The things that stand out are often the oddities.
Every so often I like to do an "odds and ends" post. They are best categorized under "miscellaneous" and feature something unique about Balkan folklore. There have been a number of them in the past (see links at bottom of page), but I have never made a numbered series of them.
Video #1 is best described as a jam session with Macedonian folk musicians. They play traditional and modern instruments: tupan (drum), kaval (flute), accordion and guitars, and make beautiful music.
This is a medley of dance tunes in 7/16 (galloping-apple-apple): Ratevka and Sitna Lisa. Pay attention to the little girl at the lower left hand corner of the video at about 1:00. She's got rhythm!
If you want to see the dances done to these melodies, please check out the posts listed at the bottom of the page.
Video #2 shows the group Formatsia Iliev from Bulgaria. The aerial views are fantastic. The scenery is surreal.
I don't know how all these musicians can fit in a small boat and not capsize. They are also boating in an area that looks like an obstacle course with dead trees sticking out of the water. The river is the Danube, River of Many Names (and many obstacles.) The rocks appear later in the video.
The video begins with a man fishing, and the musicians pop up and surprise him. The next scene takes place on the riverbank, with the guys playing an upbeat Bulgarian Vlach tune on accordions, clarinet, keyboard and drum. Behind them is the obstacle course with sunken trees. At 2:15 and 3:35 a group of young female dancers in northern Bulgarian folk costumes appears. At 2:58 the musicians are on a rocky shore at sunset. It's best to watch the video in its entirety to get the full effect of weird. I would like to know where the really BIG rock came from.
At 4:05 the name of the town, Marten, appears and shortly after that the musicians leave in a donkey cart.
Although Marten is a small town numbering about 3,000 people, somehow I found it in English Wikipedia; it is not far from the large city of Ruse and was once a Roman fortification. The town is also known for a large meteorite crater.
The name of the tune translates to "Martenska Teaser."
This is one of the most unique music videos I've ever seen and the music is great.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
The "Flavors" of Macedonian Oro (includes Ratevka)
Dancing in Sevens, Part Two (includes Sitna Lisa)
The Alien Diaries Presents: Odds, Ends, Bits, Pieces and Even More Cool Stuff from the Universe of YouTube
More Odds and Ends from the Universe of YouTube
More Odds and Ends: Misconceptions About the Cyrillic Alphabet, Bagpipes, and Bulgarian Geography
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