Bulgarian Song Storytelling included in the British Library music archive
Eugenia’s focus has always been as much on the text as it is on the music. She has translated over 50 Bulgarian folk songs into English, making them accessible for non-Bulgarian speaking audiences, and has “translated” the spirit of the songs through her own musical interpretations.
In 2019 she started an interesting project in collaboration with Best Foot Music, which is centered on the role of Bulgarian ancient oral storytelling tradition through song. Those tales of love, daily hardship, oppression, and moral dilemma guided and informed countless generations, seeing them through five centuries of Ottoman rule, preserving, even encapsulating, the essence of what it means to be Bulgarian. Drawing from two main sources – the songs sung by her maternal grandparents in her early childhood, and the courses in Bulgarian folklore and literature read during her university studies, Eugenia formed her love and understanding of the sublimely poetic Bulgarian sung story – the oral literature of her homeland.
We present 12 songs from that tradition, unadorned and sung completely a cappela, as they would have been performed on those long winter nights at work gatherings, or on starry summer evenings on the village square. The rhythm of the language and the emotional intensity shape up the melodic formula. Some of them reflect the times of slavery, others are humorous with roots in Medieval imagery, and some give us an insight into the most intimate workings of a human soul. The songs from a part of the British Library musical archive.