The Interest of Non-folkloric Musicians

Practicing BFM from professional (educated) and nonprofessional (amateur) musicians in Bulgaria is a natural process. Even most of the amateurs here are playing that music on a good level. Some of them became icons in that traditional art, because they have been started since they were children. They have lived with that music, listening to it and practicing every day, learning from other brilliant performers just by hearing and imitating. Through the years, they enrich their skills and turn it to a profession. If you don’t have any advanced preparation – you’re on the right place. At the online platform BFMNM we point out our efforts to help those musicians, who already have been working in some other genre, but has some interest to the traditions of other ethnicity groups and nationalities. If you are one of them – let us talk about some different aspects!

  1. The interest of non-folkloric musicians from Bulgaria

In our country, the interest of non-folkloric musicians to BFM is quite common. This could be easily explained because of the feeling of patriotism, because these people are closer to the traditions, knows it best and realize its uniqueness. They are trying to find a way to use it in their own composing and performing style. Inside the borders of our country, the personal meetings and informal communication with folk musicians is easy to achieve. This way, sharing an information is quite easier and it is a circumstance to find better setting for a collective work (playing, teaching and training).

Many music projects are existing in Bulgaria and along with the professional musicians, many non-folkloric musicians are also taking part. Of course, every one of them has a different level, but most important is that anyway we can feel that they are looking for that uniqueness that BFM gives you. They are trying to find something that may help to make their new music projects more interesting, impressive, original and of course to make the process of “selling that product” easier. Most cases folk music is combined with other genres as: POP (Vasil Naidenov – “Kazano chestno vsichko”); JAZZ (Yildiz Ibrahimova, Milcho Leviev and other); FUNK (the bands “Ikadem“, “Brainstorm” and other); HIP-HOP (Krisko and Elitza Todorova – “Ludi noshti”, Angel and Moisey feat. Krisko – “Koi den stanahme?” and other); ROCK (FSB – “Papesh”, FSB – “Visoko”, Dimitar Argirov – “Devoiko mari hubava” and other); HOUSE (Fabrizio Parisi & MiYan feat. Belonoga – “Sunbeams”; Deep zone feat Bobo – “Nyama ne”, Deep zone feat Krisko – “Nikoy drug”, DIA – “Egeya”, DIA – “Veno, Neveno”, the duo Elitza Todorova and Stoyan Yankulov, Vesi and Stan Kolev –”Take my breath away” and other). Projects that we couldn’t define in just one genre are also existing. Their music is a collaboration of ethno, jazz, rock and funk elements. For example: the bands “Bulgara“, “Diva reka“, “Outhentic“, the duo Hristina Beleva and Petar Milanov, Martin Lyubenov projects and other.

Seems like in Bulgaria, when we are talking about the interflowing of different genres by non-folkloric musicians, the interest is much about vocal music. The answer is simple. First it is quite easier to integrate a vocal melody to a modern arrangement, doesn’t matter what genre we’re talking about. About the instrumental music – it is not necessary for a jazz musician, for example, to learn to play folk music, because here in Bulgaria there are many quality folk musicians that is easy to contact and work with. If you are interested to hear how these modern music projects sounds, you could check the links of those that I mentioned before in the net.

I am talking about those music projects because they exist and they are a proof for the interest to BFM of non-folkloric musicians from Bulgaria. However, I should say that our job is based on something else. This platform is designed for those of you, who are abroad. All over the world. Because your chances for contacts and working with professional musicians, that you may share some experience with, are limited.

  1. The interest of non-folkloric musicians out of Bulgaria

Here it is necessary to distinguish two different aspects – the Bulgarian communities /societies/ all over the world and people from other nationalities.

The Bulgarians that lives abroad are using BFM to approve their identity. Far away from your country is hard to keep your traditions and often you accept the way of living and the mentality of the society that you become a part. That is OK, but in a certain moments in the year (celebrations usually) these people needs to remind themselves for their childhood, for the years when they have lived in their homes with their relatives. Here comes the meaningful place of BFM, which has been used to keep their spirit bright, to transfer them mentally and emotionally to a different place and time, to teach their children of who they are and where they are coming from. This music becomes an illustration of these moments. That is the easiest way to get back in the past, even just in your mind and thoughts. Every year Bulgarian musicians are visiting those societies in different countries for different occasions, because they need this music. Living on different places all over the world, these people have the chance to enjoy concerts of many world famous singers, instrumentalists, bands and orchestras, but the pleasure and the emotional experience that Bulgarian music brings to them (mostly folk music) is just incomparable.

A lot of our friends, schoolmate, fellow students and colleagues are interested of practicing BFM in different forms and many of them doesn’t live in Bulgaria for years. Out of our country, they get together in dance formations, choirs and ensembles, playing, singing and dancing in Bulgarian style. Sometimes the participants are professional educated musicians, but most of the cases they are not. This process is available because of something that we can find if we get back in the history. Decades ago, some classic instruments stepped in to our music tradition. As a result, now many musicians are using accordion, clarinet, saxophone, guitar and other instruments to play BFM. Usually these kind of musicians are accompanying to singers or dance formations, or just play for a hobby. It is important to point out that here I don’t mean a few people, who are professional players of BFM, living abroad for years and who organize some training courses and master classes. More information about their activity will be periodically post on the site.

People from other nationalities.

In my practice and scientific researches about different aspects of this traditional art, I personally get in touch with the interest to BFM of musicians from other nationalities. The camps in USA from the second half of the last century are quite popular. Many Americans are taking part, learning in BFM and not only there. We know about the existing of a few choirs in different West Europe countries and USA, performing our music and even having Bulgarian names. In the last decades, many people visited Bulgaria on a folk tours and learned about BFM and its specifics. This interest is largely growing up after the National fairs of a folk were organized in the second half of the last century. Some of them are still a fact, happening every year, or in a larger period, visited by thousands foreign tourists. Some Bulgarian musicians and teachers are traveling from years to make workshops and teach the local people in that traditional art. Here in Bulgaria every year a seminars are organized, visited by dozens foreign performers, who are learning to play some folk instrument or singing.

Here is the place of this platform – to fill the time space between the sporadic visits of Bulgaria or some seminars in other countries. This way, those who have some interest will be able to work on their instrumental or vocal technique at any time of the year, in place and time that’s suitable for them, only using the online sources.

In case that I woke up some interest in you with this text you can continue using the platform BFMNM and I suggest to pay attention to the article “BFM – Different Types of Interpretation“.

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