Milana has been playing piano and singing since her early childhood, it really ran in her family: her first teachers were her grandma and her dad. Arty has been an audiophile for two decades, also following his dad’s footsteps. Five years ago we started our shared musical journey: from the first shy recordings of Milana’s improvisations on a digital piano to the fully equipped home studio with an acoustic grand piano and recording equipment. We released eight original albums and participated in several collaborative ones, performed on radio and TV shows, festivals and solo concerts, gained thousands of followers on social platforms. We are proud of making it the indie way, without any label to back it all up, while also being able to support other artists too.
On one Canadian wintry day, back in December 2016, Milana wrote a new song. It was a wintry song, a wondrous theatrical blend of Waltz and Tango, Jazz and Classical. Arty immediately fell in love with it. We both felt like this song is way bigger than any song we ever wrote before.
So, we started this project by arranging the song, inviting a vocal coach to shape Milana’s singing and then recording it in our home studio - all this was done this Spring of 2017. In May, we wrote the video script together, it turned into a musical story, a story about magic and a dream, a fantasy and the reality.
The following month we spent scouting for different locations and designing the decorations. In August we hired a friend to improve the orchestration we did ourselves and then we hired a remote sax player to record the sax solo. We also found a professional cinematographer to work on the video and had the first session with him, recording the intro and the finale of the video.
These days we are working with a choreographer to create a dance for her dancers - they will play the role of Snow Queen’s court. We are also working with a theatrical makeup artist to design the look of the Queen.
The big day of filming the main part is approaching - 28th of October is when we are going to make the Dream happen on the stage of Kailash Mital Theater in Carleton University of Ottawa!
So, what is going to happen on 28th of October. Below is the plan:
It’s going to be a long-long day, involving 8 actors on the stage and 12-15 more people to run the production: a video director, camera and light assistants, stage decor director, stage assistants, makeup artists, behind-the-scenes video operator, sound operator etc etc. Milana is going to be the main actor, Arty will manage the whole production.
This day is the most challenging part of the project, both scheduling and budget-wise (half of the project’s budget is invested into this single day!). If you happen to live in Ottawa, we’ll gladly accept any assistance on the filming day (you will be credited in the video, for sure!).
We have had (and will have!) a great honor of working with incredibly talented people to make this project happen. Below is the list of the current and some of the future participants (in the chronological order) with their roles in “The Snow Queen Waltz” project.
Diana Sharp - Voice Teacher
Diana’s studied bel canto as well as contemporary singing techniques and worked as an opera singer in the UK. She worked with singers whose styles vary from opera to pop and a lot in between. As a singer Diana has worked with some wonderful teachers, coaches and conductors over 20 years of performing opera, comedy and in orchestral concerts in a wide range of musical styles. Her students were performing in musical theatre, rock bands, choirs and opera as well as successfully auditioning for Oxford University Music, Ottawa U Music and Acadia U for Music Therapy.
Ben Hoskyn - Cinematographer
Born and raised in Vancouver, it was during teenage years spent in Hong Kong that Ben Hoskyn’s love of music and film truly blossomed into a passion. After graduating from the renowned Broadcast & Media Communications program at BCIT he was recruited to direct a talk show and documentary series in Ottawa.. Recently Ben directed his first feature film, where he conducted multiple shoots on two continents, and production right across Canada in order to complete “8 Minutes Ahead”.
Evgeniya Selifanova - Makeup Artist
Evgeniya is a Pro Makeup Artist, working with Ottawa and Montreal best photographers, designers and stylists. She studied in Chicago (Makeup First School of Makeup Artistry), specializing in fashion, beauty and bridal makeup. She was also published in Krowd Magazine.
Jeff Torres - Orchestral Arranger
Majored in theory and composition at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Jeff developed a keen interest in orchestral conducting as well as composing and arranging music. Jeff spent 15 years serving as Choir Director of various church choirs.
Gdaliy Garmiza - Alto-Saxophone
Gdaliy has played the saxophone for over 20 years and won several local and international competitions. He gained a university degree in music recording production in 2007 and published various articles on the art of music recording production. Gdaliy has huge experience in both live and studio work: as a session musician, he took part in many international projects and has worldwide clients from the USA, the UK, Germany, Norway, Spain, China, Turkey, India, New Zealand and other countries.
Don Nafe (TMR Productions) - Mix Engineer
Don Nafe has been a professional touring / studio drummer since 1980. He has played on, written or produced several CD’s over the years. Presently he works out of his home studio known as TMR Productions, mixing music for Artists right around the planet.
Jason Fee (Conduction Mastering) - Mastering Engineer
Jason started interning in recording studios in 1999. In 2005 he assumed co-ownership of Sound of One Hand Recording Studios, the largest commercial recording facility in Ottawa. He was owner for two years, grew the mastering business, and eventually branched off to create Conduction Mastering. He now splits his time between Conduction and electronics design work for boutique guitar effects company Empress Effects.
Ludmila Kashkovar - Choreographer
Ph.D. in Art History and an international judge, Ludmila has been a professional choreographer for 30 years. She was in charge of the Chair of Contemporary Choreography at the Kiev (Ukraine) Municipal Dance Academy and founded “A Pearl” - a dance school for children, one of the best in Ukraine. In 2011, after moving to Canada, she founded Ottawa Dance Academy. Her students win overall first places at regional and national dance competitions.
Dema Silverwings - Theatrical makeup
Dema is a self-taught body painter and makeup artist as well as an acrylic canvass painter. Her work was published in yearly calendars in Europe since 2015 and she competed in a bodypainting competition in Atlanta, USA where she met Craig Tracy (a judge on the show Skin wars). She’s also an aspiring photographer and a lover of arts. She is a member of Art Fashion Studio, a collaborative group of artists and photographers. She works with awesome photographers in the Ottawa area and she offers bodypainting services for many different occasions like bridal showers, Halloween, Christmas, private shoots, Comic Con…etc. She’ll be doing the theatrical makeup for Milana and the young dancers in The Snow Queen Waltz!
Jarrod Goldsmith - Sax Player Actor
Jarrod has been featured in dozens of television, video and audio segments. He founded Sax Appeal, a unique professional saxophone ensemble (comprised of a Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone saxophone) who performed at the Ottawa Jazz Festival and the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Nathan Estabrooks - Film Editor
Graduated from the prestigious Canadian Film Centre, Nathan was recognized as a fresh new voice and talented feature director, which won him an invitation to join the Directors Guild of Canada in late 2015 as part of a select new wave and up-and-coming independent directors. Nathan’s feature debut was released in April 2015, garnering a theatrical run as well as TV distribution.