I came to Lviv, a multicultural city in the westernmost part of Ukraine, in an overnight bus from Warsaw. I was visiting Natalia Polovynka, one of the truly amazing singers of traditional Ukrainian songs. On my way to my hostel, exhausted as I was, I forgot my backpack with all of my audio equipment in the taxi. When I realized what happened I was on the verge of panic as a lot of it was borrowed and very expensive. When local police officers invited me to their office and when I saw the state of the whole building which must have been slowly decaying for dacedes, I held no hopes of ever finding it again. We ended up driving around city looking for a taxi and I was dumbfounded that the taxi driver was waiting me at the same spot where I took my taxi. Even though it would be impossible to trace him, and he saw that I had some expensive equipment, he would never steal it from me, I could read that from his face. So after the bumpy intro the following weekend is one of the warmest memories I have. It turned out that the assistant singer who was supposed to show me around sang in a choir in a local Armenian church. After my inquiry whether I would be allowed to record the liturgy, she asked the church officials, and as that particular Sunday, head bishop was coming to lead the ceremony, he approved himself. Here is a short excerpt of the ceremony.
At the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, they have a very strong department for traditional Chinese music and the professor of the Guqin instrument, master Dai Xiaolian invited a duo from Japan where there is a small minority still preserving the type of music that came from China to Japan around 12th century AD in its original form and style, and which has been non existent in China for centuries. This was the very first time in China this music was presented publicly and a beginning of a cooperation between the musicians.