Нема ні Шнурочка (Nema Ni Shnurochka)
April 25, 2012

A three-track online album recorded in April 2012 (Toronto, Canada) of traditional Ukrainian folk songs that have not quite made their way over to Canada yet and/or have been buried over the years by the sea of songs that became popular standards among the community. Katarina and Mike chose three contrasting songs and arranged the music to accommodate their beautiful lyrics:

Of the songs themselves, Mike Romaniak writes:

Вийди, Вийди, Іванку (Vyjdy, Vyjdy, Ivanku) is sung from the perspective of a woman that is madly in love with a man named Ivan. She prepares a vinok, a traditional wreath that is associated with marriage in Ukrainian culture, but her mother takes that vinok and gives it to someone else. In the last verse, the woman explains that it is better to be alone than to marry without love.

Ой Полечко, Поле (Oj Polechko, Pole) describes a field where two Cossack warriors have been killed. One comes from a wealthy family, whereas the other is an orphan. Each verse compares how the two Cossacks are remembered (ie. The wealthy Cossack has a tall tombstone, while only a red flower grows for the orphan). The beauty of this song comes from the fact that even though the orphan didn’t have much in his life, the Ukrainian soil and nature still show appreciation and pride for his efforts in battle.

Ой Під Вишнею (Oj Pid Vyshneju) is a light comedy about an older man that is trying to win over the heart of a young woman. He promises her anything and everything, but she continuously brushes him off.

Vocals: Katarina Ljahovic
Sopilka: Mike Romaniak
Guitar: Patrick Power
Double Bass: Stephen Kreuger
Recording Engineer: Jason Cho
Mix: Rob Teehan

The Bass Duo of Kreuger & MacLeod
September 27, 2011

The Bass Duo of Kreuger & MacLeod was formed out of a common interest in promoting the double bass as an instrument of limitless acoustic splendour. Both these musicians are classically trained but also share the experience of having spent many years working in jazz, Celtic, folk and rock genres. It is this experience that fuels the duo’s current efforts to inject a natural and contemporary musicality into centuries-old manuscripts by the likes of J. S. Bach, Handel and Telemann. Auditioning at the Canadian National Exhibition in August, Kreuger and MacLeod were awarded TTC Musician permits for the 2011-2012 season and look forward to performing for commuting Torontonians and visitors alike.

© Stephen Kreuger 2015