Alyaksandr Pamіdorau: Freedom starts from your own personality!


ERB continues meeting musicians that will perform at the festival “BeFree” in Lvov. Alyaksandr Pamidorau has told us about the songs musicians are preparing for the festival, shared his expectations of the performance in Lvov and his impression form “Basowiszcza” and his understanding of freedom. ERB: What programme are you preparing for the festival in Lvov?

Alyaksandr Pamіdorau (A.P.): The programme will be practically the same as that we presented at “Basowiszcza”. It is a new programme. However, I cannot claim that all of the songs are new because some of the songs included in it date back to 2003. But they have a new arrangement and a new approach. We will try to release them this year.

ERB: What attracts you about the festival?

A.P.: It was organized in Lutsk last year. Now it will take place in Lvov – a legendary place, a legendary city. Belarusian musicians have a lot of things connected with it. We hope that all the positive things will be taken into account and all the negative things registered in the previous years will be minimized this year.  Even the organization seems better than last year to me. Last year’s festival seemed a bit chaotic to me. This year’s festival has been discussed for a long time and it makes us more confident… In fact, there should be more festivals of different kinds. It may seem strange that a Belarusian festival takes place abroad… However, it seems strange to those who are not aware of the situation existing in our country regardless of the permission to play music and to perform. Anyway, you have to collect numerous documents in order to receive permission to organize a concert in Minsk. If may be easier in other cities but various firemen can appear there too… (laughs) 

ERB: You have just returned from “Basowiszcza”. Describe your feelings and impressions of this year’s festival, please…

A.P.: The festival took place in spite of the fact that it was probably the most complicated festival! There were many miscalculations made by the organizers and coordinators. It turned out that there were no people who could inform musicians and visitors about the things that would take place in Belarus.  In the end, people like me, Vitalik Zablyuk and some others had to engage in the work to organize the final… We just had to solve some problems. I had a feeling that the tension connected with the festival was not accidental. It seemed that somebody wanted to cancel the festival or make it as complicated as possible explaining it by Schengen visas problems and things happening in the pseudo-opposition company.  It concerns mass media too.  Somebody wanted the festival to be a failure. Thanks God, it did not happen…

The attitude of Belarusian musicians to the festival and to their work was also significant. I mean the bands that did not receive visas – they can only blame themselves for it. Some musicians did not get visas because they had forgotten about it or because they had some family holidays… They had a chance to get visas right before the festival and even on the first day of the festival but people did not want to spend money to come to Hrodna by jitney. It was all they had to do. Another case: a drummer form one band did not get a visa because his passport had expired and he noticed it before the departure.  It was a scandal there. In any case, they really wanted it, and they invited another drummer and performed no matter how - drunk, or stupid, or angry or naked. And they gave a good performance! It means the guys wanted something. And the others… So what? Do we have to continue running after Belarusian musicians trying to satisfy them while they are using it and wining about the bad situation!?? They should start changing the situation themselves so that no pseudo repertoire commission could tell them about the quality of their performance and compliance with the ideological background in the country and so on. 

ERB: How do you think, could the festival “BeFree” compete with “Basowiszcza”?

A.P.: It is easy to create competitive festivals after 19 years of the existence of “Basowiszcza” using its example. Festivals are made by experienced people from “Basowiszcza” and other festivals. So it is the same as comparing the competitiveness of Polish Woodstock and Węgorzewo. People will come if they are interested in it. You only have to discuss the organization, the emotional atmosphere and the quality of the music you can hear at the festival and think about the way to present yourself.

ERB: What does being free means for you?

A.P.: It is just being in accordance with yourself - not lying to yourself or doing it as rare as possible. Freedom and liberty start from your own personality.

Photo by: European Radio for Belarus