Songs of Truth is a collaborative production of world-renowned bandurist Julian Kytasty and Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures, Marcia Ostashewski.

"It was my fortune to be born into a family and community of these players, who had come to Detroit as displaced persons in 1949. Among the bandurists I grew up with, performing songs from the 'kobzarsky' repertoire was a mark of prestige and conveyed a sense of connection to an ancient tradition. I was captivated by this music, and went on to explore the tradition documented a century ago and seek out its echoes in later recordings and the work of living players.

  The result of this process is Songs of Truth. A traditional, rather than modern, bandura is used throughout, and all the songs and instrumental pieces are documented in the repertoire of blind kobzari. Yet this performance is not meant in any way to be an "authentic" re-creation of their singing and playing. These songs incorporate a variety of sources, and have been worked on and modified over many years. They are the core of a tradition I have lived with, and thus a musical argument that the tradition itself still lives." ~ Julian Kytasty 2014

"As a doctoral student, I contacted Julian because I was interested in contemporary Ukrainian music production in Canada, particularly musics with transnational connections. Since that time, Julian and I have worked together on a number of public outreach and education projects. More recently, I have been working with Julian on various creative projects – including this CD! I am so very humbled to be working with such an accomplished musician – and also very proud to see this extraordinary project come to fruition." ~ Marcia Ostashewski 2014

Songs of Truth was produced in partnership with The Centre for Cape Breton Studies (Richard MacKinnon, Director).

News & Updates

Explore the updated Songs of Truth website!

Over the last two weeks, we have made a number of changes to the Songs of Truth website: you can now visit our ‘Songs’ pages to read Julian Kytasty’s lively program notes for the Songs of Truth CD, read up on the history of the bandura and the kobzar tradition under ‘The Bandura’, meet our project contributors under ‘About’, and learn more about Julian’s many musical and theatrical projects and collaborations under ‘Julian Kytasty’. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, look up the instructional materials under ‘Resources’ and learn to play the bandura yourself! [Read More…]

Julian Kytasty & Scott Sharplin ~ Performance Video

Julian Kytasty and Scott Sharplin’s collaboration is a mixture of theatre arts and musical virtuosity. Kytasty’s ability to mix storytelling, masterful bandura instrumentals and Sharplin’s clever spoken word are featured in this performance from Griots and Kobzars at the Boardmore Playhouse. [Read More…]