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Young Girl – a song from the soundtrack of Hummingbird

{ include file="./partials/authors.html" } БНР Новини
Photo: private archive Nelly Andreeva

A Bulgarian song has been included in the soundtrack of a Hollywood action movie. The news broke more than a year ago, was taken up by the media and was then gradually forgotten, to be reawakened a few days ago – probably by journalists who had only just discovered Hummingbird. That is the title of the film whose soundtrack features the song Young Girl (Malka Moma in Bulgarian) – a song, based on folklore and performed by the Philip Koutev Folk Song and Dance Ensemble. The music was composed by soloist Nelly Andreeva and Georgi Genov, composer and choir-master of the ensemble’s choir:

“The song Young Girl goes back close to 18 years,” Nelly says. “We first recorded it for my debut solo CD FolkArt Nelly. All arrangements are for a small folk orchestra and were made by my husband Georgi Andreev, principal conductor of the Philip Koutev ensemble. In time, he came to regard it in a different light and included it in one of Neshka Robeva’s shows. He transformed it, arranging it for a symphony orchestra and we recorded it with the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra. The song started living a life of its own when Georgi Genov made it into a choir piece. The middle part is entirely his own. This is the version we uploaded on the Internet and soon the song had a huge number of visits and comments. We even had a film crew from Japan come to Bulgaria – they took interviews and made their own video of the performance of Malka Moma.”

As befits a film crew from Japan they had really done their homework and had found all existing versions of the song, some that even Nelly had forgotten about. From them Nelly found out this was one of the most popular recordings on the Internet, including in Japan. The contract for one of the tours in the land of the rising sun even explicitly stipulated that Young Girl must be on the concert programme. Later, the authors and the performers got another surprise – they were told the members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers were among the song’s fans. They also received an invitation to Massive Attack’s concert in Sofia because they wanted to meet them in person. “Massive Atack had taken the trouble to arrange our meeting far from the public eye. We really enjoyed ourselves and met the entire crew,” Nelly adds.

Later the film company contacted them to ask that Young Girl be included in the soundtrack of the movie Hummingbird, starring Jason Statham. On the Bulgarian side the negotiations were conducted by Georgi Andreev. “They went very smoothly; there was media coverage, then the film came and went, as they say,” Georgi says and adds:

“And now one year after the release of Hummingbird, interest in the movie suddenly flared up again. To our enormous surprise the media couldn’t get enough of interviews with Georgi Genov, Nelly and myself. Fortunately, this is a kind of music that never goes out of fashion. We have many such examples in our history,”

The authors and performers of Malka Moma work together every day on their new projects. About a month ago Nelly Andreeva recorded a duet with jazz singer Vassil Petrov. “The song is mine and is dedicated to Christmas with no ethno elements. Singing with this famed musician has been one of my dreams,” Nelly says. Her husband has just finished the musical score of his latest work Tears and Roses for a small instrumental ensemble and two choirs – a mixed and a folk choir. It will be performed in May at Bulgaria Hall with the participation of a choir from Southern Arizona, part of the Philip Koutev choir and soloists. This work will also be performed in Istanbul.

English version: Milena Daynova

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