"Night Music comes floating across the Dnepr"

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Comments (15)

© SisAnnick on March 1, 2008

Wonderful, Ian, but ???? what is it exactly ?

Ian Stehbens on March 1, 2008

"Night Music comes floating across the Dnepr" is a photographic poem or visual concerto.

I hear:

Different instruments playing, different sound waves arriving skimming across the river, played by the violins, backed by guitars and effected by percussion.

I see:

The boatmen of the river, some off duty others labouring through the night were all re-spirited by the sound that flowed around them.

I know:

The residents in their apartments on a warm summer's night had turned off their air-conditioning and opened their windows and the doors to their balconies to hear the night music floating across the Dnepr.


People galvanised by the flow of a river, into a string of cities;

People embraced by the gentle waft of a cooling breeze off the river, after a 40C day;

People entranced by the concerto of the night, needing their spirits alive;

People of a nation stitched by a river and held together by an anthem,

People who will lay down their souls and bodies tonight, regaining their freedom,

For the night music they hear floating across the Dnepr,

Is the sound of an anthem of the brothers and sisters of the Kozak nation.

To Ukraine, with love

Ian Stehbens on March 1, 2008

Thankyou Annick. I am very pleased that you appreciate the image. Now I want you to appreciate the imagery too. While it is a photograph of reflections on water it is a photographic poem or a visual concerto. That's all. I hope that doesn't frustrate you sister Annick.

Perhaps you may not realise that Ukraine's national flag is blue sky above golden wheat fields: blue on gold.

And I will geo-locate it with poetic licence, on a balcony on the east side of the river in Kiev...or maybe on a barge moored in the Dnepr. I hope that's ok.


© SisAnnick on March 2, 2008

Thanks Ian ! of course, ex-plain-ations sound less poetic, but help a lot! i didn't understand at all the title, and even image. I identified reflections but didn't find the link! everything is clear; it moves me a lot, because I'm very attached to Ukraine for old, personal, secret reasons (Donetsk for me... that means River Don) And for me of course your picture and virtual nicht music are "yellow star" . Sisterly Annick

Ian Stehbens on March 2, 2008

My Dear Sister Annick,

I am on a high, because

  1. I so enjoyed seeing and hearing the sound in this image, and

  2. sooo thrilled that a poem about Ukrainian life flowed out into a form that satisfies me, but

  3. sooooo thrilled that someone else, especially someone with a little secret love for Ukraine has received this with joy!! Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. You make it a significant image for other folk who I have never met.

So I appreciate the yellow star very much.. but it also needs a blue one for Ukraine's sake. I'll give it one for the poetry. Ah.

Love to you and Serge, dear sister Annick.


EVA_L on March 4, 2008

Picture of music, image of poetry, dance of color - you do impossible things, Yan. You succeed a miracle because you a romantic man, feeling other people, loving even those, who does not know. Certainly, I will mark this picture by YS, but I would like to show it to all my friends. But most, I would like, that our Ukrainian politicians treat with the same respect to Ukraine, as well as my dear friend Yan. From Ukraine with sincere friendship, Eva

Ian Stehbens on March 10, 2008

Thank you Gondor. Let's keep creating with our cameras, and with a bit of help from photoshop, my friend. How about an abstract photo from you entitled, "The Cure". There's a challenge.


Ian Stehbens on March 10, 2008

To my precious Ukrainian friend, Eva,

I am so pleased that you have been touched by this work, particularly the photographic work, but also the prose and the poetry.

It was created and written for you and for you to give to your Ukrainian friends, and to thank you for all the wonderful photos you have shared with me and all your panoramio friends. Through them you have expressed your heart and mind and the spirit of your identity as a Ukrainian woman.

It is a sheer joy for me that both you dear Eva, and dear sister Annick have treasured it by adding it to your favourites: You two love Ukraine, one from within the land, the people, the nation and its spirit, the other secretly from beyond.

Eva you know, though Annick may not, that I once taught about Ukraine with my Senior High School geography classes, and the Dnepr (as well as the Donetsk) was a significant part of that. Then, there were no coloured images available to me, only black and white pictures. So Eva you have helped me discover the colour of the river, and the colour of life along it.

Sometimes the colour is revealed in blue and responding pink ribbons,

and other times in a full national concerto of a blue and yellow anthem,

sometimes by the beauty of an ice-picture on a balcony window

and in summer by the gift of a rose from a summer garden to a precious friend on that balcony.

And from that balcony one may hear,

night music that comes floating across the Dnepr,

if one is attentive enough to hear another's heart beating - alive to the spirit of freedom, and pulsing with a liberating friendship.


© SisAnnick on March 11, 2008

Dear Ian, your very last letter moves a lot of emotions in the deepest part of my mind (reminds...) I never went in Ukraine, just visited it "by heart way" through somebodie's soul. And I'm always chasing images that could be meeting places (Donetsk Prospekt Leninskiy House 22 ! any picture? ). I'm always telling myself "one day, you'll go there !" ... but.. I also have Australia to be discovered ! Wow, so many places ! :-) Cheers , Brother Yan and Sister Eva


Amelia Royan on January 21, 2009

I have a tripod tucked away in a cupboard, from the old days of my SLR. They are such a nuisance to lug round, unless of course one is going to a specific sit to collect absolutely specific photos.

So here I am in Night Music .... Your art gallery is just so creative Ian. There is such variety, from just pure beauty, to creative genius, to downright fun. And I can see it all for free. As for titles, you have that creativity as well. So really you don't need anyone's help. ;D

Greetings dear friend, Amelia

Ian Stehbens on January 22, 2009

As long as you can hear the music, Amelia, I am content. But to have you enjoy the artistic images interspersed through the gallery, fills me with joy.

May all the world listen to the music of the artist.

Do you remember the violinist that played near the bridge in Sarajevo while the fighters were shelling the city from the hills around?

When he was asked, "Aren't you crazy to be playing your violin while they are shelling the city?" he replied, "Go quickly and ask the fighters on the hills, 'Aren't you crazy to be shelling the city while a man is playing his violin on the bridge?'"


crina.stanciu on June 28, 2011

This is a very "magnetic" picture.

I ask myself "...but what it is.???'" ...then I read the explication....and now I see a very creative, poetic and meditative point of view.

Like it very much!

Ian Stehbens on June 29, 2011

Thankyou crina stanciu for your special appreciation of this image and its poetic purpose.

(I don't want to spoil its magnetism or its poetic creativity as a visual image, but if you rotate it to the left you will recognize the yellow floating boom, and the intense reflections of the morning light from the glass frontage of a building that has bright blue panels in its façade. The ripples in the water do the rest for me, before my creative juices took over my imagination!)

I may have been on a harbour-side construction site early in the morning, but I was truly on a balcony overlooking the Dnepr in Kyiv, one summer night and I heard music, or saw the rhythm of a concerto dancing across the night.

Both my special Panoramio sisters, Eva L in Kyiv and Annick in Rio who dreams of Kyiv, will understand how the joy of friendship can create enchanted dreams!

Warmest regards,


Suzi in Oregon on October 29, 2011

Thank you so much, Ian, for guiding me to this fine concerto! I am now going to explore your Art tag. I am certain it will be a perfect close to this fine day! Appreciatively (O:

Ian Stehbens on November 1, 2011

You are most welcome, Suzi and for you to see and hear a concerto in a photograph makes you a particularly sensitive and creative person. Thank you for being that - in your gallery and through your remarks.


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Photo taken in Dniprovs'kyi district, Kiev, Ukraine

Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 1, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens