We Present :: Ivashko Medvedko

I was going to tell you about this summer’s journey to the far north-west of these islands, when Rima and I took the Ivashko Medvedko show on the road. I was going to make you marvel at tales of our adventures and cause you to gasp with reverence at the beauty of Scotland. I was going to perhaps even dazzle you with the grace of my prose descriptions of our travels and this land. Really, I was.

Luckily, Rima has done it all over at The Hermitage, in what we suspect to be the longest blog entry she’s ever posted (and Rima is not known for the brevity of her offerings…) It’s a beauty. If you’re interested in what we’ve been up to (and that’s just the half of it, take it from me – there’s plenty more to come!) do go over there and have a look.

But, I promised you sound. I let slip that there was a recording of the Elshieshields recording of Ivashko Medvedko and I would never, ever tantalise you with such information without delivering on such promises of joy! So, here, with all its errors of omission and sins of commission, I present for your delectation and delight, Rima and myself performing the peerless Russian folktale in the barns at Elshieshields. I suggest you make a cup of tea or take a cup of kvass and settle back for the show – it’s over an hour long.

And before you all clammer at once, yes, kvass is a kind of weak beer made from rye bread. I know. Forgive me – I was temporarily overtaken by forgetting in the excitement of the telling…

Full credits and thank yous are on the hedgespoken soundcloud page.

In a timely coincidence, Warren Draper has just posted some of his memories of Ivashko Medvedko from when we told it at Uncivilisation last year, over at the For The Telling blog – I heartily recommend you go and take a look. If you can get to the Doncaster Telling, do. It’s going to be the start (or more correctly, the continuing) of something very beautiful indeed…

But now, put the kettle on and take a journey with Ivashko Medvedko in the old, old forests. We’ll see you there.


10 thoughts on “We Present :: Ivashko Medvedko

    1. Thanks, Joseph – we have an uncanny knack of evading all attempts to record or photograph us in our storytelling role. Hopefully, with this, we’ve shaken the jinx.

  1. Yes, yes, it took three cups of coffee and three slices of toast! Really enjoyed the story and musical interludes. Recognised some of the tunes. ‘Tamo Daleko’ was pleasantly swirling around my brain for hours!
    Also, I always felt that the sound, the texture of Tom’s voice lend itself beautifully to storytelling, actually to any performance that requires speech. It is kind of velvety. It is comforting.
    During my teaching phase I have often noticed that children and some young adults alike pay a great deal more attention to the stories when they are told rather than being read out loud or being presented via TV. I guess it allows their imagination to create their own visuals. So with your storytelling and beautiful art work/backdrops you are both onto a something very good!
    Best wishes, Branka.

    1. Thank you, Branka – storytelling is as essential to the soul as food is to the belly. Children who grow without stories grow without vital soul-food. And yes, I think we are on to a good thing! I also have ‘Tamo Daleko’ still reverberating in my head – it may never leave…

  2. I am still reading Rima’s wonderful account, On to the second cup of coffee and the toast and marmite is cold. I have a question Tom, how difficult would it be for you to come to an inner city primary in Nottingham? We are a school made up of subcontinental and Eastern European children, many of the newer children are Roma from a number of states across Europe. Our children NEED visual storytelling, oral and musical build up and I would love them to have the chance to experience some of the wonder you and Rima create.

    If you would be at all interested I can be reached through either the wordpress blog or chestofdelights.blogspot.com

    I know this is a bit cheeky, I also have not even broached the idea with the head, but making stories relevant is part of who we are.

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