On Current Events in Ukraine

As a rule, Deep Purple is apolitical, but on this occasion…

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You may or may not have read Deep Purple’s denunciation of the current invasion of Ukraine (available in full here), in which every member of the group decried Vladimir Putin’s actions in their own words. It seems that Putin’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine and the horrific violence inflicted upon its citizens has not only broken Switzerland’s historic neutrality, but it has shaken Deep Purple’s as well.

They are not the only artists who have chosen to speak out; Elton John has also reportedly stated he will never perform in Russia again. Pink Floyd and David Gilmour have pulled some of their music from streaming platforms in Russia and Belarus. The Munich Philharmonic has fired their conductor, Valery Gergiev, over his support of Putin. The Metropolitan Opera has cut a soprano who did not denounce Putin, and will be replacing her with a Ukrainian soprano in their upcoming production of Turandot. Even Russian rappers Morgenshtern and Oxxxymirion have spoken out, with the former releasing an anti-war song and the latter cancelling gigs in his native Russia while planning charity concerts for Ukraine. I would like to join these and many voices in denouncing the horrific actions on the ground in Ukraine. There is never a justification for such an invasion, nor for such rampant violence against a civilian population.

In light of these events, I would also like to make a couple of commitments. I’m not very active here any more, that I will admit. I’m now a graduate student and an intern who is working fifteen hours a week on top of those activities. What time I have, however, I commit to spending more on the musical scene in Ukraine. This will include writing about composers and performers who hail from the country, whether they were in the classical canon, were part of the classic rock scene, or release their music on bandcamp. I also aim to write about concerts which have taken place there. It seems that most of the bands I follow most closely have rarely, if ever, performed there–Yes, ELP, and Rainbow each have zero concerts listed there on most sites I use to track–but Deep Purple has fifteen times in their history. Before the year is out, I commit to have every one of those covered, along with the concert halls where they played. Some of those places might have been destroyed by rocket fire already. Some might be by the time I write. But I want to do something to make sure that they are remembered. I also commit to prioritizing translations in Ukrainian when I get started with that phase of my site.

I encourage everyone reading this to find something–anything–that you can do to help Ukraine. One place to start is through music. There is a list of Ukrainian bandcamp artists which you can find here. Perhaps some of them would appreciate some purchases, or at least a listen.

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