This music was written in a complicated period. Our mentor, Vlad Troitskyi, offered to make an album that could unite Ukraine, which is currently being torn apart. The protagonist of the album is a chumak whose trip seems to be ‘sewing’ the country together. The tracklist for the album was taken from the sequence of a concert, so the story begins with the song ‘Oy ishov chumak’ (‘Oh, There Went a Chumak’), because first we must immerse ourselves in a particular state.
We recorded the song ‘Chorna Khmara’ (‘Heavy Cloud’) from Marko’s grandmother. Then, Marko played a working version of it to her in his car, interested to hear her opinion. She listened until the end and asked, ‘That’s it?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, OK!’, she said and left. She also told him to change a couple of words and make overly-long middle eights shorter, as she forgot what he was singing about. That generation of people, first and foremost, considered the meaning in songs. The melodics too, of course, but at that time there was no internet and no radio, and the songs were the whole world for them. The means of communication. And meditation.
Although the song ‘Chorna Khmara’ seems sad, it also has a humorous nature. It’s just true life. We have songs that seem really tragic in our performance but they are also quite ironic, sarcastic, and merry.