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I Want to Say - a new album by Nedyalko Nedyalkov (shepherd’s flute)

Photo: archive


I Want to Say is like the beginning of a sentence and its completion can take various directions. Shepherd’s flute player Nedyalko Nedyalkov has selected this title for his solo album to suggest the variety of themes and styles that it features. Soloist of the Bulgarian National Radio folk music band, participant in the projects of Jordi Savall (one of them a Grammy Award winner), the famous master of the traditional shepherd’s flute has shared his new ideas in music with the fans of Radio Bulgaria.

Here is the first one, Rumenitsa in the 7/8 beat typical of the traditional Rachenitsa dance. The name of the track derives from the first name of the composer’s friend Rumen who supports his projects.

“The pieces in the album are not necessarily bound to a single concept, and it is the album’s title that unites them”, says Nedyalko Nedyalkov.

“Through this album I share plenty of music excitement and I want to say different things. This makes tracks so diverse. Some of them stick to the typical Balkan style but others display elements of world music, jazz and even classical themes. What is the role of international projects? Well, it changes the thinking of musicians, and opens the sense for a different style and sound. In these mixed projects we play music instruments from the Middle Ages that are traditional for a few countries. This influences taste. The contact with the musicians whom I work with encourages me to reinvent the shepherd’s flute in a host of genres. This is happening in the tracks Legend and Somewhere, and they display this kind of an ancient sound. I have not yet planned an official presentation of the album with a concert. Guest-performers are many, their schedules are pretty tight and it is not easy to get together. The CD has already been released, and Radio Bulgaria’s friends are the first to learn more about it.”

Work on the album has gone on for two years. All pieces have been written by Nedyalko but two, both composed by Georgi Andreev. Aria of Rhodopa and Finale are part of a larger work for symphony orchestra in which the instrumentalists plays the solo part. Guest-performers in I Want to Say include percussionists Stoyan Yankulov and Kalin Velyov, rebec player Peyo Peev, guitarists Angel Dimitrov and Nikolay Antov and drummer Ventsislav Radev. Two Balkan musicians have joined the project, Hakan Gungor from Turkey (playing the qanun), and Kyriakos Tapakis on the oud from Greece. There is a single song along with the instrumental works. The song is a treasured inheritance that Nedyalko Nedyalkov received from his father, a musician too.

Nedyalko Nedyalkov is not only the author and soloist of his album. He also came up with the idea for the design of its cover based on a print from 1865. In it a French artist has depicted Sofia with a view to Mount Vitosha. The composition is based on three key structures in central Sofia – a church, a synagogue and a mosque, all three found not far from the Lions’ Bridge. The album’s annotations include some praising reviews for the work of Nedyalko Nedyalkov. In one of them famous composer Fabricio Kasol writes the following: “What is Nedyal’s secret? Is it his dedication requiring respect without imposing it? Or his infectious kindheartedness that he responds with every time? Or maybe the joy of sharing? No one can say. He is a mystery, and like a proficient jeweler masterfully shapes his art thus creating a flawlessly faceted diamond.”

English Daniela Konstantinova


The audio to this file features the following tracks from the album of shepherd’s flute player Nedyalko Nedyalkov

1  Rumenitsa

2  I Want to Say

3  Did You Scold Me?

4  A New Melody in 13/8 


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