Friday, December 31, 2021

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Ivo Papasov (Иво Папазов)

Rotterdam 2005 worldmusic filmed by dolf pauw

A prominent performer of “wedding music,” who is frequently referred to as the creator of the genre, Ivo Papasov, is of a mixed Turkish-Roma origin. His wedding band Trakya quickly gained popularity in Bulgaria in the first half of the 1980s. During the period 1984-1989 the Communist party started a cleansing campaign against the Muslim minority in Bulgaria and as a result, the members of Trakya band were arrested twice for popularizing what was considered by the government purely Turkish music. It was around the same time when a British impresario Joe Boyd (Hannibal Records) “organized a sponsored tour of Trakya in Europe and the United States”. The tour helped the band sell a large number of records and “bring Eastern-European music to a Western audience”. In 2005 Papasov won the BBC‟s Radio3 World Music Awards “with the highest number of votes in the contest‟s history” contributing to the spread of Bulgarian “wedding music” and proving that the mixture of Bulgarian, Roma and Turkish music produces a successful outcome that is appreciated abroad.


Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Gaida (bagpipe)

Rhodope mountains

One of the first people who began to use this instrument, were the Thracians. They replased the horn with e piece of wood – drone and they made some mare innovations like bass – drone and mouthpiece. In ancient Egypt they also used bagpipe with or without bass – drone. In the beginning of the first millennium BC the proto – Bulgarians also began one of the general instruments in the lands of Old (Volga) Bulgaria. The Celts, the Druids and the Rusi tribes also took this instrument from them. In later times the bagpipe was carried into the territory of today’s Bulgaria. 

Gaida (bagpipe) is a favorite instrument close to the life and the spirits of the Bulgarians. The main sounding part is the Gaidunitsa (chanter). It has 8 holes and produces the melody. The other part is the Rouchilo (drone).The drone’s sound is constant and accompanies the melody. The other parts of the Gaida are the Bag and the Mouthpiece. There are two types of Bulgarian Gaidas: Djura and Kaba. The Djura Gaida has a smaller size and sounds high and sharp. The Kaba Gaida is a low pitched bagpipe which can be found in the Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria. It is a typical representative of the Gaida family and possesses all the characteristics - single drone, wooden chanter, flea hole, goat skin bag and a tube reed from elder, cane with a tongue, tight fingering style (each note is played by lifting only one finger). 60 years ago, the Kaba Gaida was not much different from the other gaidas (called Djura) in the region - high pitched, round chanters with horn at the end. Before 1961 there were mostly F to G kaba gaidas. After that year, appeared E and D kaba gaidas because of the rise of the amateur bands and the very famous ensemble “100 Kaba Gaidi”. Also, females choirs appeared which needed lower pitched gaidas. The horn on the Kaba Gaida was replaced by a curve at the end of the chanter and it was removed on the Djura Gaida. 

Gaida players have developed special techniques to overcome what might be considered the limitations of the instrument. First of all, they use the ‘flea-hole’, a distinctive organological element of many Eastern European bagpipes, which consists of a small tube, usually made of a hen’s feather, slotted into hole I. The flea- hole is an important component of the gaida’s playing technique, since it affects the way holes I and e (the thumb-hole, which is opposite to I) act. For a given fingering, by uncovering the flea-hole, an interval of a second above the note originally sounded is produced. The size of that interval depends on the original note. The higher the note, the smaller is the second.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Lisa Weeda Presentation novel Aleksandra

@ Bezige Bij, Amsterdam 10 26 2021

Zelfs als ik Aleksandra’s naam, haar vadersnaam Nikolajevna en haar achternaam Temnikova noem, mag ik niet langs het checkpoint. Ik neem mijn paspoort terug aan en wijs naar de brug richting Loegansk. ‘Toen ze werd weggehaald heette deze stad nog Vorosjylovhrad,’ zeg ik. De Oekraïense soldaat, die iedereen voor mij heeft doorgelaten, schuift zijn geweer van zijn buik naar zijn rug en slaat zijn armen over elkaar. De brug hangt als een in tweeën gespleten boom in de rivier, die de gesepareerde republiek scheidt van de Oekraïense grond waar ik op sta. De houten constructie, die al bijna vier jaar door moet gaan voor opgang naar het ingestorte wegdek, ziet er zelfs vanaf hier krakkemikkig uit. ‘Overal liggen mijnen, er wordt om de haverklap geschoten, ’s nachts zijn er bombardementen,’ bromt de soldaat. ‘Dat zeiden ze al.’ ‘Wie, ze?’ ‘Mijn oma. Haar zus Nina die hier woont, ken je haar? Mijn oudtante en haar zoon in Odessa. Ze zeiden: je bent gek.’ De soldaat schudt nog eens zijn hoofd. ‘Dus je omaatje, die jou hopelijk liefheeft, stuurt je naar een oorlogsgebied. Is ze mesjogge?’ ‘Het moet,’ zeg ik, ‘ze heeft het me gevraagd.’ [...]   
Copyright © 2021 Lisa Weeda 

Even if I mention Aleksandra's name, her father's name Nikolaevna, and her last name Temnikova, I'm not allowed to pass the checkpoint. I take my passport back and point to the bridge towards Lugansk. “When she was taken away, this town was still called Voroshylovhrad,” I say. The Ukrainian soldier, who everyone has passed before me, slides his rifle from his stomach to his back and folds his arms. The bridge hangs like a split tree in the river, separating the segregated republic from the Ukrainian soil I am standing on. The wooden construction, which has been going on for almost four years to get to the collapsed road surface, looks rickety even from here. “There are mines everywhere, there is every hour of firing, there are bombings at night,” the soldier grumbles. "They already said that." "Who, them?" 'My grandmother. Her sister Nina who lives here, do you know her? My great-aunt and her son in Odessa. They said: you are crazy.” The soldier shakes his head again. "So your granny, who I hope loves you, is sending you to a war zone. Is she jog?” "I have to," I say, "she asked me." [...] 
Copyright © 2021 Lisa Weeda

Wednesday, October 20, 2021


Lisa Weeda 
ISBN: 9789403130811 Uitgever/Publisher: De Bezige Bij 
Verschijningsdatum/Release date: 28-10-2021/10-28-2021

Met verbluffend vertelplezier en met alle literaire stijlmiddelen die tot haar beschikking staan vertelt Lisa Weeda een uitzonderlijke familiegeschiedenis, die begint bij haar grootmoeder Aleksandra. In 1942 wordt zij vanuit Oekraïne gedeporteerd en in Duitsland in de oorlogsindustrie tewerkgesteld. Haar kleindochter Lisa reist later… 

With astonishing storytelling pleasure and using all the literary stylistic devices at her disposal, Lisa Weeda tells an exceptional family history, which begins with her grandmother Aleksandra. In 1942 she is deported from Ukraine and put to work in Germany in the war industry. Her granddaughter Lisa later travels…

125th anniversary of NHA, Sofia Bulgaria

"125 Years of National Academy of Art in 125+ Frames" 
@ Academia Gallery

On 28 September 2021, the National Academy of Art will celebrate its 125th anniversary with the photo exhibition "125 Years of National Academy of Art in 125+ Frames". The project concept focuses on the development of a well-structured and well-thought-out exhibition solely through the use of photography as a document of its time, which visually restores, as far as possible, the historical picture of the institution during its existence. The research on and promotion of the preserved photographic heritage related to the higher education institution and its presentation in public, once again provides an opportunity for the expert and general public to get acquainted with its long rich history.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


Project 30 years of color and light

September 6, 2021 in TRAKART PARK - the new cultural space of Plovdiv.
Artists gathered to rally their creative charge, turning TRAKART PARK into a green island of contemporary art, in the contemporary art project "30 years of color and light". The project features established Bulgarian artists, co-ensemblers from the academician's workshop. Svetlin Rusev, marking 30 years since the completion of NHA "Nikolay Pavlovich" in Sofia in 1991 

The symposium includes: Prof. Desislava Mincheva, Prof. Ivaylo Mirchev, Prof. Atanas Atanasov, Dimitar Dimov, Eslitsa Popova, Valentin Uzunov, Ivan Hadzhiyski, Angel Kitipov, Stefan Petrunov, Stanimir Zhelev, Dimitar Yaranov, Georges Track, Valentina Bucharova and others. The works created during the symposium will be displayed in an exhibition on 13.09.2021 at 18.00 pm at TRAKART PARK, "Asenovgrad Shose "against "Agria ". The project is part of the official program of Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019 and is part of the "Heritage" program of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019 of the Plovdiv Municipal Foundation - European Capital of Culture 2019 / Plovdiv 2019 ECOC/ and with the media partnership of Radio Plovdiv. 

The exhibition will visit the galleries of Kazanlak, Lovech and Pomorie until the end of 2021.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Kristin Theo Stuestøl

Until October 2 in Kunstgaten on Skjærhalden Norge

The pictures shown in Kunstgaten at Skjærhalden are abstract and colorful, but the color palette is dominated by a dark contrast. Stuestøl is inspired by the light in Scandinavia. Last year she moved to Hvaler, where she works from her studio on Vesterøy. She has been inspired by Hvaler's nature, because lately the motifs have turned to sky and sea. In this exhibition, images are shown in several types of techniques. There are both landscape paintings on canvas, but also material pictures on plates with rusty plates, skulls from porpoises and recycled textiles. In one of the series shown at the exhibition, Stuestøl has, among other things, used rags that have a story of their own. 
’All the rye I have used are made by my father's aunt. I ran upon them as a child in the cabin. As they were about to disintegrate after we inherited them, I asked my sisters if I could use them in art.’ 
The exhibition hangs until October 2 in Kunstgaten on Skjærhalden.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Philip Akkerman

"Van Een Gek, Voor Een Gek" 
@ Torch Gallery AMS

Philip Akkerman has been painting exclusively self-portraits since 1981. Akkerman regards himself an everyman's artist; he feels that he belongs to a tradition dating back to the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, when a new art market emerged, where art was made by and for ordinary citizens. Created by an individual, enjoyed by an individual – or, as Philip says: “From one fool to another”. For this occasion, Akkerman turns TORCH Gallery into a home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Malta The Megalithic Temples

@ RMO Leiden

Malta has a long history and was first inhabited in around 5900 BC. The first inhabitants were farmers, and their agricultural methods degraded the soil until the islands became uninhabitable. The islands were repopulated in around 3850 BC by a civilization which at its peak built the Megalithic Temples, which today are among the oldest surviving buildings in the world. Their civilization collapsed in around 2350 BC, but the islands were repopulated by Bronze Age warriors soon afterwards. Malta's prehistory ends in around 700 BC, when the islands were colonized by the Phoenicians. They ruled the islands until they fell to the Roman Republic in 218 BC. The island was acquired by the Eastern Romans or Byzantines in the 6th century AD, who were expelled by Aghlabids following a siege in 870 AD. LINK RMO Leiden

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Donchev wooden cameras, Bulgaria

Donchev wooden cameras
User: Arold van der Aa, Haarsteeg The Netherlands


Stefan Donchev, my father, a dedicated craftsman with more then 50 years experience in working with metal and wood, Ekaterina Doncheva, my wife, a very meticulous and patient person – our bellows specialist and I, Andrey Donchev, a carpenter and joiner with 20 years in the trade, whose love for photography and complications brought us here.

We have made a lot of beautiful cameras. Actually, I had a hard time making a choice. Still, I selected five cameras that we have produced over the years. Do you think I should have chosen a different camera? Let me know. Better still send me a photo of your choice.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Ambrotype and tintype

Photographer Arold van der Aa 
Haarsteeg, The Netherlands

The invention of wet collodion photography processes in the 1850s allowed the development of two new kinds of photographs ambrotypes and tintypes. These new formats shared many characteristics with the earlier daguerreotypes but were quicker and cheaper to produce. Primarily used for portraiture, each photo is a unique camera-exposed image and was available in several standard-sizes. An ambrotype is comprised of an underexposed glass negative placed against a dark background. The dark backing material creates a positive image.
"I've always been fascinated by black and white photography... In my quest to find my passion for photography, I came across the wet plate collodion process that was discovered in 1851. Analogue photography on glass or metal plates... Back to craftsmanship and mastery. Read more on my site (In Dutch)..." Arold van der Aa