Dovzhenko’s Earth: Film + Live Score
Friday, April 14, 2017 | 8:00 pm
DakhaBrakha began by playing the folk music of their native Ukraine at an avant-garde theater. After experimenting with folk music, this theatrical Kyiv-based quartet began adding rhythms of the surrounding world — West African rhythms, American hip-hop beats, and Australian drums — creating a transnational sound rooted in Ukrainian culture. DakhaBrakha’s singular musical style swings from minimalist drone to raucous wedding dance, and “the effect,” raves The Daily Telegraph, “is wildly exciting.”
This performance features DakhaBrakha playing their own live score for Earth, a 1930 silent classic of Soviet cinema by Ukrainian director Oleksandr Dovzhenko. The ravishingly beautiful film tells the story of farmers resisting Stalin’s plan to collectivize their farms; The New Yorker’s esteemed film critic Pauline Kael called it “a passionate lyric on the continuity of man, death, and nature.” DakhaBrakha’s mix of unruly ancient song and contemporary rhythms transforms Dovzhenko’s striking images into an exhilarating live experience.
By the end of the set, across the language barrier, listeners were clapping and whooping along.