When Oleh Shpudeiko purchased a handheld recorder to seize the sounds of his hometown, Kyiv, it’s unlikely he imagined the importance these recordings would sooner or later tackle. It was 2012, and Shpudeiko, who makes experimental digital music as Heinali, was within the idea of acoustic ecology—that’s, the connection between a spot, its sounds, and its inhabitants. Recorder in hand, he roamed the town in quest of its “soundmarks”: birds twittering in O.V. Fomin Botanical Gardens; the distinctive bleeping of the money registers at Silpo, a Ukrainian grocery-store chain; the nighttime atmosphere of Borshchahivka, a bed room group stuffed with ageing khrushchevkas, low-cost residence blocks frequent throughout the previous Soviet Union. Shpudeiko stored recording over the subsequent decade, constructing out his soundmap as Kyiv underwent radical adjustments within the years following the Maidan Rebellion. Then, in February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, shredding the normalcy of day by day life—and together with it, the acquainted cloth of Kyiv’s soundscape.
On Kyiv Everlasting, Shpudeiko folds his archival subject recordings right into a love letter to the town of his delivery. The album was impressed by a visit again dwelling after briefly fleeing Kyiv’s air raids, within the preliminary section of the invasion, to take refuge in Lviv. “Kyiv was more alive than ever, but I wanted to protect it from harm, to console it,” he says. “This was a city where I had spent 37 years of my life. So this album became a hymn to this part of my identity.” That “hymn” takes the type of a luminous internet of atmospheric abstractions interwoven with processed piano, wordless voices, and synthesizer.
The album proceeds as a loosely structured travelogue. It begins with “Tramvai 14,” sourced from recordings Shpudeiko made on Kyiv’s light-rail tram system: The doorways chime; a station announcement performs in Ukrainian and English; an overdriven stream of what may be pedal metal, paying homage to Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois’ Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, extends like a pastel fog over the rattle of practice wheels. There are hints of historical past embedded within the reverie: The English-language bulletins, added when Kyiv hosted Eurovision in 2017, supply a glimpse of the town’s up to date self-conception as part of Europe. “Stantsiia Maidan Nezalezhnosti” goes contained in the Metro cease at Maidan Sq., the place footfalls and the sounds of the subway are faintly audible beneath a heat, vaporous drone. Shpudeiko doesn’t dwell on the various associations which may connect themselves to Maidan Sq.: the “Revolution of Dignity” in 2014, which expelled the Russophilic president Viktor Yanukovych; the various metropolis residents who took shelter underground in early 2022, turning subway stations into subterranean tent cities. The ambiance is hazy, virtually blissful, like a freeze body of a shoegaze music.