WIU music professor compiles work of Ukrainian musicians on YouTube channel – Western Illinois University

WIU music teacher compiles work of Ukrainian musicians on YouTube channel

March 8, 2022


MACOMB, IL — Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a Western Illinois University professor is using his research skills to present the work of Ukrainian musicians to the world in an accessible form.

Professor Brian Locke worked on creating a Youtube catalog as a central link for Ukrainian music. He created playlists of professional musicians already on YouTube, grouped by genre, composer, or both. The YouTube page opens with a video of Locke explaining his project. Performances are then under the “playlists” header.

“My hope is to add introductory videos for composers, artists, ensembles, venues, etc., time permitting, as well as links to publicly available performance material, artist interviews and other new content,” he said.

Locke, a music historian, calls his collection “Ukrainian Music Channel”. He said the idea came from looking within to see how he could help during the suffering.

“My goal in creating the Ukrainian Music Channel was to highlight one aspect of Ukrainian culture and achievements: they have a rich history of music that is little known outside of Ukrainian scholars,” he said. . “A few years ago I came across a treasure trove of recordings of Ukrainian art songs and although they were already on YouTube, they were not easily accessible in one place. I took this as a starting point and have gone much further. My plan is to bring together hundreds of performances for listeners to experience this music in an organized and informative way.”

The hope is that the site can become a resource for expanding musical interests, but also that it will inspire musicians around the world to perform, teach and reflect on the achievements of Ukrainian culture.

“I want to shine a spotlight on this music, not just for now, but for the future,” he said. “One of the most important driving forces behind this project is, of course, the ongoing, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by its eastern neighbors. The people of Ukraine are in grave danger, as are all aspects of their culture. are in danger in times of war. The people are undoubtedly the most important priority, but there are also great treasures of art under threat from bombs – historic places of worship, world heritage sites of the ‘UNESCO and music collections that are not the least.

The collection that Locke has assembled can be found at bit.ly/UkrainianMusicChannel.

Locke said he considers there may be many musicians stranded or struggling in Ukraine, perhaps some of the artists he includes on his channel. He said he wanted to help them speak for themselves through their performance work.

“If you were to ask the average North American to name any Ukrainian music, he could, at best, come up with ‘Carol of the Bells’ (by Mykola Leontovych). I want to change that by expanding our knowledge, whether it’s either we are listeners, performers or educators. I have already received several requests for help finding Ukrainian music for local shows at WIU,” Locke said.

For more information about WIU’s School of Music, visit wiu.edu/som.

Posted by: University Communications (U-Communications@wiu.edu)
University Communications and Marketing Office

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