Thursday, May 22, 2014

East European Folk Music

Vulkana Stoyanova
14" x 10"
oil on board, 2014
The traditional music of Eastern European countries continues to be a substantial part of the top 100. From instrumental dance music and a chorus of harmonizing women, to a lonesome shepherd's tune  and solo female lamentations, Balkan music is mesmerizing and beautiful. A handful of Eastern European acts still need to be painted for this series but I don't have a photograph available for any of them. Some of the Balkan records I have are well documented with data and photographs by the musicologists who recorded them but others less so (one performer is anonymous). The highest in the list is a solo vocal piece called Zhenish Me Mamo sung by Verka Tsoneva Dimitrova and appears on the Bulgarian edition of the amazing series The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music edited by Alan Lomax. Richly illustrated and documented but no picture of Ms. Dimitrova. So I pick by proxy; Vulkana Stoyanova is right next to Dimitrova on the album and they're practically neighbors too (by 100 miles or so). The tune was recorded in Dobrich by A.L. Lloyd in 1954.

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