LISTEN: Pink Floyd reunites, supports Ukrainian singer in first original music since 1994
Legendary rock group Pink Floyd reunited on March 30 to record their first original music since "Division Bell," released in 1994, to support Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk, of Boombox, as he cut his U.S. Tour short in order to return home to fight against the invasion of his home country.
Pink Floyd reunited on March 30 to record their first original music in nearly 30 years in an effort to support a Ukrainian singer during the invasion of his home country.
David Gilmour, Nick Mason, longtime bass player Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney, recorded the song to accompany Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Ukrainian band Boombox, who posted a video of himself on Instagram, singing in a vacant Sofiyskaya Square in Kyiv.
In a post of the group's Facebook page, David Gilmour, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren, said he too has been feeling "the fury and frustration" while watching events unfold in Ukraine.
"Recently I read that Andriy (Khlyvnyuk) had left his American tour with Boombox, had gone back to Ukraine, and joined up with the Territorial Defense. Then I saw this incredible video on Instagram, where he stands in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful gold-domed church and sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war," said Gilmour. "It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music."
The recording and the video for the new single, "Hey Hey Rise Up," were completed on the same day, according to the post. The video was directed by Mat Whitecross and featured Khlyvnyuk singing a Ukrainian World War I folk song, "Oh, The Red Viburnum In The Meadow," of which, "Hey, hey, rise up and rejoice," is the translated last line of the song.
All of the proceeds earned from the single will be donated to Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief, the post stated.
Gilmour also explained how he met Khlyvnyuk in London in 2015: "I played a show at Koko in London in support of the Belarus Free Theatre, whose members have been imprisoned. Pussy Riot and the Ukrainian band, Boombox, were also on the bill. They were supposed to do their own set, but their singer Andriy had visa problems, so the rest of the band backed me for my set — we played 'Wish You Were Here' for Andriy that night."
He also said he was able to speak with Khlyvnyuk, who was recovering in a hospital after being injured in a mortar attack. Gilmour said, "I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing. I hope that we do something together in person at some point in the future.
"I hope it will receive wide support and publicity," he added. "We want to raise funds and morale. We want to show our support for Ukraine and in that way, show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become."