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Liubomyr Havrysh

Artist, member of the music band "Hutsuls"
Living (by) art
Living (by) art
Only Hutsuls are in the rock band

Kryivka for “Hutsuls”

“Hutsuls” are an important and unique phenomenon in Ukrainian music. One of the first rock bands in the country, with its own special style, which is remembered from the first reefs.

It seems that the whole history of the “Hutsuls” is intertwined with paradoxical facts and events. This is the story of existence in spite of place, time and circumstances.

In fact, the time and place of the band’s formation testify to its uniqueness. It appeared in the late 60’s and started playing hard rock, which was only gaining popularity in the world. Such an event is phenomenal because this group originated in the Soviet Union, where a totalitarian machine jammed radio stations in other countries, fearing foreign influences and the fact that the truth about world events would reach the people of the USSR. And in general, it destroyed everything else that went beyond the framework of adaptation and socialist realism. However, it is no less important where exactly the “Hutsuls” originated. Not just in western Ukraine, to which secret services paid special attention due to the region’s “unreliability”, but in a small mountainous place, called Kosiv.

Nevertheless, in this case the paradox is apparent. As Professor Yaroslav Hrytsak likes to repeat: “Everything most interesting is born not in the center, but on the periphery.” Indeed, special conditions prevailed in Kosiv at that time allowing such a phenomenon as the “Hutsuls” to appear. Due to its proximity to Romania, residents of areas close to the border were able to catch the radio of the neighboring country, which for some reason was not silenced by the authorities. Perhaps, that would be possible because of their expectations that the incomprehensible language will repel the desire to tune the receivers to Romanian waves. This was the miscalculation of the regime, because music is an international language, and people with fine hearing need only a few notes to feel the nerve of the age, catch trends, artistically comprehend them and turn them into their own product.

And a small town far away in the mountains could sometimes live a little according to its style, because both functionaries and secret services still have to remain here. Although this did not mean that everything would go smoothly. Even so, “Hutsuls’ ‘ were sent to Chervona Ruta music festival by the district committee of the party.
The combination itself, the recognizable identity nurtured by the “Hutsuls”, also turned out to be no less paradoxical and unexpected. It can be described as Hutsul hard-and-heavy-folk-rock, where serious complex musical parts are mixed with local dialect and sometimes ironic lyrics.

Anyway, the verity is in all these combinations and contradictions, because “Hutsuls” are the truth of life. Then and now. The truth of life in a small town, where, in addition to the benefits, you are faced with the usual problems: lack of staff, limited resources, misunderstandings.

Also making music in a small town or wanting to develop yourself the way you want is like playing football for a national team from a small country: you can’t live off of it, you need to have extra support. So people had to do something else to earn a living. That’s why someone has applied to earn money, and someone has to pull the strings of the game at weddings and funerals, teach, lead ensembles or do business, and cut out free time for what is dear to the heart. So life changed its way of life, it stopped revolving around the band, so its members do not feel obliged to keep the pile, so they scattered in other towns and villages, only hardly going to rehearsals.

But no matter how, the special style and desire to follow the path outlined from the beginning played a dual role in the story of the “Hutsuls”. On the one hand, they made them recognizable, on the other – pushed into the framework of non-format. That is, the style and manner of the Hutsuls turned out to be a kryivka (hiding place) for them. Internal hard rock Hutsulia, in which they could hide from the attention of secret services. However, such hiding always has a double bottom, because it turned out to be a hiding place from the well-deserved attention of connoisseurs.

In fact, this secrecy and lack of popularity does not mean oblivion. On the contrary, knowledge of the “Hutsuls” is like a secret code. Pass to the world of those who understand. Therefore, not unformatted, but special, not unpopular, but known to the initiates. Therefore, listening to “Hutsuls” is at the same time an opportunity to immerse yourself in another world, in the surreal fun world of Carpathian hard and heavy folk rock, in your inner Hutsul land, which continues to exist not against the circumstances and desires of envious, but for those who remembers and loves.

Author of the text Nazarii Zanoz
Photo author Serhii Havryliuk

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