While working with Hector Zazou on The Arch, The Eva Quartet's last project, Belonoga was inspired to record her own musical ideas. She rediscovered the primordial power of voice within her and developed her compositional talent. Due to the variety of ideas, the process of creating the project was lengthy and complicated. It required not only a deep knowledge of Bulgarian and global music traditions, but also a rediscovery of the abilities and freedom of her own voice. Many hours of work were necessary to create an absolutely harmonic relationship between the new musical ideas and the various traditional influences. Created in the in the studio between 2009 and 2012, working jointly with sound engineer Alex Nushev under the direction of producer Dimitar Panev. Belonoga's deep knowledge of Bulgarian folklore and her encounters with the ancient musical cultures of Australian Aborigines and African Pygmies over the years have led to a combination of musical ideas provoked by the primordial and structured by the melodious. An extraordinary new music, extremely rich in emotions, came into being. A dialogue between the archaic culture of the Aborigines and Pygmies and the melodies of Bulgarian songs. The foundation of her work, the human voice sought the direct connection between them in a new musical world. Belonoga has created a whole musical universe. A key role in the project was also played by Alex Nushev, who helped Belonoga to create her ideas over years. The rest of the participants include Kostadin Genchev one of the best Bulgarian kaval players and founder and director of the groups Bulgara and Wild River; Violeta Petkova gadulka (rebec); Dimitar Tishev accordion; Dimitar Hristov tambura (pandore); and Greek multi-instrumentalist Vangelis Karipis - percussion. Special guests in the project were the magnificent Armenian singer and musician Hayg Yazdzhian (percussion, voice) and jazz doyen Anatoly Vapirov (saxophone). The project was mixed by Alex Nushev and Peter Walsh (who also worked on The Arch, as well as with Peter Gabriel, Pulp, Stevie Wonder, and others). After working on successful projects such as Ivo Papazov s album Fairground, winner of the World Music Award from the BBC, and The Arch, the joint project of Eva Quartet & Hector Zazou, the producer Dimitar Panev brought unconventional ideas to the project, helping create a new musical and sound experience. The emergence of some music is inexplicable, but the music itself speaks strongly of the person who created it. In Belonoga s music the listener is taken to a new musical world - beautiful, bright, archaic, contemporary and harmonic.
Bulgarian singer Gergana Dimitrova will be familiar to many as a member of the women s vocal ensemble, the Eva Quartet. For this solo project, she has retained the Bulgarian singing style, sensibility and harmonic language developed over the second half of the last century, while setting it in a floating, impressionistic sonic space, cunningly combining and confusing acoustic sounds with electronic ones, her affecting voice emerging from flickering sonic backdrops of animal-like moans and whines, chiming keyboard sonorities and instrumental flurries. It s a contemplative music that takes its time; even when a groove takes hold, the music never hurries, and Dimitrova and her collaborator Aleks Nushev set fragmented accordion and gadulka (bowed lute) lines against lush, sometimes grandiose textures, developing slowly and surely over the duration of the piece. The musicians are unafraid to mix styles, native and otherwise. Shopski Yenge , for example, juxtaposes fragments of rural song, typified by grinding close harmonies and piercing drones, with didgeridoo, the dark boom and rattle of a frame drum, and fluttering sampled nonsense syllables spun into a sequenced line. Each level of the music moves at a different speed. It s a highly effective, beautifully imagined and refreshing recording, and a worthy successor to previous releases by this pioneering label. --Songlines Feb 2014