We've always had a good relationship with Echo Echo and have enjoyed many performances at their esteemed festival over the years. After our last showcase there in 2018 the energy from the impromptu dance performances triggered inspiration to compose some music exclusively for Echo Echo. We were just about to embark on a trip to Bulgaria and the seed was planted to eventually write some new music for contemporary dance which evidently involved collaboration from Bulgarian piper Dragni Dragnev. The piece itself is a nod to the Paidushko Dance (which dancer Zoe Ramsey quotes in her own new contemporary choreographed dance).
In Bulgaria the Paidushko is part of the "Northern folklore region" danced in 5/8. Like many other Balkan folk dances, each region or village has its own version of the dance. It is traditionally a men's dance, but in modern times it is often performed in lines of both men and women.
WHOSE LAND IS THIS?, WHOSE LAND IS THAT?
A beautiful introduction from Greek bouzouki virtuoso Nikos Petsakos. This is his journey in his own words..."This tune talks about the bouzoukis journey changing and adapting from Greece to find its self halfway across the world, transforming. But it’s actually my own story as I arrived in Belfast adapting and transforming as a musician. I felt very alone until I discovered people with similar interests, fusing the sounds of the world. One group like this is Basork it’s not just fusion it’s a whole different taste. Playing with them I can close my eyes and be in Greece in the Balkans in the middle east, all of these places changing from part A, B to C in each song. Another place, another feeling, another life. It was an honour. Thank you"
Abby Oliveira - "I loved working on this collaboration. When Marty sent me the music he gave me a loose brief: think immigration/emigration. Music always tells a story if we immerse ourselves in it for long enough. This piece of music spoke to me of the bouzouki's journey; from the ancient mulberry tree on the Red Sea coast, to fleeing war, to becoming a string instrument in Greek dive bars, to eventually making it to Ireland in the hands of the trad musician, changing the Irish musical landscape with its presence. This story became the spoken-word poetry element of the track."
SPRINGTIME IN VARNA
...When Andy Irvine set out on his ‘EastWind’ journey to Bulgaria in the late 1960s, it is unlikely that he thought this experience would help transform Irish music into a global phenomenon. From his work with Planxty, then Paul Brady (and continuing with Mozaik), he introduced Balkan music and its rhythms to Irish music. In 1991, he co-produced ‘EastWind’ with Bill Whelan, who subsequently wrote the music for a seven-minute interval-filler at the 1994 Eurovision. Everyone who saw that first Riverdance routine, drenched in Balkan beats, knew that it was one of those ‘Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn’ moments. Derry’s Balkan juggernaut Basork have been continuing on Irvine’s journey, exploring the rhythms and textures of Balkan music for over a decade. This epic composition marks the beginning of a deeper collaborative process between these Irish musicians and their Bulgarian friends, the formidable Trio Etno, from Varna on the Black Sea. Tours of Derry-Londonderry and Varna (thanks to Arts Council NI and Irish Embassy, Sofia) have strengthened these ties and led to new compositions and collaboration. You can expect to hear more Balkan/Irish fusion in 2020...(Modal Citizen 2019)
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