Dear everyone and particularly my friends and listeners in Ukraine and Russia. The invasion of Ukraine is a terrible wrong. I am certain the real people of neither side want this catastrophe. We must stand up against those who misuse their power.
I will be donating 100% of my income for this month to first aid and non-violent resistance. I will do a full concert livestream on March 10th to raise more funds. Practical details below.
Background for my decision
Music is a global language. Art is universal. Artists are a tribe without borders.
Just a few months ago, I was working closely with a wonderful team of Ukrainians performing Atrophy, my book symphony. We were in the United Arab Emirates, working as an international team of Emirati, Ukrainian, Norwegian, Japanese, Indian and Bangladeshi. We communicated in English, Arabic and German. People from wildly different cultures strived to create something beautiful together.
Artistic productions is an intense emotional affair. One quickly becomes like a family. This was my most recent live production, it is fresh in my memory. It was a profound experience, sharing a global passion for books, art and music. It was the fairytale I needed in a dark pandemic. This fairytale, this international collaboration was brought to life by Ukrainians. I am now deeply worried about them, their safety and their future.
All my career, I have had plays, messages and support from listeners all over the world, many from you in both Ukraine and Russia. I am fond of Russian people, art and culture. I’ve worked with Russian artists, songs and films. I am Norwegian, Russia is also MY neighbour.
Conflicts have victims on all sides. I think neither the people of Ukraine nor the people of Russia want what is happening now. It is dangerous for many to speak up against this. My heart goes out to everyone, in both countries. War is always imposed upon us by those who put on a show, but never step onto the stage.
Throughout the pandemic, you have all supported me. I survived. Now it is Ukraine that needs our help.
I am donating 100% of all my income, from the start of the invasion on the 24th of February to the 11th of March – all streaming, downloads, donations, Patreon, merchandise – will go directly to immediate relief and non-violent institutions. Please consider helping in any way you can.
I am splitting donations 1/4 flat to these four organisations:
- Caritas, immediate help to conflict-affected with food, water, hygiene, communication
- Voices Of Children, for long term help to children in Ukraine affected by the war
- Kiyv Independent, to fund independent journalistic flow of information
- Razom for Ukraine for organizing peaceful resistance and democratic, civic development
Practical details and accountability
Monthly income. My Patreon and digital streaming payouts for each month usually arrive early in the month, I will transfer them as soon as they arrive in a few days and update here.
Single release. I’m releasing an long-time scheduled Ugress single now on the 4th. All direct income from that will be summed up and forwarded on the 5th, and again on the 11th if needed.
Livestream. I will do a regular, full livestream concert on the 10th of March. (I need two weeks to prepare that.) This livestream will be as usual a highly escapist and lighthearted affair, to take our minds of things and gather over love for music and nothing else. All income and donations from the concert will be immediately transferred to relief efforts on the 11th.
Report. I will then report the full results of our efforts on the 11th of March with copies of my transfers and receipts. If I receive any direct donations or Bandcamp purchases during this period I will report all these also on the 11th of March, but anonymously with country of origin + date/time/amount, so you can verify on your end that your contribution is included, but it can’t be traced back to you personally.
Other ways to support Ukraine
I’m aware my response is slow and help is needed urgently. You can also support the people of Ukraine differently:
Here is a crowd-funded Google doc with the most critical institutions (via CDM).
Timothy Snyder’s substack has two articles with multiple support options, including supporting the government or army directly.
Peter at CreateDigitalMusic also has an overview of alternatives, including if you want to support the arts directly.
Thank you and take care,
Gisle / Ugress