I leaned on the front of the stage at SunFest last night. Eight feet away from me was a cellist, a member of the Ukrainian quartet Dakha Brakha. Here’s what the program had to say about them:
Three striking women in white wedding dresses and tall black Astrakhan hats … harmonizing in mighty steel-tearing Ukrainian white voice, two band members pounding drums and the third digging into a folk-pattern-painted cello with massive abrasive energy, plus a male singer wielding accordion and trombone
To be so close to a woman who closed her eyes, threw her head back and sang unknown words was a marvel. She held her cello between her knees at an angle rather than straight on. She played some incredibly high notes and would slide her finger down for the next one, creating a mournful wail. Again with her eyes often closed.
To see those women in their embroidered dresses, wearing many loops of large grey beads around their necks, and to feel the power of the drums … Wow. Some kind entity allowed me to experience the driving beat and the tender ballads from a few feet away. I’ve had so many intense moments over the last month, usually with music, and I feel my heart continuing to open and stay open. Something is happening to me.