“Next year I will return, mother, well, maybe in two years, or maybe it will take a lifetime...” It is the emigrants’ parting sorrow that the actress and singer Mariana Sadovska portrays. Accompanied by a small harmonium, she sings, talks, cries out her affirmations: with conviction, promises furtively whispered, auguring, threatening or in the voice of a scared child – and always full of soul power and longing.
For fifteen years Mariana has been travelling through the neighbourhood of rural Ukraine collecting songs, legends, rimes from the women living there – popular material hundreds of years old, that only outlived the soviet era by oral tradition and which, nowadays, is mostly unknown even among Ukrainians.
The Deep Well of the Past:
Mariana Sadovska plays with fire, bringing Ukrainian tradition into new musical territory
...Ukrainian Bjork -this is how Mariana Sadovska is called by her country’s critics.
In her furious programmes the singer, actress and composer crosses all borders: archaic midsummer night invocations, wedding songs and emigrant chants from remote villages in rural Ukraine get a singular turn and transmute into contemporary sound, from folk until avantgarde.
Creating her own innovative compositions and arrangements in dialogue with ancient traditions, Mariana Sadovska approaches each piece with a fresh and uniquely personal vision. Her vocal power and range even incited the New York Times to compare Mariana Sadovska with rock star Polly Jean Harvey.
Mariana Sadovska works all her life in music and theatre. Born in in Lviv/Ukraine, she is trained as a classical pianist at Lviv’s National Music School. Later she joins Les Kurbas Theatre, one of Ukraine’s leading theater companies. From 1991 to 2001 Mariana works as a principal actor, composer, and music director with the Teatr Gardzienice in Poland. The music-theater Gardzienice received worldwide acclaim for its virtuoso “anthropologicalexperimental” performances rooted in rugged fieldwork in isolated rural areas of the world. In 1998 she is a nominated for “Best Actress Award” in Poland.
Since 2001 she is composing vocal music for different international theatre and music ensembles in Germany, Poland, Czech and the USA. Her composition of “SCLAVI – the song of an emigrant” with Farm in the Cave of Prague is nominated for the Alfred-Radok Award. Her composition “The Rusalka Cycle – songs between the worlds” tours many festivals like “Giving Voice” Poland, “Globalize:Cologne” Germany, and “Revolutions International Theatre Festival” Albuquerque USA.
Her solo concerts and band projects brings her to many festivals and concert halls in countries like Germany, France, Israel, Afghanistan, and the USA. With her band “Borderland” she received the “creole” award for best world music performance.
As voice teacher Mariana conducts numerous workshops at colleges, universities, and art centers around the world, including Havard University, New York University, Workshop Festival Tel Aviv, Grotowski Institute/Poland, University of Kabul/Afghanistan, and Royal Shakespeare Company,/UK.
Mariana was a scholar of “Earth foundation” New York, „Künstlerstipendium“ Staatskanzlei NRW/Germany, “Fulbright”/USA, and “Princeton Atelier” curated by Toni Morrison at Princeton University.
Mariana lives in Cologne/Germany.
“Sometimes a musician has such an inborn desire to communicate that her message naturally becomes universal: it doesn’t matter whether she is singing soul or bel canto or folk. Such was the case with the Ukrainian singer Mariana Sadovska.… The responsibilities, protocol, and tradition of whatever style she is working in just vanish; she replaces them with pure vitality.” (Ben Ratliff ,The New York Times)
“Most expressive: an astonishing mélange of archaic elements, vocal arts, hard rock and theatrical-ironic refractions.” (WDR3, Western German Broadcasting)
“Mariana Sadovska is a passionate advocate and goodwill ambassador for the eerie, gypsyish folksongs from the remote villages of her native land. What was most striking about her show at Joe’s Pub last night was how relevant she made them for an urban, non-Ukrainian-speaking audience. […]
Moving in a split second from a whisper to a wail, crying, growling and, once in a while, shrieking, she showed off a vocal style more evocative of Nina Hagen or Diamanda Galas’ recent work than, say, Lydia Lunch.” (Lucid Culture, Sadistic Lullabies: at Joe's Pub, NYC)
“They are songs about love, sorrow and melancholy that have survived the Soviet era just in an oral form, until now. Mariana’s powerful performance makes you feel you are there.” (WNYC)
“Her wild bacchanal included whoops, grunts, gut-powered singing and yodels. She got the audience completely riled up. It was a breathtaking performance by a beautiful banshee.” (Chloe Veltman)
“Her songs are obligated to folklore with full passion, however they take off to new horizons with the same devotion. They sound equally like an archaic echo of the primal scream and a sullen rebellion against all conventions. Even not understanding a word, one can hear the eternal theme of living and dying, and the sad impossibility to catch the moment.” (Wolf Kampmann, WIZ)
“With passionate vocal art she becomes an ambassador of indigenous culture.” (Stefan Pieper, JAZZthetik)
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