Of Note

Mykolaiv Sketchbook: A Taste of Bulgaria in Ukraine

Posted on 11.07.2017 in Of Note
Mykolaiv Sketchbook: A Taste of Bulgaria in Ukraine

by Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac At 4:00 am on October 24, a woman awoke in Ternovka to bake a traditional Bulgarian cake called a banitsa. The cake was baked to help welcome us to a community in Mykolaiv where many people of Bulgarian descent live. And it is a symbol of how warm and…

Mykolaiv Sketchbook: Roma Remembrance

Posted on 10.08.2017 in Of Note
Mykolaiv Sketchbook: Roma Remembrance

By Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac We were exceptionally honored and pleased to be welcomed yesterday on a bus by members of the Romani Bacht ensemble to travel more than 200 kilometers northwest of Mykolaiv to a site that is very important to Roma history and remembrance. We joined local Romas and their friends in…

Mykolaiv Sketchbook: Druzhba Festival

Posted on 10.02.2017 in Of Note
Mykolaiv Sketchbook: Druzhba Festival

by Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac Following a whirlwind of activity in Kyiv, we took the night train to our new home in Southern Ukraine: Mykolaiv. Mykolaiv was named by its founder, Prince Grigory Potemkin, in honor of St. Nicholas, on whose day he won a significant military victory. The city is at the confluence…

The Crush

Posted on 09.07.2017 in Of Note
The Crush

By Mark Isaac and Gabriela Bulisova Our time in Slovakia is evaporating quickly, just as the weather changes and hints of Fall appear. One unmistakable symbol of the season is the wine harvest. In Chl’aba, there are two “museums” — one for the history of the village, and one for winemaking, one of the most…

GRAY AND WHITE DAYS (Experiments In the Tatra Mountains)

Posted on 09.05.2017 in Of Note
GRAY AND WHITE DAYS (Experiments In the Tatra Mountains)

by Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac Most of our days in Slovakia are spent in the far South in the hometown of Gabriela’s mother, Chl’aba. But each year we journey three and a half hours to the north to visit the national parks of Slovakia. Most often, that means a trip to the Tatra Mountains,…

Village Life Along the Danube

Posted on 08.14.2017 in Of Note
Village Life Along the Danube

We’re continuing our 6 week sojourn in Southern Slovakia, along the Hungarian border, before we move to Ukraine. This is a region of small, rural villages in which contemporary and historic influences coexist in an uneasy patchwork. In the last two days, we helped the women of Chl’aba clean the village church, took a long…

Red and Blue Days (Experiments on the Banks of the Danube)

Posted on 08.06.2017 in Of Note
Red and Blue Days (Experiments on the Banks of the Danube)

Greetings from Central Europe, where we’ve begun a year-long adventure  that will have multiple components, including a photo/video Fulbright project, learning about and reporting on contemporary life in Central and Eastern Europe, reconnecting with family, and exploring family origins. Our first stop is Chl’aba, Slovakia, the hometown of Gabriela’s mother, and the site of a…

New Work: Songs in the Key of Free

Posted on 07.03.2017 in Of Note, Shows & Events
New Work: Songs in the Key of Free

I invite you to preview the latest collaborative project that I created with Gabriela Bulisova, called “Songs in the Key of Free.” This unique and innovative project, which showcases the extraordinary songwriting and performing talents of incarcerated men in a maximum security prison in Pennsylvania, engendered some of the strongest emotions of any of our…