Atanas Ourkouzounov Combines Traditional and Contemporary Elements in Fascinating Ways. Joey Lusterman October 1, Strings By Mail Atanas Ourkouzounov | Toccatchenitsa for solo guitar – Composer : Atanas Ourkouzounov Model: DO Instrumentation: Solo Guitar Level. Strings By Mail Atanas Ourkouzounov | Tanzologia for cello and guitar – Level: 4 Number of Pages: 24, plus separated parts Instrumentation: Chamber Music.

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Atanas Ourkouzounov performs widely as soloist and with the Japanese flautist Mie Ogura. I also often tune the third and sixth strings one half-tone down. Yes, most Bulgarian composers are strongly influenced by the folk music. I am very fond of Indian music and its underlying life philosophy that regards existence as a huge interconnected network; an approach that is most appealing to me. That is the reason for this influence still being so strong.

I think it feels natural to play this music on the guitar, and I actually think so in general when it comes to traditional music from different atanaw of the world. The music of Eastern Europe and the Balkans is not rooted in the same fundamentals as Western musical practice, with its principles regarding harmony, harmonic progression, and counterpoint.

Sometimes it happens with the guitar, sometimes not; it might atsnas in front of a computer or with pen and paper. Again, movement, kaleidoscopic whirling, loss of gravity.

Mie and I have several concerts coming up, and we also have a plan to make a new album of entirely Bulgarian music. I would especially like to mention the clarinet-player Ivo Papazov, and Thedosii Spassov, who plays kaval [a traditional wooden flute].

But I do use different kinds of alternative tunings. When Atanas Ourkouzounov plays, things are cooking. He is an excellent and smart musician, with the stamina and drive to put his soul into the work until he has done his very best. My own arrangements are mainly from the classical domain, with pieces from such composers as Bartok, Debussy, and Ligeti.


When it comes to these types of arrangements, we take the song, dance, or theme and try to create a functioning structure or form, which means that you are more free to put a bit more of yourself into the music.

Ourkouzounov | Atanas Ourkouzounov | Free Listening on SoundCloud

What I do know for certain is that I really want and need to write music often. The bases are the rhythms and the different modal scales that we use in this part of the world.

It is like watching a movie where you are the one creating the storyline, and of course you want to know how it all ends! So it will hopefully turn out as an interesting mixture of three different views: Everything is connected to the music we create.

Our arrangements of pop and jazz tunes are mostly made by Mie; I only work with the guitar parts. He also studied theory, music ethnology, improvisation, and chamber music. Leif and I have already made several records together and it is a joy and privilege to work with him. In addition to eight CDs on which Ourkouzounov plays, more than 60 CDs of his music performed by others are currently available. A version of this article originally appeared in the magazine Gitarr och Luta.

I see no specific problem with that.

Atanas Ourkouzounov Combines Traditional and Contemporary Elements in Fascinating Ways

I cannot fully explain how I get my ideas. Atanas Ourkouzounov grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he began guitar studies with Dimitar Doitchinov.

Atanas Ourkouzounov – Guitar. There have been interesting blends of musical influences, such as Orthodox Slavic music, Turkish and Arabian maqamthe musical tradition of the Gypsies, Jewish, Armenian—all of these are being mixed and that is the main reason this music is so rich.


How do you get your ideas and how do you go about manifesting them? Ourkouzounov has written over works for guitar-solos, duos, trios, quartets, instrumental ensembles, and four concerti-a number of which have won important prizes, and a majority of which have been published by leading publishers Doberman-Yppan, Henry Lemoine.

Eventually it resembles the process of composing. I soon give up the desire to understand what time-signature is present, and surrender and tag along on the journey. Rhythms tossing and springing to and fro.

This music is so well-written and perfect when it comes to structure ourkiuzounov balance that nothing needs to be changed or added. If you have ever encountered the dance music of the Balkans, with its frequent use of uneven time-signatures, or the sometimes harsh and other-worldly beautiful harmonies of the singular Bulgarian female choruses whose singing has fascinated atnas many of us, you may feel partly at home with the tonal language and rhythms Ourkouzounov frequently employs.

He offered them food and alcohol, so they went on playing for hours and hours. Kutchiika titcha pred dramuliika Bulgaria.

You have composed so much, made several recordings, and also tour a lot. You seem to have a never-ending source of inspiration at hand! Then, sudden shifts of perspective, showing views of floating harmonies and charged waiting. I think that everything in existence is related to the atanqs process: Na ti mome dzivri Bulgaria.