Youth comes but once in a lifetime.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I had the pleasure of listening to Elitsa Stoyneva at Balkan Music Night in March in the Kefana, a space designed for performances.
She performed songs from different regions of Bulgaria. In video #1 are two songs from the Rhodopes, a mountain area near Greece. The second song is Posteno Ludo i Mlado. It has a beautiful, haunting quality that you can imagine echoing from the mountains.
Elitsa was pretty cool. She explained what the songs were about (one of them was quite funny; unfortunately I don't remember the name of the song, so I couldn't provide the video.) She even involved the audience in a song from the Shope region. The second and third songs in the video are an example of Shopi style singing, which involves whooping and long notes (impossible for me to do but it was fun, anyway).
Here she performs with two singers from the United States.
Elitsa is the woman on the left. I actually got to meet her while we were dancing a rachenitsa later on in the evening. Her English is excellent, tinged with a charming Bulgarian accent. Since the music we were dancing to was so loud, I couldn't hear her very well, but from what I gathered, she wasn't familiar with the dance the way we do it here. Different village, you know.
If you enjoyed this you may also like:
Bulgarian Singing Demystified
The Best of the Bisserov Sisters (and Family)
A Golden Record, Rhodope Folk Songs, and Valya Balkanska in Concert
Check out this blog on Bulgarian singing, written by an American named Martha Forsyth, who performs with Zdravets, a Boston based group.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.