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A MYSTERY?... IS THE BULGARIAN FOLKLORE INDEED A MYSTERY? THE EFFECT OF THE GOLDEN VOICES OF THE BULGARIAN POLYPHONY IS INCREDIBLE. THE MUSIC SOUNDS HERE AND NOW, BUT SEEMS TO BE COMINIG FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEART AND TO HAVE BRIDGED OVER THE ABYSM OF TIME... AT THE CLOSE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY THE WORLD HAS TURNED BACK TO ITS ROOTS IN ORDER TO LOOK FOR THE KEY TO THAT BULGARIAN TREASURE, TO ERASE THE PATINA FROM IT, TO FIND THE CLUE TO IT AND TO INCORPORATE IT WITH THE INTRANSIENT WONDERS OF THE THOUSAND-YEARS-OLD HUMAN CIVILIZATION.

Rofinka

Rofinka is the title of a song from the region of the Rhodope Mountains. It is also the name of a Rhodopian girl. The suffering, the tragic elevation and the hope co-exist in the girl's polyphonic portrait, modelled by the times. THE OPTIMISM and the sense of humour are the mainstays, resting on which is the Bulgarian nation's permanent resuscitation, in spite of the vicissitudes of history. They say that the Shopp, that queer human specimen, inhabiting the area around Sofia, had taken for a domestic pet an eaglet, one of the symbols of longevity. When he was told that he must be off his head to have chosen a bird which lives 120 years, the Shopp had retorted imperturbably: "So what? When it dies I shall buy me another one." THE REALISM and the sense of it are strongly manifested in the national character and in Bulgaria's folklore. A number of the latter's models even serve as historical sources, precisely because of the objective description of heroes and events. The characters and the subject matter in the major epic cycles, devoted to kings and national idols, are directly associated with historical facts, with the concreteness of life. This must certainly be the reason why the spoken-and-musical epic of the Bulgarians quite often proclaims as heroes such personalities who, like Krali Marko, the famouse hero of the Bulgarian epos, have their feet firmy on the ground. THE TRAGIC TREND in Bulgaria's history quite logically sobers down the optimism, if it proves to be ungrounded. The historical lot, inherited by us, often tints our laughter with a certain amount of self-irony and brings the devilkin of doubt into our attitude to the realities. At times it even makes of us sceptics. The figurativeness of the Bulgarian folklore is full of charac- ters, scrutinizing their own selves, and of jolly fellows who, even in their boastfulness, are prone to self-judgement. At the same time the tragic subjects are not infrequently bound up together with the suffering and the hope. THE HOPE – it is closely linked with the sense of realism. Its expression is a prayerful one, the tone – reverential and supplicating. The hope in the Bulgarian folksong tradition is associated with a specific addressee, with earthly desires and dreams. Even with a pragmatically set aim. The prayerful rituality of the "Butterfly" custom expresses the hope for high water and rain, dominating over the routine and trivialities in everyday life. Testifying to the priority of the major and general hopes over the small ones is also the following story with a moral: In a droughty years a poor man was praying: "Give me, o God, a morsel of bread!" Came the landholder who gave him bread and sent him off in order that he would not disturb the thoughts of the Almightly, and then offered his own prayer: "Rain, do give us rain, o God!" MY OWN SONGS, INCLUDED IN THIS ALBUM, ARE A KALEIDOSCOPIC PRESENTATION OF AN ETHNOPSYCHOLOGY, REFLECTED IN THE SPOKEN-AND-MUSICAL FOLKLORE. AT THE SAME TIME HERE ARE ALSO MY PERSONAL EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES, MY APOSTROPHES, JOKES, ACCENTS AND REPARTEES, ADDRESSED TO MY OWN SELF-PORTRAIT WHICH IS NEITHER TOO BLACK, NOR IDEALLY BRIGHT, BUT RATHER A MOTLEY ONE, LIKE THE VICISSITUDES OF HISTORY WHICH WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH.

Special thanks to the National Palace of Culture, GI-Print Ltd and Svetoslav Piperov On the Cover: Boris Georgiev, "Portrait" DRAGOSTIN FOLK NATIONAL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED