RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Enjoy  >  Violinist for a Trumpeter: interview with member of Gogol Bordello Sergey Ryabtsev and composer Alexandr Ratmansky

Violinist for a Trumpeter: interview with member of Gogol Bordello Sergey Ryabtsev and composer Alexandr Ratmansky

Slightly over a month ago the first musical film for kids in the years of independence premiered in Ukraine, it is called “Trumpeter”, directed by Anatoliy Mateshko.

The movie tells a story of a 13-year-old trumpeter Kolya Sokolov, a virtuoso of the instrument who composes music himself, and his friend Lisa. Kids are getting ready for an important performance but a chain of unfortunate events takes place for them to face a complicated task: no to lose both their dream and their way. The complete movie was filmed in Ukraine with all the parts performed by our fellow countrymen. Even music creation was worked at from over the ocean by renowned Ukrainians – a violinist of the famous band Gogol Bordello Sergey Ryabtsev together with composer and arranger Alexandr Ratmansky

Alexandr Ratmansky, Sergey Ryabtsev

OUTLOOK had a chat with the musicians and a glimpse within the veils of cinema production out of the corner of its eye.


Sergey, how did you manage to combine work over the film and tour life with Gogol Bordello?

S.R.  In fact, despite obvious genre difference, there was no conflict in it. My tours with Gogol Bordello and work over the film demanded one same thing – higher rotation rate of internal engine. An amazing feeling. I am accustomed to it, always ready for one, sort of. Despite tire. This year was the year of search and some creative discoveries. In the band everyone understood me and was supportive in all possible ways, so I’m really grateful for that.

Tell us about your cooperation with Ukrainian movie producers, why was it you that they turned to?

A.R. It is worth mentioning that it was very pleasant working with Ukrainian colleagues – director and actors were just great. High level of performance – I liked it from the very first frame. Sure enough, I’d have to palter with truth saying that everything in our relations with Ukrainian producers went perfectly smooth. In America we work in a different way, after all; there are distinctive features of music industry. And they mean that whatever is done – it is done fast and is output-aimed. And everyone in the field understands that working in studio is first of all about planned production and only then about creativity so if there is a project’s due date set, “lack of inspiration” is no excuse. With Serezha it was easy and simple – we understand each other excellently so even if we failed to get to the right track at once, we still managed to find a way to achieve necessary results.

S.R. There were a couple of circumstances determining cooperation with us of everybody else: first – time constraints, second – price. There is no secret that in America solving certain financial issues, including ones connected to music industry, is much easier. I’ve lived in New York for 20 years and in this period almost all our celebrities were recorded and re-recorded there. Why? It isn’t about prestige or finance alone. Reliability, quality and last but not least – speed. When I came to Kiev, there were 3 month left before the shooting of the movie. Musicians I was introduced to were really good at what they did. We worked passionately, with pleasure, sometimes spending entire days in studio. Time went on but, with all the enthusiasm, in some mystic way we were making no progress. We had a radical decision to make. I made a call to friends of mine in New York from AB studio offering them to participate in the project. They agreed and, by the way, against the amount three times smaller than we were charged by one of Kiev companies. Not only did I well know people I had to work with close and fast over the ocean, I also realized specifics of working there. Immigration teaches you a lot of things – primarily, discipline. 

Sergey, this was your first experience of working in movies as a composer. What difficulties did you face?

S.R. The biggest difficulty was exactly that it was the first one. This means that I had to get the whole creative and production process going. Imagine a mechanism of splendid and sophisticated jewelry clock where every gear-wheel is in its special place without spoiling general glib and lightsome impression. What if instead of a graceful tiny cuckoo a furry monster will be springing out of the clock house, articulating all kinds of nonsense – not a simple and dear “cuckooing”? This is what was the hardest when creating music: to succeed in precision, lightness, compactness and “childishness”. And, sure enough, in addition to that – a bit of healthy and perfectly natural magic. 

Was it hard working with children?

S.R. On the contrary, I‘ve had an experience of working with kids and it has always been a pleasure for me. When studying at conservatoire I was teaching at a music school at the same time and when I became a director in a theatre, I was delivering the whole course of lectures at musical college. But with this project I have very special relations. It was the first time I felt he immense impact on life that is coming from kids of all others. I realized their power, their abilities. In fact, they became my main discovery and a source of true inspiration! There is no room for doubt that this experience was unique and priceless in both human and professional terms. 

Have your colleagues from Gogol Bordello already watched the movie? What are their impressions?

S.R. Concerning music, I was acting in quite a crafty way: I was presenting them materials even in an unshaped version on the stage of elaboration and according to their reaction and interest was figuring out where to move further. So they were among the first introduced to the music. But the movie itself turned out more than a shock for them: no one expected such a bright and stylishly executed footage as well as such a professional “picture”. They haven’t watched the whole “Trumpeter” yet for I’d rather show it to them with English subtitles but those fragments I demonstrated in the process of work were received with flying colors and discussed stormily. And it was a real pleasure for me.

It will be interesting:
Know Ukrainians: Eugène Deslaw
In our “Know us” column, we usually talk about outstanding Ukrainians who have achieved significant success in one area or another. However, our today's hero - Eugène Deslaw or Yevgeny Slabchenko is very difficult to fit into some kind of framework. As he reached heights in several areas at once, being not only the most real Renaissance Man of the 20th century, but also a patriot of his Ukraine.
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti.
The Ambassador Elena Leticia Teresa Mikusinski held a diplomatic reception, the world-famous Argentine singer Gerónimo Rauch became an honored guest
The Column Hall of the Kyiv City State Administration on June 11 welcomed guests of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic to Ukraine on the occasion of a national day. The Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, representatives of the government and its agencies, partners of the embassy, the business community and the media lined up to congratulate the head of a foreign diplomatic institution and express their greetingss to friendly Argentina.
Know Ukrainians: Anatoliy Kokush
Cinematography is probably the most "technological" art form that mankind has ever come up with – no matter how much talent, imagination and energy creators of a movie have, almost every stage of creation process one way or another comes to technologies; and without them ideas will remain just ideas.
Yummy fingers: What awaits you behind scenes of the world best kitchens
Can you remember the most unusual dish that you had ever a chance to try? You decide what kind of food it was: something exotic; those insects that we can hardly imagine as an ingredient; strange drink with a bitter taste; an unexpected combination of bitter and sour... Everyone has his or her own unforgettable experience in this regard. Today we would like to tell our readers about unusual and prominent chefs of the world, and even without reference to their era.
I came, I saw, I built. Masterpieces of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
Sometimes it happens that you look at a postcard with a picture of a city and instantly realize that this is Kyiv, or Moscow, or Rome or your native village. And it isn’t courtesy of your geography teacher but back-breaking efforts of artisans with whose hands commonly familiar architecture masterpieces were created. Today we recall Italian conqueror of marble Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Know Ukrainians: Serge Lifar
In the childhood a famous Frenchman from Ukraine was a blue-eyed dreamer. Once all his dreams came true. Whatever he wanted, everything was easy, as if luck was following him. HBe was singing in the choir, he made his best at artistic talent - and, finally, he succeeded in ballet.
Art of Patrick Cabral: paper as a symbol of fragility of our world
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Peter Høeg: "There was no bottom, only eternal falling"
Peter Høeg is Danish writer and philosopher. Sometimes he is called as anchoret because he comes to society events quite rarely, only to represent his new books. The indoor life led to numerous legends that penetrate the image of Peter Høeg on his motherland. In this interview Peter Høeg told OUTLOOK how new novels are created, what hides behind the evident asceticism, and shared his view of life and person.
Packed and Ready: Oleg Borschevskiy
Oleg Borschevskiy is a famous film director, screenwriter and music video director. Among his works, there are music videos for such stars as Potap and Nastia, music bands NeAngely, Boombox, NIKITA, singers Maria Burmaka, Tonia Matvienko and many others. In a nice conversation, he recalled the most interesting places on the world map, which he visited and shared his personal disappointments.
Pablo Picasso: Poet for his era
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
Duduk: music evocating love
This music is one and a half thousand years. Gentle and penetrating melodies played on the flute duduk have been called ‘the voice of eternity’. In Armenia where people esteem national motives believe that in duduk there is a soul of apricot tree what made tree sound. Staying plangent and soul-touching, they are framed with the sound evocating light wistfulness.
Know Ukrainians: DakhaBraha
Their song, Sho Z-Pod Duba, is featured in the Fargo series and the commercial with David Beckham, Thai schoolgirls teach Koliskov in a music lesson, and their concerts are eagerly awaited around the world. Continuing a series of inspirational stories about talented Ukrainians in the “Know Ours” column, Outlook tells about the most original, controversial and popular Ukrainian team “DakhaBrakha” abroad.
Know Ukrainians: Continuous music of Lubomyr Melnyk
The music as long as the eternity or, in other words, Continuous music is the genre which causes loud arguments in professional circles. Lubomyr Melnyk, Canadian composer of Ukrainian origination sees in his ‘child’ Continuous music continuation of classic traditions. Which rules his scripts follow will OUTLOOK tell in the following material of the rubrics ‘Look at us!’
Fado: Gentleness and deftness of Portuguese romances
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
To the cinema for a city cour
Travelling around the globe lure increasingly every other year and it is so upsetting when all kinds of obstacles arise on the way of undertaking trips. Outlook offers you not to get desperate if you can’t set on a journey. Today we suggest you get inspired with movies in which one city or another “plays” equal part to actors’ ones. We’ll tell you about five films that, alongside having artistic merits, educate as good as habitual tour guides do.
In the rhythm of jazz. The Ambassador of Norway has invited guests to the musical evening
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to Ukraine Ule Terje Horpestad has invited guests to the residence to enjoy a summer evening with subtle jazz tunes.
Know Ukrainians: Michael Yarymovych
Behind the famous landing of Neil Armstrong and his team of the Moon in 1969 there wasn’t just an abstract triumph of the power of human brain but also a large group of highly-skilled engineers solving complicated tasks. Among them there was one specially standing out with his bold and unusual approach – a native of Ukraine Michael Yarymovych, one of supervisors of the “Moon program”. It is about him that we proudly tell about today within the framework of our column Ours Make the Grade.
Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
A jewelry approach to perfection
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
Close
Outlook facebook page