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WOINA (the Russian word for war) is an instrumental work of Viennese guitarist-composer (and also singer-songwriter and label owner) Martin Philadelpy based on the anti-war poem by the same name by Austrian poet Thomas Nyx (Scherhammer) relating to Russia’s war with Ukraine. Nyx, who wrote the lyrics to Philadelphy’s recent albums Arkitsa and Lichfleck, also contributed «infotext and inspiring historical information» and arranged this 11-part composition together with Philadelphy, who quotes within his composition the Ukrainian anthem, melodies of Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a Russian folk song, bolshevik funeral march and even samples Vladimir Putin attempts to play the piano in his visit to China. The album was recorded at Phildelphy’s home studio, the Delphy Cave, in Vienna in February 2023.

The release of WOINA is accompanied by a series of video clips by o* ONE SUN, based on visuals taken from the documentary project STARLESS by Ascan Breuer and Victor Jaschke, Dokumentarisches Labor. WOINA was written in German but the album offers a translation of the poem to English.

WOINA is a powerful work, not only due to its urgent and painful theme but largely due to its immediate emotional power that possesses the listener with its terrible and unsettling images and the implicit warning of the horrors of fascism. The poem tells about the futility of this war or any war, and the incidental and grotesque manners in it affects all aspects of life: «Somewhere in the fields / rain is    p o u r i n g / and somewhere / in between / gunshots of boredom…» or «…now a quick counterattack / by early disturbing / and fighting. / the opponent strikes. – / There _ a shshshshsh / grotesque its trajectory / yet only lasting the length of breath».

Philadelphy weaves this short poem into a series of intense and disturbing sonic images and stories. He employs an array of effects, samples and loops and creates layered, restless and thorny electric guitar soundscapes, spiced with timeless and innocent folk melodies, that keep corresponding with each other, and linger in mind long after WOINA ends. It fits perfectly its mission to be an «anti-war movie for open ears».

Eyal Hareuveni 

Thomas Nyx (poem), Martin Philadelphy (electric guitar, vocals, samples, loop, toys)


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