of the Chopin Concerto is still the best for me. Everything there is very simple, and you can't explain to yourself what is so mesmerizing. Perhaps, it is precisely this simplicity and naturalness. By the way, a month ago I met a wonderful person and musician, violinist Dmytro Sitkovetsky, son of Bella Davydovych!

Music school of the city of PokrovskThe city of Kamianets-Podilskyi

Dear friends, inspired by your encouraging comments on my posts in the so-called blog, I continue with brief descriptions of myself)). And a little geo-biographical. The fact is that the place of my birth is the city of Krasnoarmiisk, Donetsk region. I don't remember anything about this city, since I was taken out of there somewhere around the age of 2-3, after the birth of my younger brother Volodya. The family saga told that the parents worked there in the local music school, this region guaranteed a higher salary, as it developed strongly. But I protested with all my being against being there. Health problems began, the Donbas winds mixed with anthracite dust could not have a positive effect on my promising body. And our family, or rather our parents, decided to move to Kamianets-Podilskyi, where our grandmother Emilia, my mother's mother, lived at that time. And not far away, 20 kilometers from Kamianets, in the picturesque, magically beautiful village of Humentsi, lived my father's family, his mother and father, his own sister. I grew up in Kamianets-Podilskyi until I was 11 years old, until I was sent to Kyiv to study at KSSMSH, (I will always remember this very abbreviation - Kyiv Secondary Special Music School - boarding school named after M.V. Lysenko). Therefore, I have every reason to consider myself a resident of Kamianets, even though the passport shows a completely different city that is unfamiliar to me.
Once, it seems, already after finishing the conservatory, I was going to play a concert in Donetsk or somewhere else, I couldn't resist and, seeing a familiar name of the city in the schedule of train stops, I went to the vestibule of the carriage and through the open door tried to breathe in the "native air". And I was somewhat disappointed, air as air. And one more time, I received a letter from a former colleague of my parents from the Krasnoarmiisk Music School, maybe already Pokrovsk Music School, where he mentioned my father and mother, and wrote that he was proud of my successes. It was really nice! He seems to have sent the letters to the address of the Kyiv Conservatory, where I have already started working. But I am forever in love with Kamianets-Podilskyi! Again a topic for separate memories!
Photo 1: Pokrovsk City Music School (Krasnoarmiisk)Photo 2: The city of Kamianets-Podilskyi

Music school of the city of PokrovskThe city of Kamianets-PodilskyiIllustration

I opened the geo-biographical topic in order to describe one of my very unusual childhood hobbies, which even sometimes competed with my passion for music... So, in the village of Humentsi, near Kamianets-Podilskyi, where, as I mentioned, our relatives lived paternal line, there was a church. It was built in 1870, as was stamped on the gate that opened the way to the stone steps and up the mountain, actually, to the church. Why was this date so memorable - ideologically, we were well versed and it was not associated with anything other than "grandfather Lenin" and the year of his birth. So, in the heyday of militant atheism, the church was turned into a warehouse for movies, which, probably for one reason or another, were no longer suitable for showing in cinemas. It seems that the person responsible for this archive was the so-called "Uncle Latko", who once played either tuba or baritone in the village brass band, which was led by our grandfather Philimon Kit. One day, the local boys decided to check whether the movie film was burning, they checked - it burned very well, and the church burned together with the films... Not completely, thick stone walls, the dome (its remains) and some ceilings remained. Films were scattered all over the neighborhood, some badly burned, some in almost undamaged condition. And so I began to collect it all. Sometimes I was afraid to go to the burned-out church by myself and persuaded my brother to help me. From these films, a world unfamiliar to me, a world of the past, fixed and divided into frames, looked at me. Strangers looked at me, and when they, say, turned their face, every single frame captured and "sealed" forever every moment of this turn. There were fragments of feature films, black and white and already in color, film magazines that were shown before the main film was shown, on regular 35 mm film and wide format, 70 mm, with magnetic sound tracks around the edges, as well as 16 mm film, looking at which , I think I seriously spoiled my eyesight. The most serious thing that we "unearthed" in one of the least damaged parts of the church were the cartoon "Piggy Bank", in its entirety, in the form of a bobbin or "skein", as we called it, and movie magazines with the announcement of the films "Silence" and "Lushka ”, where in one of the plots, the Soviet actor M. Derzhavin drove up to our Kyiv station in a taxi and the station approached us in all its glory through the front window of the car. There were also pieces from Gaidai's films, and you can imagine our joy when, watching films about Shurik for the first time, we shouted: "This is our church, what kind of film is it, it turns out!" And then a brand new, at that time gigantic and modern cinema "Yunist" appeared right next to our house and the story with films continued. We collected scraps that were thrown away with sawdust and other junk, and we glued together whole houses from matchboxes, where each box consisted of frames from one particular film. Of course, a serious account of these personnel was kept, everything was recorded in a large "office" book. And what is interesting - as a result of communicating with these pieces of frozen life, I already formed a certain philosophy of life, according to which every moment of our existence is perhaps fixed by someone or something, therefore, at any moment it can be considered, perhaps analyzed. There was also a parallel with music: just as the classical speed of 24 frames per second does not allow the human brain and eye to fix separate frames, so a single bar in music is not a self-sufficient unit, and a certain "creative" speed is needed to create a kind of music-film process. A bit strange philosophy for a very young age... Or maybe not strange... And at certain moments of that time, I doubted whether I should do music or become a cinematographer! Oh, I don't know...Photo 1: Entrance to the village of HumentsiPhoto 2: New church in the village of Humentsi. Photo by Petro HrushkoPhoto 3: Film

Music school of the city of PokrovskThe city of Kamianets-PodilskyiIllustration

Continuing to delve into my childhood, I come to the conclusion that my story is very similar to many stories of people of my generation. Everything, with small nuances, is similar, as were the houses we lived in, the schools we attended, the school uniforms we wore, the streets we walked on, cartoons, movies and TV programs we watched. And yet...Taking into account that my first class at a music school was in the distant 1974 (I could be wrong), I conclude: I was not one of the "early ones", I was already 8 years old. Apparently, my father, who worked for years at the Kamianets-Podilskyi Music School, somehow calculated that he would graduate from the 8th grade of a general school and graduate from a music school at the same time. It is still a very difficult mathematical problem for me. The school became a family even before the moment of admission, New Year's "morning parties" were held there for the teachers' children. A huge Christmas tree in a huge hall, of course, for children's perception, gifts and in general the whole New Year's atmosphere. And even before that, my father sometimes took my brother and me fishing, where we were together, for example, with the school director A.Kravtsov, the headmaster Mr.Hyzhdivskyi and the accordion teachers Mr. Starenky and Pavel Fomich Gutsalov, who lived a few houses from us, had a slightly shortened index finger (it seems) and a luxurious, gasoline-smelling motorcycle with a sidecar. Therefore, the entrance exams to the school passed for me almost without excitement, I clapped something in my hands, sang in an optimistic and patriotic voice M. Dunaevsky's song "A nu-ka pesnyu nam propoi..." and was accepted into the class of the young teacher Zinaida Vyacheslavivna Shumilova. I remember my childhood crush on her. It happened several times that Zinaida Vyacheslavivna told me: "Don't look at me, look at the keys!", when I "imperceptibly" looked at her reflection on the shiny surface of the front cover of the piano. I am sure that it was not easy to teach me... I was terribly stuck in the lessons, and once, standing up from a round chair, I almost fell, my leg was so stiff from the immovable posture during the lesson... Probably, not only that... Before entering school, I already played the first part of Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata, the second part by ear in C major, the first beat chord in F major, followed by C major, seemed so natural to me. What I liked most in the world was to improvise, to create my own works, to consider myself a promising young composer (at that time I was already the author of several pages of several piano sonatas, as well as the several bars of the Dance from the opera "The Man and the King", and many miniatures, which my grandmother wrote down. That is why I am infinitely grateful to my dear Zinaida Vyacheslavivna Shumilova for her incredible patience, for her pedagogical talent, thanks to which I unconsciously began to play with the correct hand position, for the first time in my life I began to play "according to the notes", and not just by ear. And now, when I call my first teacher, when I hear her voice, which has not changed at all since those days, when I ask about her current students, I dive into my childhood, see that huge, invisible to me, but so necessary and painstaking work , which was held in order for me to become a musician in the future. Good health to you, my dear Teacher!Photos: Pages from the booklet about the Kamyanets-Podilsky Children's Music School named after F. D. Ganitsky