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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 COMING 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.

SARAKINA

SARAKINA is dreaming. Her dreams, like those of every lassie, are a mirror-image of her still unrealized visions. To them, even when awake, she does not dare own up. Three falcons – three lads are striving in rivalry to win her love. One of them gives her a flower, the other one presents her with a ring, and the third one – he fondles her with his wing. It is precisely him that her choice falls upon. Sarakina opens her eyes. Hovering way above her in the sky are indeed three falcons. IN THE FOLKLORE of Bulgaria the dividing line between the reality and the fantasy, between a true story and a fairy tale, is hardly distinguishable. What is being dreamt about and what has come true exist almost parallel with each other in the time, from the desire to its fulfilment there is just a wink. It is this potential optimism, lodged in the folklore plot, which has unitil our days been passing on an invaluable message that reads: Ask for it and it shall be done. Or: Dream of it and you shall see it... And there, the wonder is done...

THE FOLK TALES have, precisely for this reason, a long life, because everyone may further adapt them, may add to them and exaggerate them. Each one of the following generations does further enrich them with subject matter, borrowed from their own realities, and supplements them with the pith and marrow of their own wisdom. Their happy lot of being never-fading stories makes them look like an endless thread, running across the time, being strung upon which seems to be man's knowledge of life. THE SONGS are like the tales. Built in them, like in a music-box, is an entire microcosmos. It is here where the poetry of the fairy-tale feels most comfortable. It seems to be dressed in a garment which imparts significance to the events, which hyperbolizes the images and turns the metaphors into parables. To sing a tale might sometimes mean to succeed, in a short time and with a concrete subject, in narrating the history of the world.

A PERSONAL version of mine of that history I woud like to add, too. By means of my own accent of composer I have wanted to point out that in the tales everything is possible. Even to interweave together balladry, and humour, and dramatism. And from that tangle let each one pull out his own thread of co-experience. The musical texture is also like that of the tales. Co-existing in it are the old-time polyphony with the 20th-century methods of composition, the play upon improvisations in the folklore with the jazz-music "acrobatics".

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: Ivan Milev, "Achinora"
DRAGOSTIN FOLK NATIONAL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

STEFAN DRAGOSTINOV PRESENTS
THE KEY TO THE MYSTERY
Volume Two
Sarakina