The goal of this community project is to interview a selection of Soviet Jewish immigrants on their unique experiences and create songs based on their stories of struggle, triumph and sacrifice. My aim is to give voice to and share stories that would otherwise be lost to future generations, while facilitating catharsis through the artistic process. Stories that may be painful to tell, touching on themes of identity, religion, heroism and love, will be transformed into songs that have the power to uplift audiences and offer hope, love and belonging. It’s also my goal to bring these stories to young people so they may become more curious and aware of their shared history. I plan to record a batch of 5-8 original songs based on interviews. These will be inspired by Russian Jewish musical traditions but re-contextualized for the listening sensibilities of contemporary audiences. Finally, I plan to organize a series of free concerts in local NY and Philadelphia communities including in senior centers and schools, featuring a multimedia presentation of the stories and personalities I will encounter. Ultimately, the goal is to connect generations of Soviet Jews through dialogue and music, and bring to the surface topics that would otherwise be forgotten or even silenced.


Tatyana Kalko Every Life is A Song