Instrumentation: Wind Ensemble
This piece was inspired by a koliadka — a Ukrainian Christmas carol. The one I chose tells of how three doves created the world (the text,transliteration, and translation are all below). The text given below comes from a version taken from the Halychyna region in Western Ukraine. There are many different versions of this koliadka, and ethnomusicologists date its creation back to more than one thousand years ago (a version has been documented in the Chronicles of the Kyivan Rus’ state from the tenth century AD).
Some koliadky are now sung at Christmas, along with songs more intentionally Christian. In some regions of Ukraine, even today, the two holidays have blurry boundaries. The word in standard Ukrainian is Rizdvo; in some dialects, Christmas is still referred to as “Koliada”, as some will wish you “Khrystos rodyvsia! [Bazhaju tobi] veseliu koliadu!” (Christ is born! [I wish you] a happy Solstice!).
The motif of diving underwater for earth-creating materials — called the Earth-Diver by folklorists — is a theme that appears in creation stories from the easternmost parts of Eastern Europe all the way across Russia through Siberia and into North America.
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