An educational interview with "Kaynak" band about the magical Rhodope kaba gaida
Interview with Tsvetelin AndreevНа 30.03.2016
Hello, balkan people!
Today we have the pleasure to introduce to you some really talented boys whose magic is in their Rhodope kaba gaida play! The “Kaynak” band aims to make the Rhodope bagpipe popular in both Bulgaria and abroad.
And now we present to you the educational interview itself which we have made together with Tsvetelin Andreev, manager (instructor) and bagpipe player:
Tell us more about the history of the bagpipe band “Kaynak”, where its name comes from.
It all began in 2006 in "Dobri Chintulov" Community Centre where I met Tsetso and Yanko Marangozov, then we were just beginners in bagpipe playing, and Kostadin Gerdjikov and Hristo Gerdjikov, who were more advanced. We quickly became friends. Then Petar Yordanov – Bunny from "Oratnitza" and Dora Vasileva joined us. We moved in "N. Haytov" Community Centre afterwards where we started to develop educational activities. We were called "Gaydunitsa" (the drone of the bagpipe). Then we renamed yourselves to "Kaynak" ("Kaynak" has an international sound). "Kaynak" comes from Turkish and means „а root” In the Rhodope Mountains sometimes the phrase "this is kaynak" is used when a bagpiper plays masterly special and distinctive tunes. The band aims to promote the Rhodope bagpipe among children and adults in Bulgaria and abroad, as well as to support educational activities.
Why did you choose to play exactly Rhodope kaba gaida and not another folk musical instrument?
The bagpipe is a special instrument for us. It has managed to preserve its authentic form of perhaps thousands of years. This we believe is part of its magic – it manages to bring to the present days sounds from immemorial times. Sound that we all know deep in your soul and that gives you goose bumps. It connects us to people and opens new ways.
You participated in the International Bagpipe Conference in Glasgow. Who invited you and how did you take part of such big event?
Through our project kabagaida.com we contacted our British colleagues. We learned about the conference and offered to participate. They invited us for an outdoor concert to do a performance. We did an excellent job, accompanied by a standing ovation and a lot of questions and interest in us and our instruments.
In which European countries did you perform in front of a big audience? How were you accepted?
The Bagpipe Conference in Glasgow was our first big event. Immediately after it we had a concert in Edinburgh and had several performances in London. In Brazil, Germany and the Czech Republic we had individual performances. We have always been greeted and sent with gratitude and applauses.
Today we were at your bagpipe educational concert! What is it purpose actually?
The purpose of the educational concert is to mix business with pleasure. There is no audience and performers, just a group of people who learn from and help each other. We combine performances of authentic Rhodope folklore with lessons of Rhodope dances – “horas” – pravo, svornato, rychenica. We sing together Rhodope songs, tell about the bagpipe structure and give the opportunity to all the attendees to try and play a simple melody. Special thanks to the RockSchool team for giving us the opportunity and the support to make such an event. This is a sign that we are moving in the right direction.
Were there many people who were interested in playing Rhodope kaba gaida?
All the attendees were highly interested. The form of the concert itself did not allow the presence of many people, because we would not have the opportunity to pay attention and time to everybody.
We have read that you have an on-line training platform. Could you tell us something more about this project? Is it successful?
The on-line training platform for kaba gaida – kabagaida.com is mainly directed at people living abroad. In fact, there is great interest. Currently we have about 10 students who are Bulgarians abroad as well as foreigners who are interested in it. We have video tutorials, notated songs and guideline for free use. We also teach on-line lessons on Skype or via Youtube. The project is progressing well. New educational materials, a new website and a campaign to raise funds to support it lie ahead.
Do you make free educational concerts?
Sometimes we participate in workshops with our colleagues where we perform our educational programme. We often do activities and educational concerts for children. We gather in "N.Haytov" Community Centre where everyone is welcome to learn more about the bagpipe, and they can even try to play.
We have learnt that in the forthcoming months you may travel to the USA. Do you have a special invitation for your band or something else?
Our bagpipe band “Kaynak” has two official invitations for the World Music Festival in Chicago and the Richmond Folk Festival which will be held at the end of September and the beginning of October 2016. We are practicing now. We will probably organise seminars in some Universities and visit some of the Bulgarian schools there to keep the children amused. We consider to play especially for the Bulgarian community there and take part in the local ethnic/fusion clubs.
How would you advise the future emerging folk musicians who are eager to learn to play kaba gaida?
As teachers of Rhodope bagpipe we follow three principles: "Anyone can learn to play bagpipe," "Be persistent" and "Make haste slowly"! We have built a school system that includes five levels. Each level is passed with passion and perseverance in practice. The medium "piper" level can be achieved for several years. I play since I have been 11 years old and I have yet many things to learn.