Performance #2: "Arkan": Fantasy on a Traditional Ukrainian Melody
  • Performance #2: "Arkan": Fantasy on a Traditional Ukrainian Melody
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Created and performed by Julie Johnson on amplified flute and looping & effects pedals

Minnesota musician and composer Natalie Nowytski, the daughter of two Ukranian immigrants and a master artist of Eastern European vocal styling, first shared this tune with me, which has become one of my all-time favorite pieces to perform. I originally played it with my folk/roots trio Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts; we included my arrangement for bass flute, acoustic guitar, and mandolin on our 2011 album The Banks of The Little Auplaine (https://julieflute.net/album/1702175/the-banks-of-the-little-auplaine). I’ve also created a version with cellist Jacqueline Ultan for our duo J2J. This solo version includes both scored and improvised sections. I use looping & delay pedals to play with the traditional melodies, teasing out both the lyricism and aggression I hear in them and building it all up into a final frenzied dance.

Upon purchase, you can download a PDF that contains a Vimeo link and password to the show.

Photo by Bob Stacke

Julie Johnson is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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