Samodivi: The Haunting Beauty of the Balkans
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The music of Samodivi is inspired by the rhythmic intricacies and the beauty of Balkan musical traditions. Its repertoire includes modern interpretations of old folk songs from the Balkan peninsula, as well as original compositions.
The ensemble features Bulgarian-born founder and composer (and assistant professor in the Harmony Department) Vessela Stoyanova on marimba, vibraphone, and the MIDI Marimba Lumina. The rest of the instrumentation ranges from the traditional qanun, clarinet, and fiddle to a string quartet, powerful rhythm section, and, on occasion, full Balkan brass band. Weaving in and out of the instrumental pieces are the haunting voices of Burcu Gulec and guest vocalists.
The Balkan region has a tumultuous history, often riddled by war and mistrust among the countries that share it, but the music that came from the people who live there shows a familial bond and a shared culture dating back to antiquity. Embracing the idea of music as a powerful border-defying human connector, the Samodivi ensemble often includes musicians from Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, the U.S., France, Azerbaijan, and Palestine.