BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Many of the singers in Ukrainian Village Voices, the opening act of the Brooklyn Folk Festival, are thinking of those suffering through the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the last eight months.

When singing songs from rural Ukraine, they said they see those living through these tragic times in their homeland.

Iryna Kit was born in Ukraine and emigrated 18 years ago to Brooklyn.

“It’s kind of just like therapy for my soul,” Kit, one of the Ukrainian Village Voices singers, told PIX11 News. “You get to feel and experience joy and also deep sadness and sorrow,” she added.

“It’s called polyphonic music,” Laryssa Czeboniak, co-founder of Ukrainian Village Voices, told PIX11 News. “Something about it reminds me of my ancestors,” she added.

Others in Ukrainian Village voices have no connection to the war.

They are moved by the beautiful music and its sad, haunting tone.

“It’s interesting tone signatures, and haunting and beautiful and full of meaning,” Ben Batchelder, one of the singers, told PIX11 News.

“We are opening the festival with Ukrainian music as the war goes on,” Eli Smith, the organizer of the Brooklyn Folk Festival, told PIX11 News. “And we want to lift up Ukraine as the war goes on because we want people to see the beautiful place that it is,” Smith added.

This is the 14th Brooklyn folk festival.

Also on the bill opening night at Saint Anne’s Church, 17-year-old banjo-playing Nora Brown, who’s been singing for 11 years.

Nora is Brooklyn born but is drawn to the Eastern Kentucky version of Virgil Anderson’s “You Been Gone.”

“I’ve been able to spend some time in Eastern Kentucky and learn from folks,” Nora Brown, the 17-year-old singer, told PIX11 News. “Being able to take something that’s old and make it your own and still holding on to its roots,” Brown added.

The Brooklyn Folk Festival has a full roster of performers for the next two days ending with a comical closer, a banjo-toss competition into the Gowanus Canal.