We recently heard about the cellist, Denys Karachevtsev, in Ukraine playing Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in the midst of the ruins.
According to a NY Times article, Karachevtsev exclaimed: “I love my heroic city, which is now struggling to survive the war,” he wrote. “I deeply believe that we can help. I believe we can restore and rebuild our city and our country when the war is over. I am launching my project in the streets of Kharkiv to raise funds for humanitarian aid and restoration of the city’s architecture. Let’s unite to revive our city together!” (NY Times).
This melancholic scene reminds us of the power music has to transform people’s spirits to not give up hope and to keep fighting. It also reminds us of the Windrider film we showed at our 2020 Virtual Film Forum called Nocturne in Black. The short film tells the story of a pianist in war-ravaged Syria who takes solace by secretly playing the piano for himself and his neighbors. The film reminds us how music and the arts can bring us together, create resilience and provide hope even under the most difficult circumstances.