Signs of Presence
voice, piano (2021/22) 15′
In 2018, a book by the famous Ukrainian poet Iya Kiva entitled »A Little Further from Heaven« was published in Kiev with a preface that read: »Notes on the concept of limbo«. Indeed, in the summer of 2014 – from the time of her escape from occupied Donetsk – is when this poet began her own limbo. The way it probably began for Paul Celan.
The way of reading »Signs of Presence« – goes through the sound. We remember forgotten melodies of lullabies, children’s songs, or old cries… we approach the instrument… we listen to the world around us, cling to its vines, its trees… we listen to all of its signs, we recognize ourselves within them.
(I am writing this program note in Kiev on December 31, 2021. In the morning I read once again in the newspaper about the buildup of Russian troops along the borders of Ukraine… And that is a part of my »Signs of Presence«.)
Alla Zagaykevych (*1966) is a Ukrainian composer, performance artist, curator of electro-acoustic music projects, and musicologist. She studied at the Ukraine National Academy of Music in Kiev and attended the year-long course in composition and computer music at IRCAM (Paris) in 1995/96. Her oeuvre includes symphonic, instrumental, and vocal chamber music, electroacoustic compositions, multimedia installations and performances, operas and film music. In 2017, she was awarded the Golden Dzyga prize of the Ukrainian Film Academy as best composer. Since 1997, she has been a lecturer in the Composition Department of the Ukraine National Academy of Music in Kiev, where she founded the Electronic Music Studio. She has been the artistic director of Electro-acoustics Kiev since 2003 and the president of the Electro-acoustic Music Association of Ukraine since 2010.