Feb 17, 2008

Tarhana ftw

Over the past 3 weeks I was able to see twice the famous Bulgarian musician Theodosii Spassov. Although both events were held at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, the line-ups were quite different. For the first event, Theodosii was accompanied by Tarhana, a local group composed of several young musicians, most of whom were from the Balkan region. This last bit was the decisive factor in shaping the group's musical style. During the second event, Theodosii performed in the company of Van Merwijk's Music Machine, a line-up of seasoned Dutch musicians who seem to have a bit of a soft spot for Latin and Carribean music.

This is where the difference in both performances is. Although Theodosii has turned the kaval, his main musical instrument, into an unique jazz instrument, most of Theodosii's works are derived from the Bulgarian folklore, which entails melodic, easy to follow music that allows the listener to establish a rythm and keep with it. This said, it was Tarhana that provided the better musical support, which enabled Theodosii to show the strong sides of the kaval.

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