Balaklava Blues is the brainchild of Mark and Marichka Marczyk, creators of the multi-award winning guerrilla-folk-opera, Counting Sheep, and leaders of the mighty Lemon Bucket Orkestra – Canada’s notorious 12-piece balkan-party-punk-massive. Falling somewhere between a traditional song cycle and a full blown multimedia techno show, the duo fuses Ukrainian polyphony and other folk traditions with EDM, trap, dubstep, and more, as a launching pad to explore the seemingly never-ending blues that have long emanated from the Ukrainian steppe.
The two met there during the 2014 revolution of dignity and ever since, have dedicated their creative energy to telling the stories of their home country to the world. Their 2015 play, Counting Sheep, garnered major critical acclaim winning several awards at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival – including a Fringe First award, as well as an Amnesty International’s Freedom of Speech award. It has since had multiple successful runs in The US, UK and Germany and had a 2-month run headlining the Vault Festival in London.
Mark and Marichka composed all the music for Counting Sheep – a story of love and revolution – and four of the songs are on their debut release. “Balaklava Blues music is a reclamation of the violence perpetrated on my home country,” says Mark Marczyk, who spent years back and forth between Ukraine and Canada, before meeting Marichk. “We want to redesign and remix physical and psychological oppression and question how and why it continues to inform who we are and what we can become.”