“Time has taught us to follow our feelings and to serve our destiny.”
Ukrainian duo The Glass Beads bend back the hands of the clock with their timeless oeuvre, sorrowful yet sensual music, and bring up the importance of accepting the fate.
Musicians Mark Arshynnikov and Marina Rublevskaya are commanding, beautiful and able to transverse time and space with their haunting melodies and emotional vocals. Their unique sound is both strangely modern and familiar; a mystique cherry-picked from various periods of the 20th century with the weary sensibilities of wry hindsight. Touching piano, expressive vocals, emotional strings – The Glass Beads sculpt an imposing, sophisticated dreamscape.
Their new album called Time To Time, aptly named after a song written nearly a decade ago, weaves a common thread that intertwines the past, present, and future in a personal and universal way.
Thematically, the record explores the importance of the past, remembering our roots, and building towards the future, while living firmly in the present, and not letting life pass us by. As Goethe once said: “Every second is of infinite value”. Life is short, and time is fleeting, but in a universal sense it is also eternal and we cannot fully experience the whole of it.
“Events, people, and emotions all change with time,” explains Marina Rublevskaya, “and only the starry sky above us and the ground beneath our feet remain the same. It shows how almost every aspect of life, such as some problems, can become less significant because time is beyond human control. It’s something that is always not enough for us, and it always slips away. Time is something intangible, yet connects everything.”
One of the most revealing songs of the album is “Rebirth” – Marina’s powerful voice cuts to the quick with the piano intro, leading into a hypnotic backbeat.
The gently unsettling “In The Mirror” describes the state and the feeling of who we really are, and what impact time has on us. It’s about life in terms of understanding where you belong, how you express yourself in different conditions, and the importance of the past in a global sense: everything we have right now is connected, and we must appreciate treasures that were given to us by time.
“Old Swing” is about fleetigness of time. Bittersweet realization that a moment will be soon a memory that leaves a treasured experience. Like a recurring dream of the past, the urgency of the vocals and violin deliver a powerful narrative of what is gone and what remains only in memories.
To capture the exquisite sound of Time to Time, the band utilized all acoustic instruments with no synthesizers or drum machines. The instrument that appears and from now on takes a special place of The Glass Beads music is violin, which was played on the album by talented Olha Havrylenko.
“The violin, for example, has always had a special place in my heart and I have always wanted to write melodies for it,” explains Marina, “It has always been clear that no synthesizer can give me what I want, because it is impossible to create this beautiful and incredibly rich sound without an acoustic instrument.”
Marina composed and arranged the songs on her own; the mixing and mastering was done by Doruk Öztürkcan (She Past Away).