As I’m a touch too shy to praise myself, I’ll use the wonderful description from my UK friend Mat Flasque’s travel notes about their filming a docu about Ukraine:
Yuri was captivating. He had this air of nonchalance yet of complete poise and deep intensity about him that you often find in accomplished artists. His demeanour perfectly reflected in his lair, part leaving space, part mad-scientist laboratory with cables running up and down the room, across the bed-cum-chill-out area to an assortment of computers, mixers and musical instruments. This was once again controlled chaos, dragon taming and Yuri, the master of the house, seemed like he wasn’t going to let petty preoccupations like sensible interior design get in the way of creativity. He knew what everything did, where everything went and had absolute control over the madness before us, like a lighthouse guard in the storm.
He made a living as a video-editor, a career he had developed off his own bat, the money from each job being reinvested in ever better equipment. He told us about how he started pretty much from scratch, recycling whatever broken piece of kit he could get his hands on and putting them back together to be used in his projects. In a country where, as we’d be told told, creativity had until recently somewhat been stifled, his artistic gifts had got him noticed. His endeavour was a success and it now allowed him to travel quite a bit, recently to Zurich on an assignment.
Now, the fantastic machinery before us served another purpose beside video-editing. Music was Yuri’s other passion. He composed his own pieces which could only be played live once, seeing as he never wrote anything down. Early in the morning, he would broadcast live performances for his friends over Facebook, using both a mixer/sampler and a guitar or bass, letting the inspiration flow freely for hours. He played us one of these whilst he was setting up a show just for our crew. I couldn’t and I supposed shouldn’t, quite define what kind of music it was. The rhythm instantly grabbed you. It was a slow burner and over time changed shape, form and tempo. It was immersive, evocative and definitely cinematic. I was having visions of great films by Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone; majestic scenes of darkness and energy, a glimpse of something huge and incomprehensible. Sadly, we couldn’t stay for the whole performance as we’d invited some people to our flat that evening but as a parting gift, Yuri offered to provide the soundtrack for our film. We couldn’t have hoped for anything better and would forever be immensely grateful.
You can read the full story here: Gonzo in Ukraine – part six: taming dragons