In 2016 Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, an academic centre in the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge, welcomed Ukrainian musical phenomenon Odyn v kanoe to Cambridge for their UK debut. Formed in L’viv in 2010, the trio has been critically celebrated as the ‘fresh blood of Ukrainian music’ with a ‘sincere, pure’ sound and philosophy. They have invigorated a number of Ukrainian and Slavonic poems with their music.
This song is entitled ‘Promise Me’ (Poobitsiai meni), about the need to hear a promise of return even when it is unlikely. In the chorus, Iryna Shvaidak sings: ‘Promise me that there will always be light in your window. Promise me even if it isn’t true.’
Odyn v kanoe headlined the 2016 Cambridge Vsesvit Evening, an annual event of readings and performances in tribute to Vsesvit (The Universe), the oldest active literary journal in Ukraine. Founded in 1925 by Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Vasyl Blakytnyi and Mykola Khvylovyi, the journal has translated over 4,000 works from 98 literatures of the world into the Ukrainian language.