On November 30 in Mixtape 5 the Bulgarian band "Oratnitsa" will present its third studio album Alter Ethno. In it, the band again blends Bulgarian folklore with modern electronic genres and adds a whole new palette of emotions, jazz, funk and world influences to the existing tracks, dubstep and drum and bass.
The other novelty about the band, which brought Bulgarian folklore to the clubs, is that Oratnitsa is officially sextet to Christian Georgiev (kaval, vocal, melodic, tamboura), George "Jorge" Marinov (dijeridou, gaida), Peter Bunny Yordanov and Ivan Popa, Gospodinov (vocal), are joining the hypnotizing folk voices of Diana (singer in folklore ensemble "Thrace" and "Mystery of the Bulgarian voices") and Asya (a singer in "Cosmic voices").
Shortly before the concert, "Oratnitsa" tells what is behind the other self of Bulgarian folklore, which they create as a product of the time we live in.
A basic element in your music is folklore. What is it about you and how do you explain the growing interest of younger people in folklore and the return to the roots?
Asya: Folklore is a basic element in my life since the little one. Since I have graduated "Nufi – Shiroka Luka" and the Music Academy in Plovdiv, I accept this music, not only as a profession but also as a vocation! It is a great pleasure to see how more and more young people start to love her and be interested in her. Bulgarian folklore is in our past and roots, and young people are our future. I am happy that nowadays both things can go hand in hand!
Popa: I do not think it is a return to the roots, but rather a constant and development! Folklore is a living organism that does not stop developing and enriching, which of course is also a way of life. This is for me!
Christian: I do not find this a new trend. Many Bulgarians identify themselves with folklore. It looks at the mentality, the customs, the traits, if you will, the complexes of the Bulgarian. It can be both an icon and a cartoon, and that's his genius. But above all the emotion that creates a folk melody. The most important question is how we perceive folklore, how we perceive ourselves. I think our music puts this issue first.
On November 30 in Mixtape you will present your third studio album, called Alter Ethno. Does the name of the album suggest any changes to your music?
Asya: Our new album is intertwined alternately with ethno and vice versa, which is also implied by the name. Here our fans can hear many different elements collected in one. In "Alter Ethno" the music of "Oratnitsa" is a collaboration of modern spectacular rhythms and jazz elements that are intertwined with African, Oriental and Australian sounds! Of course, it finally returns to the basis of everything, namely – our beautiful Bulgarian folklore!
Pop: This album is very different from the previous 2 and even its name suggests an alternative to our previous albums.
Christian: We all have our Alter Ego. Ego means Me – my essence, what I am. Our essence is related to folklore – our Ego and Ethno. Here we present our Alter Ethno – the other I am of folk music. That sounds pretty abstract … Our music is filled with many new things we've learned in the last two years, it's different.
Where do you get inspiration for your creativity?
Popa: Of course, from the music!
Christian: From everything that impresses us around, from our followers – all who support us and are our friends, from those who do not approve and criticize us – everything is inspiration.
Your last presence on the club stage is your European tour from December 2017. How has the past one year been a reflection of your joint work and relationships as a formation?
Asya: The past one year was very fruitful and exciting for all of us. We have been invited to participate in an exhibition about the opening of the Bulgarian Euro-Presidency before the National Theater "Ivan Vazov" on January 11, 1818, followed by an invitation and the closure on 16.05.18. The next big project in which we participated together with the incredible Georgi Stresov , was the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Sofia. For us it was a great step and unforgettable emotion! At the end of the summer we started working harder on our third album and we look forward to the premiere on November 30, 1818. All these experiences help us get closer and get to know each other better and this is one of the best- the important things for a good team work!
Popa: We have not stopped creating and enriching. We participated in a number of challenges, which made the team a great deal together and we looked more at our work. We upgraded a lot and we can say that the machine is already crushed!
Christian: Each group goes through different stages of development – peripheries, great moments, scandals. One group is like a family. As long as everyone feels that he develops himself and is shown to contribute to the overall work of the team, then the group works. I think that this cohesiveness is growing in us, especially when we enter the creative process – it is invaluable.
We know about your affinity for dubstep, trap, drum and bass, as well as exotic instruments like a dijeridou. What would the audience expect from your new album?
Popa: A Concrete New Concept!
Christian: We have an affinity for experimental alternative music. I like Pink Floyd, a jazz of the 60s, African funk of the 70s, and lately, I was very kind to the sound of analog synthesizers from the same period and later. Modern electronic music and not so modern hip-hop are also my favorites. Ie. the audience can expect everything. 🙂
You have repeatedly imagined your music abroad. How do you mix the mix of folklore and modern styles outside Bulgaria and do you find general differences between your Bulgarian and foreign audiences?
Assya: Our mix of folklore and modern rhythms is very well received abroad. The people there are very much cheering on our music and this is visible at every concert outside of the country. In Bulgaria things are slightly different. Here are two understandings of folk music – one more traditional and one more modern and contemporary. In one version are people who like folklore with a new reading and are a big part of our audience. They like us, support and do not stop singing with us at every concert. Naturally, there are also traditionalists who have some "more conservative" understanding of our music. We do not blame anyone because everyone has a choice. Personally, this makes me sad, because although I have studied folk singing and folklore in their traditional way, I am not afraid to experiment and develop it in a more modern way! I would like to have more people in Bulgaria with such thinking, but alas … However, I am happy after every concert, because I see how with our music we fulfill our mission and reach more and more people!
Popa: Only major differences – I think – no!
Christian: The audience wants to be excited, crying, distracted, sweaty, intoxicated – everywhere. The Germans are holding on to the right horo and they are screaming Marie Marieco without knowing a word what it means. Bulgarians who do not listen to folk music come and they get to the dance. Everything is up to vibration, to feel, no matter where the concert is going.