Dakhabrakha in concert at the La Jolla Music Society
Dakhabrakha describes itself as “ethnic chaos”. This quartet performs a unique fusion of rock and traditional Ukrainian folk music with an absurdist vibe. The musicians are outstanding and it was an outstanding concert. Most of the songs had a strong percussion, so it was immediately involving. They use a wide range of instruments, including an electric folk cello, piano, accordion and some folk drums. The four members sing. The three women’s voices often combine in harmony to create a very moving and almost eerie effect that I associate with traditional Slavic singing. About fifteen years ago, a women’s group from Bulgaria was very popular. If you enjoyed “Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares”, the singing style of Dakhabrakha will be appealing and familiar. The male vocalist often used a haunting falsetto that conveyed so much emotion. The group performs in front of a background of images that included scenes of the devastation of Ukrainian cities and animation of warplanes. In another time, I would have described the music as wild fun. However, the concert was also a painful reminder of how fragile the cultures of the world are. As the Ukrainian people flee for their lives, it is sad to think that some of their traditions will be lost.