“The idea is this: to lift the mood,
to reply with art and goodness to the violence that was here,
and to carry out a cultural revolution.”
ON VIDEO: THE MAN IN THE ORANGE COAT
He bought the piano for 500 Hryvnia ($58.00 USD) with his dad’s money, and it cost a bit more to fix and paint it. “The idea is this: to lift the mood, to reply with art and goodness to the violence that was here, and to carry out a cultural revolution. I’m looking forward hoping that there will be a change in the situation, and that it will be possible to freely express your thoughts and that people will be fair.
This action was called “Piano for Berkut.” [Berkut are the Interior Ministry’s special forces riot police].
See more: http://vaziofuncional.tumblr.com/post/69516379240/in-the-photograph-above-by-andrew-meakovski-we Oleh Matsekh states: Thank you to all! Use the photo on your own, it is common property and has a collective authorship: the idea of perspective and setting my photo is Andrey Meakovs′kij, pianist is Markiyan Matsekh.
(Richard Branson wearing the t-shirt: http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/ukraine-protests)
The “extremist” below (i.e.: the piano player – the government has taken to calling all protesters on Maidan extremists, and if you wear the yellow and blue colors of your country’s flag, or the flag itself, or camouflage fatigues/ski mask/helmet for protection against the elements and riot police, then you are additionally called a fascist extremist and become a target for riot police) enchanted us early on, playing the incomparable Italian composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi’s moving piece, Nuvole Bianche in this video, which earned him the official moniker of “Pianist–Extremist:”
“Turkey’s Gezi Park protests had the “Standing Man.” Tiananmen Square had “Tank Man.” In Ukraine, where tens of thousands of protesters have rallied against the government for more than two months, it’s the Piano Man.
He’s actually being referred to as the “Pianist-Extremist” — a nod to the Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko saying protesters would be treated as extremists if they defiantly remain on the streets of the capital.
His identity remains unknown, but he has quickly become an iconic figure of the popular uprising after video emerged of him tickling the ivories in the heart of Kyiv.
Since its appearance in Kyiv’s central square in the early days of the protests, the piano has been a non-violent means to challenge the throngs of riot police on hand at the demonstration site.
Available for anyone to play at any hour, the piano bears the blue and yellow of the Ukraine flag and stars of the European Union.
“It is the spirit of the revolution,” the Pianist-Extremist, reportedly in his 20s, told Reuters this past weekend. “It is the spirit of the revolution.” He said he’s among the thousands protesting for the sake of their country, “not for money or violence. I want to show the people of Europe what is happening in Ukraine,” the pianist told Reuters. “The authorities here are criminals, and we will see them punished.”
Fire InHeart: This government’s revolutions and wars, it’s all temporary, all of that will pass with time. But art…..art, my friend, is eternal. Art will stay.
“INSTRUMENTS OF FREEDOM”:
After the man in orange brought the piano for the first time to Bankova Street in Kiev, to play for Berkut riot police in front of their standing human barricade, blue and yellow pianos started appearing elsewhere as a symbol of cultural and peaceful protest across Ukraine. After Kiev, the initiative moved to 10 cities to continue the revolutionary action of the “instrument of freedom”: in Zaporizhia, Uzhorod, Kharkiv, Donets, Luhansk, Kirovohrad, Chernivtsi, Zhytomyr, Kherson, Lviv…
The coordinator of this action was Christine Kachmaryk. According to her, the piano flash mobs are a continuation of the “Piano for Berkut” action. In Uzhorod, this campaign also attracted a violin (see photos below). Markiyan Matsekh, who was the inspirer and the initiator of this follow-up action said he decided to call again on the help of the Revolutionary Piano because, “the piano has become a kind of symbol of the revolution, of peaceful resistance, as well as an indicator of the culture and consciousness of the revolutionaries.” He said that although there is a difference of opinions in Ukraine (with a population of 46 million that seems inevitable), “we must unite around indubitable values, such as, for example, art and the innocence of the piano. And we will further continue to uphold fair courts, fair elections, the police with the people, and so on.” According to him, the actions always take place successfully, but not without problems. In Donetsk, the initiators of the action were openly threatened, and in Luhansk they even broke the instrument (see photo below).
In Donetsk (Yanukovych’s home town), they played “Requiem for a Dream”:
“To show the absurdity of the situation and the inadequateness of any counter actions – it’s also helpful ” – says Matsekh. In the future, he says, the campaign will join other cities in Ukraine.
PROTEST PIANO CONCERT ON THE MAIDAN BARRICADES:
On February 10th, the revolutionary piano was installed, perched atop a burned bus, on the street barricades on Hrushevsky Street. The first to play it was Ruslana Lyzhychko, the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest winner who, with other activists, played Chopin, the national anthem and the Beatles’ “Let it Be.” Stationed across the square, riot police performed their own musical offensive, blasting Russian pop songs from a sound system. The barricade on Hrushevsky Street is where demonstrators clashed with police at the end of January in violence that left several dead and hundreds hurt.
Protesters set up piano concert on Kiev barricades (and by the way, it was cold):
(this link in case the above does not play): youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulDUG3sjJ38
And this video gives you an idea of the crowd at the barricades, she used to play City Hall and now is playing the barricades on Hrushevskoho (02.10.2014):
Playing for all the revolutionaries, extremists, fascists, nationalists, young, old, hungry, tired or weary at Kiev City Hall, in the heart of Maidan:
If you would like to be part of the ongoing Piano Protests and Play a Piano for Ukraine, go here:
and one more link for you on the Pianiste–Extremiste:
The piano in war history – not used as a protest, and not played to police forces:
By Isis Wisdom, Voices of Ukraine