Happy Birthday, Chris!
Here’s a remastered version of New State of Mind, that I originally did in 2010.
Dear Friends. For the Holiday season I’m offering an extra lesson to the four lessons set. That will be five lessons for the same price for you or to offer as Christmas present to your friends . Valid till the end of the year but of course you can use the lessons for 2017 as you like. Full information, as always, at the lessons page.
Here is the #bassforChris video, in which I talk about the bass I have built dedicated to Chris Squire.
Dear friends, this is a very special video for me because I’m presenting the bass I have built in the memory of Chris Squire. The #bassforChris project is my first attempt to construct a bass and it took me about one year. Finally it’s ready.
Another important part of the cover is the use of the 8-string bass on the intro and first two verses of the song. Although there isn’t any report of Chris using an 8-string in this song, while studying the bassline, I concluded that it was indeed the Rickenbacker 4008 that was used, with a wah-wah effect pedal. I underline that this statement is just from my listening, but it fits in the chronology, as the first prototypes were issued in 1973, according to the Rickenbacker Electric Bass Book (Paul D. Boyer/Hal Leonard) and Chris was given one of the first copies.
While I’ve been preparing my newest clip, here’s one of my early covers of “Our Song” that I made originally in 2009. This HD remaster also includes a final mix with more bass.
This song was played originally by Chris with his Gibson Thunderbird.
Last week I had the honour of featuring in one of Kevin Mulryne’s interviews celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Yes Music Podcast. Some topics discussed were my interest in Bulgarian Folklore Music, start of my online bass lessons project and, of course, Yes Music and Chris Squire.
A little bit late but I’d like to report another year of great musical moments in Bulgaria this summer!
I should start by mentioning my gadulka lessons, with my dear teacher, Dr. Angel Dobrev, of the Bulgarian National Radio Folklore Orchestra, who this year introduced me to new challenges in Bulgarian music. Here is a little from our lessons where we play two types of 7/8 meter. The Rachenitsa and the Dospatsko Horo.
I also attended the recording of a TV show with the group “Arta”, including top Bulgarian musicians such as Kostadin Genchev (kaval), Hristina Beleva (gadulka), Petar Milanov (in a mix of tambura with guitar that himself has constructed), Ivan Tsonkov (tapan) and Petyo Kostadinov (bagpipe).
Then I went to Plovdiv, to see Ensemble Trakia, one of my favourite Bulgarian acts, which features Stela Petrova on bass, who last year provided me a great masterclass on doublebass applied to Bulgarian folk. I was delighted to see them on soundcheck, performance and even next day at work, rehearsing.
I also got in touch with Ensemble Trakia’s soloist Darina Slavcheva Slavova, who despite her young age, is a multi awarded singer, teacher and producer. I learned Darina released her book, a research work of Thracian melodies from Bulgaria and Greece, carefully documented not only with technical details as scales, meter and ornaments but also the context in which each melody was used. Although it’s written in Bulgarian, the universal language of music makes this work appealing for foreigners who wish to learn more about Bulgarian folklore and shows how this art is so seriously handled as to be kept at the highest standards. Here is Darina in a breathtaking performance, joined by the beautiful kaval of Temelko Ivanov.
Still in the Trakia region, I attended a show by the Young Thracians orchestra (Mladi Trakiytsi) – a genre usually classified in the west as Bulgarian wedding music. Their lead singer Vania Valkova, one of the top singers in Bulgaria, kindly informed me of this show which I could not miss. The orchestra played with 3 singers, drums, bass synth (very common in wedding groups), clarinet, kaval (traditional flute), accordion and saxophone. The rhythm section was so tight playing the whole night that gave me the impression to be a single unit and the gentleman behind the kit is one of the best drummers I ever saw. I encourage you to look for other videos of this orchestra, with better quality than these, and you will certainly agree with me!
Well, this post is getting rather long, but I would just like to sincerely express my gratitude to all of those who welcomed me to Bulgaria this year. Especially for my dear hosts Nina Koleva and Tihomir Kolev and family, Stela Petrova and Radostin Rusev, Dimcho Enchev, Dimitar Arnaudov, Darina Slavcheva Slavova and all the members of Ensemble Trakia, Vania Valkova, Temelko Ivanov, Petar Milanov, Boryana Vasileva, and my dear teacher Angel Dobrev. Thank you for taking care of me and I hope to see you all soon!