вторник, 3 януари 2012 г.

Сънувах те

Снощи те сънувах. Лежеше на застлан с червена кувертюра диван в хола на апартамент на висок етаж в модерна сграда в центъра. Стаята беше осветена от една от онези нощни лампи с висок крак и матова кремава елипса, която пръска достатъчно светлина, но и не гони уюта на здрача. Диванът гледаше към редица прозорци, през които се виждаше нощния град – блестящият под жълтеникавите лампи паваж, светлините от прозорците, рекламите на фирми и магазини и рядко преминаващи в късния час таксита. Някъде много ниско под нас.

Ти беше само по тъмни бикини, легнала по корем, но така, че ясно виждах татуировката ти – крилато създание, може би стилизиран дракон, в лявата част на торса, обхващащ лявата плешка с крило, промушил тялото си под ръката ти, над левия хълбок и прегърнал ребрата под лявата ти гърда. Черни контури. И около него имаше няколко, сякаш случайно попаднали червени капки. Не точно като кръв, по-скоро цветове, пръснати от случайно литнали венчелистчета на пурпурно цвете. Лежеше полуизвърната към мен и говорехме за интересните неща, които всеки от нас очаква през годината. Аз споменах някои от албумите и концертите, за които нямам търпение. А ти сподели за издаването на луксозна книга на девойка, илюстрираща с прекрасни рисунки екзотични приказки и комикси. Докато говореше те целунах по татуировката, усетих хладната, но жива кожа и положих глава върху гърба ти – уморен и търсещ почивка. И тогава се събудих.

През втората половина на последните 20 дни не мога да спя повече от 4, в най-добрия случай 5 часа на нощ. Не мога. Не помагат разходки, купони, алкохол, излизания. Лягам съсипан, готов не да заспя, а да припадна, но сън просто не идва. Снощи си легнах към 1. Заспах около 7 сутринта, за да се събудя в 8.30 стъписан от факта, че батерията на телефона ми е паднала, алармата не се е включила и се успивам за работа. Скочих от леглото, но всеки детайл от сънуваното полепна плътно по съзнанието ми. Ти нямаш татуировка, косата ти е по-дълга, но въпреки това, въпреки почти скритото лице, въпреки незнайното място, беше ти.

Искам те обратно. Заедно със съня ми.

петък, 30 септември 2011 г.

Три

Пърхайки безцелно, сивеещ развълнуван гълъб засече чаровна сова с цилиндър в еднопосочен полет към където. Луди били, чувам. Шарени по-скоро. Зелено и оранжево, червено и черно, с бели райета и шотландско каре, слънце и сенки, усмивка и поглед. Протегнати пръсти на тъмно, стиснали перо под гнездото. Пътят върви с рил-ова походка от другата страна на огледалото, при слепите пазители и дебелите котки, под звуците на акордеон и пиано, с аромат на сено и препечено хлебче. От кучешки алеи, през южни пътеки, покрай невръстни вълшебници и червенопери бомбаджии, до убежище в меки нюанси и стая с тъмен паркет – дискретно, тихо, споделено. А вечерите и утрините, усетили липсващо в бъденето, канят с усмивка болката и всяка песен е неделна белота в чаршафите. И очакват Зима през октомври, резонираща от август в гърдите като безкрайно мил подарък. И не, не е абстракция, а споделена (не)реалност защото... пък!

неделя, 31 юли 2011 г.

Ray Wilson interview

This interview is posted in the webzine Rawkn'n'Roll. I place here the English version, so it could be useful for Ray and his fans outside Bulgaria.

From years we are fans of Ray Wilson and of the wonderful interpretations he does of the songs, both his and by other artists like Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie. The warmth in the music the Scotsman serves live and in his studio records creates comfort and softly lures you to drown in its embrace. And a few months before his first concert in Bulgaria we contacted Ray for his first Bulgarian interview.
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RR: Hello, Ray! Thank you for doing this interview!
RW: My Pleasure.

RR: Right now you’re touring with two different shows – Ray Wilson – acoustic band and Genesis Klassik. How do you decide which of the two show should be played in the current city when you are making the schedule?
RW: I realized, through the years, that the opportunities for concerts were different in each city/country. Sometimes I would get an enquiry for a small venue, sometime a large venue. So I decided to create a situation that allowed me to adapt to the location. That’s basically why I have different shows. Genesis Classic can be anything from 3 musicians to 60 musicians, depending on budget and venue size. When I do acoustic versions of the songs, many people prefer this and when I do the big show, there are people who prefer that. For me, it’s all fun.

RR: Since you are coming to Bulgaria with Genesis Classic, I would like to ask you, how the idea of this project was born?
RW: I was always thinking about ways to perform the Genesis songs, that was both unique and yet kept the magic of the great songs of Genesis. Genesis never performed with Violins, Cello or an Orchestra, so I decided to be the first Genesis member to do it, with the Genesis songs. The same is true for Genesis Unplugged. Genesis never did that either, so I decided to do it.

RR: It is known that no matter if solo or with Genesis Classic, you always play a lot of Genesis tracks. Did you find out that they fit you so well after your collaboration with the band or you have performed songs like “Mama” and “The Carpet Crawlers” before?
RW: When I sang with Genesis, I realized that certain songs fitted my singing style better than others. The Gabriel era was always very good and obviously my own era too. When it came to Phil’s era, I needed to work on creating a style that kept his magic, but fitted my voice. It took time, but it really works now.

RR: In your live albums we hear not only Genesis songs but also songs of the solo albums of their singers before you. How did you decide to perform live songs like “In the Air Tonight” and “Biko”?
RW: I simply love these songs. That’s why I play them. Both Phil and Peter have created some great songs over the years, so I enjoy to perform some of them, as well as my own songs, like Inside from my time with Stiltskin.

RR: You’ve played in three bands, in various styles. And now your music seems more mature, calm, yet deep and cosy. How did you turn from the explosive rock of the early Stiltskin to these intimate shows and albums of Ray Wilson?
RW: It basically reflects both sides of my character. I love Metal and I also love Melancholy. My own musical style is somewhere in the middle.

RR: How did you get involved with Armin van Buuren for the “Yet Another Day” and “Gypsy” remixes? Do you have plans in experimenting with other electronic-orientated music?
RW: I met Armin 10 years ago and he asked me if I could send him some of my songs. Another Day was the first and he loved it. Then he created the remix, Yet Another Day.

RR: You sang with Scorpions in their “Moment of Glory”. How did it happen? Did that gig inspire you to work with Berlin Symphonic Ensemble?
RW: I knew the Scorpions from a tour I did with them in 1999. We got on very well. I really like the guys. When they asked me to sing Big City Nights, it was a pleasure for me. I think working with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra did give me inspiration for the Genesis Classic show.

RR: You have said you wanted to re-record “Inside” with female singer like Sandra Nasic or Skin. Do you still think in that direction? (And a hint – listen to the lady who sings in this song by Japanese composer Akira Yamaoka for the PC game Silent Hill 4)
RW: Yeah I think that would really work They are both great singers. It hasn’t happened yet though? Thanks for the tip.

RR: As we’re talking about Stiltskin albums, “She” is quite different from “The Mind’s Eye”. What should we expect to hear in “Unfulfilment”?
RW: The new album is a similar sound to She, but not so dark. I am extremely happy with the work we have done on this new record. We will see if the fans like it? September 9th release.

RR: Back in the 90’s when Stiltskin split up and your tour with Genesis was over, you started solo career. How did you decide to reform Stiltskin?
RW: It was my producers’ idea and it made sense to have a name for my band. Stiltskin was an obvious choice for me. I was thinking along the lines of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band or Neil Young and Crazy Horse. That’s why I created Ray Wilson and Stiltskin, for my own original music.

RR: Have you heard lately of Peter Lawlor?
RW: No. I think he’s still pissed off that I was able to create a successful career without him. He does ok too. He writes commercials.

RR: When “Inside” came out it blew the air of the TV and radio stations. Do you miss those days?
RW: No. My life is much better now. I have good loyal fans and a career that will last, if I keep working hard and doing good shows. That means everything to me.

RR: What do you miss from the 90’s and what do you like more nowadays not only in music but at all?
RW: I don’t miss the 90’s at all. It was fun, but life is so much better now. I know who I am, where I want to go and how to get there. There was a lot of good music in the 90’s. Radiohead, Live, The Eels and so on.

RR: Are there going to be other Ray Wilson solo albums or you will stay with today’s Stiltskin reincarnation? And what is the difference between Ray Wilson in Stiltskin and Ray Wilson solo?
RW: I will continue to do both. A Ray Wilson record is normally more acoustic and written musically and lyrically by me. A Stiltskin record is a collaboration of many musicians. I don’t write the music for Stiltskin records. Only the Text. So it sounds very different to many solo albums

RR: Where do you feel more comfortable – in the big music halls with Genesis Classic or the smaller clubs and halls where you perform with the acoustic band?
RW: I am comfortable in both. To be honest, it’s the variety that makes my life special. I never get bored performing, because it changes all the time.

RR: From your live CDs it is obvious that you enjoy telling stories between the songs (a favorite of mine is the one with the forgotten microphone during a Genesis gig). Have you been offered to appear in VH1’s Storytellers?
RW: No, but when I started a solo career, I based my shows on this idea. People loved it, so I did many shows like this, over the years.

RR: You are born in Scotland but for few years now you live in Poland. What did bring you there and what are the differences you have personally met between Western and Eastern Europe? Where is it easier to create music?
RW: Well I fell in love with a Polish girl and decided to live in Poznan with her. I really love the east. The people are warmer and the girls are beautiful. What more could anyone ask for?? I just feel at home in Poland. I also had a lot of fun in Hungary and Czech Republic and Russia. I am working very hard on moving my music more East, more of the time. It’s just great fun to play in the East. Romania and Bulgaria is next and I am really looking forward to it

RR: You say you have written “Goodbye Baby Blue” about a girlfriend who never smiled very much. Do you have a song about a girl who actually smiles?
RW: Not yet. Maybe one day?

RR: Have you got any expectations of your concert in Bulgaria? It will be shortly before Christmas, what presents should we expect, hehe?
RW: Scotch whisky and Polish vodka.

RR: What music inspires Ray Wilson today?
RW: Life.

неделя, 10 юли 2011 г.

W.I.N.I.F.

Лъжа.

четвъртък, 2 юни 2011 г.

Blind Guardian: Hansi Kürsch interview

This interview was taken at the last day of April right before the concert of Blind Guardian in Sofia (a gallery and a report, only in Bulgarian though). It is published in the webzine Rawk'n'Roll and I place here the English version, so it could be useful both for Blind Guardian and their fans abroad.

Blind Guardian is a very special band for its fans. The fairytale and the real aspect in their art is always in great dialogue while the music - sincere speed metal at the very early days before taking and attracting a bit from the epic of the power metal and the amplitude of the classic rock bands, is specific, always inspiring and bearing its unique style and spirit - such things you cannot forget if they have ever been a part of your microcosmos. And when almost 20 years after I first loved their music and I met the singer Hansi Kürsch, it showed that I am one of the pretty few lucky people who are not disappointed when they meet their long-time hero and he appears to be really down to earth and amazingly nice company and person.
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RR: It is the beginning of this part of the tour but how have been the shows so far?
HK: Spectacular! Great shows! Serbia has been bombastic. Slovakia was really good too. We’ve played a couple of songs and people seemed to enjoy them so much. It’s been good entrance into this very small two-week tour. I’m anxious to see how it’s gonna be tonight.

RR: I am sure that it’s going to be great. I have seen the setlists from your previous shows and I noticed that for the first time in more than ten years you are starting your concerts with different song from “War of Wrath/Into the Storm”.
HK: Yes, it’s true.

RR: How did you decide to change the opening song?
HK: We have been waiting for an “opener” to appear but the problem is that “Precious Jerusalem” and “This Will Never End” from our latest two releases were too difficult to start a show with. “Sacred Worlds” is a great opener but the problem is that it’s still a difficult song. But since we have that great orchestral introduction it was no other option than using that as an intro for the show. It would have been a waste. I don’t think we can’t get off stage too often and have an orchestra playing. At the beginning of the show it creates atmosphere as it was with the intro of “Into the Storm”. This made the decision far easier though it still is a difficult song to start a show with.

RR: How did the fans accept the song?
HK: Very good. It was this festival touring in 2009 we played in Kavarna as well. And most of these festivals we played “Sacred” in a shorter version and it was received very well there already.

RR: And you are playing now the full version, right?
HK: More or less the full version because we skip the outro because there is no point. You know, after the 6-minutes people would like to go crazy and we wanna go crazy, so we cut it there and going to the next song. A song that people easily can relate to. Like “Wheel of Time” features the best of the new Blind Guardian album, so people don’t have any problems no matter if they are oldschool Blind Guardian fans or more of the “modern” type of Blind Guardian fans.

RR: In the setlists from the previous three shows I saw that you have included the second part of “The Bard’s Song”. How did you decide to put that? I haven’t seen it in the setlist in the last maybe more than 3-4 years.
HK: Oh, longer. I think we haven’t played it in ten years. Maybe we played it once in Coburg during the Blind Guardian festival but I cannot recall playing “The Hobbit” in… maybe we played it during the “Nightfall…” tour but I am not sure even of that. It is a nice song. We didn’t have it in mind anymore but sometimes we check our page and people were suggesting songs to be played. “The Hobbit” has been one of them and so we decided it might be a good idea to involve it again. It is easier to maintain that thing with many other songs. Yesterday there was a request to play “Thorn”. If we don’t rehearse “Thorn”, we cannot play it. It would take a week or so before we can play “Thorn” but “The Hobbit for example took us about 6-8 hours and then we could play it. It belongs to “The Bard’s Song” and “The Bard’s Song” definitely is one of the most successful songs we have ever done. Also it is great to have that opportunity to feature this second part of the song as well.

RR: This is your third show in Bulgaria. Do you remember the previous ones?
HK: Yes.

RR: Can you share something more remarkable that you have memorized from these concerts?
HK: Especially when we played in Sofia, we didn’t have any idea what will it be, it’s always impressive the first show somewhere and do not exactly know the mentality. We have been told that we have big fanship but I didn’t know how big that was until we played that venue and it was fairly good visited. I was impressed for the first time and I was also impressed by the skillful singing and the cheerful appearance of the people. It was a really good-mood concert, there was no violation, there was no that feeling sometimes when people feel so passionate that… I mean the people have the same love and passion for Blind Guardian but in between themselves they can sometimes hurt each other. And that not was the case here in Sofia. So we enjoyed the show a lot and I consider it to be one of the best five shows at least of this touring route.

RR: Your last album “At the Edge of Time” it still sounds very diverse, very bombastic like the previous ones but it also bears the spirit of the earlier albums like “Somewhere Far Beyond” and “Imaginations from the Other Side”. Did this appear naturally?
HK: For most of things it did. The only thing we justified in the beginning was the involvement of acoustic guitars instead of chorus guitars because that is more of the 90’s sound of Blind Guardian. It delivers more of the Celtic and mystic feeling than the chorus guitars we used in “A Night at the Opera” or “Twist in the Myth” but other than that it was pure expression; it was not done by purpose. Of course when things turn into a different direction and you start the production – we have very strong producer in the face of Charlie Bauerfeind – and if he recognizes something, then he tries to drive it in the adequate direction. There was the song “Tanelorn” with this late 80’s, early 90’s sound and he was the one who forced us to go this way. He suggested taking things out or involve other things. For most of its part, the album was a pure spontaneous decision.

RR: All you in the band, except Frederik are in your late 40’s. But you still remain very passionate and good fairytale tellers. How do you manage to keep the child in a grown up man?
HK: I don’t see it really much as a child in a grown up man. It is more or less the normal life, it’s entertainment in general, no matter if you do political songs or if you do fairytale songs, or fantasy songs. I have my personal ideology and personal philosophy in terms of having a story and within my point of view as with the old fairytales, there is an additional message in between the lines. And I never consider it done by child.

RR: But you still keep this passion for reading such books.
HK: Yes, but they are not childish. Not at all. It’s the pure sensation in these stories and it is a great pool of inspiration. It gives courage and strength for people in normal life. You know that some people watch television, other people like computer games, others go out and drink alcohol and some people love to read and discover their way of coping with real life and get their time off without trying to escape from reality but just to have good time.

RR: Since you are a fan of George Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” saga, did you manage to see the HBO series?
HK: No, it is in my post box at the moment. And did you?
RR: Only the first episode but I find it great, yes.
HK: I expected it to be great only by seeing the trailer.

Here, while the conversation takes a different direction, Hansi misses another interview by phone and shrugs and shares: "I should have picked up earlier, it was for an interview from another country" and we continue with the questions.

RR: Another thing that is interesting for the fans of Blind Guardian is your project with Jon Schaffer Demons & Wizards. And I have read somewhere that you have met during this 70 000 tons of metal cruise and you have talked about maybe third album. Are there any ideas already or it is just something you want to do somewhere in the future?
HK: We’ve discussed that matter and it is on the agenda but due to the activities we both have to work on for Blind Guardian and Iced Earth, it would be difficult to come up with the lot of stuff during this year. We may have some days in the summer to spend together and we will immediately start working on new Demons & Wizards album or the music at least but since Jon is very, very busy in completing the next Iced Earth album, I don’t see a chance to really finalize the Demons & Wizards album within next 18 months, that seems to be impossible. If we’d be able to do so, I would be very happy but there’s so much to do and we have so many ideas how to improve the style and get this project to the next level, it would be a waste just to spend two weeks together and to somehow manage to come up with some album. When we do it, it has to be done properly, we’ll take the time.

RR: And about the orchestral album, it has taken already most than ten years of work. At what stages have you reached with it? And how do you see it, what is your personal view on all the things around it?
HK: It is still some of the best things we’ve ever done. It was good and we did not use the songs on the albums that we have done in between because otherwise the concept would have been spoiled a little bit. “Sacred Worlds” and “Wheel of Time” give a short idea of what these songs are about and how they could sound yet they still are different. We are on a good way; we have found the right orchestra in 2009 in Prague. They delivered a spectacular job, they have done six songs of the album so far but there are four more to be completed. But in addition to that, I have to do all the vocals and we have to do a proper production and there are different side issues we have to cover. Coming up with storyboard is one thing and delivering this storyboard to an audio book is something else, so we have to find new partners in which we trust and which could help us to create an even more sensational project. Musicwise it is something you have not heard so far. It might give us the chance to appear to wider audience or it might not attract people at all because it is very special music and done for Blind Guardian fans, especially for those who are into that Tolkienish and “Nightfall in Middle-Earth” period.

RR: Is this going to be the next Blind Guardian record?
HK: I don’t know yet. We intend to do so but we have a request for a “Best of” CD that might be released prior to the orchestral album, it has not been decided yet completely. And if we feel it takes too long to release that new orchestral record, then we might create another Blind Guardian album in between and release that first. It is still not clear if that orchestral project will be released under the name Blind Guardian because it contains different music and it is a little questionable if we should make it under the name Blind Guardian or it should be released as something done by the Blind Guardian guys.

RR: I would like to ask you, besides the heavy metal music we are all into, what other bands and musicians are you inspired of and enjoy listening to?
HK: Metal is one big part and then there’s the regular classic rock stuff I’m into. It’s not a secret that Freddie Mercury and Ian Gillan are my idols as vocalists. I love Genesis and Peter Gabriel, I love all kinds of good music. For instance, I am a big fan of Dixie Chicks, I think they do spectacular music and Tori Amos is great too. It is all different kinds of music. I even like to listen to Jets’ music from time to time, it is still not my most favorite music but there are good elements in there and if don’t take it too far it is very enjoyable for me.

RR: Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when Blind Guardian was still not a very big name as it is now, there were a lot of German heavy metal bands and German heavy metal was one of the biggest scene in the genre with bands like Helloween, Running Wild and Gamma Ray. And now, when it is 2011 it appears that Blind Guardian remains the biggest and the strongest name of all of them. Maybe Helloween still keep good audience but it is far from what it was. How would you explain this?
HK: That might sound arrogant but we have been the most successful band in all over Europe and most parts of the world from these German bands since the early 90’s. It was just the 80’s that have been dictated by Helloween when they did their, in my personal view, their best albums. Gamma Ray had a strong impact in the late 80’s and the early 90’s but ever since “Somewhere Far Beyond”, we are the biggest band of that scene. It was a certain development and nowadays it is more obvious that we are a little bigger than these bands. It’s not a competition, it’s just the simple fact. You can see that in terms of attendance during a concert, in how many people show up. Helloween, I have to say that, always have been the bigger band than we are in Asia and in Japan which has been one of our strongest markets. I think that it is because we have never denied to ourselves. We do have the strongest and most stable discography, there is not a single album that can be considered a complete disappointment because some people disagree on the direction we took with “A Night at the Opera” and “A Twist in the Myth”. We had the opportunity to attract new fans with these records and most people understood that it was our way to explore new directions and the band has to reinvent itself. So, even people who partly disagreed with them, they stick loyal to the band. Helloween for instance have lost many people with “Chameleon” for example or “The Dark Ride” and “Rabbit don’t Come Easy”, these are albums that people cannot relate to. They are not bad albums but if you do a drastic change in style, it has to be something spectacular and most bands are not able to do so. While we were more loyal to our core music in general and still are able to add new ingredients to the music without disappointing people and that’s the difference. And I would also guess our stable line up. It has its impact on the people. People try to relate to the same people. I love Deep Purple most when Gillan and Glover have been there. I like Mark I and Mark III but this was when Deep Purple was MY Deep Purple. And kids and fans are the same all days.

RR: So, do you see it going for the next ten years the way it is now for Blind Guardian?
HK: It depends on every individual. We never had an intention to fire Thomen, it was free will and there were several reasons for it. It is sad that it went that way but… Yes, if the other guys including me do not change mentally, I doubt there will be a line up change. Of course, that really is limited on all four core members of the band while Oliver or Michael who are more or less stable and constant members of the band, they do not belong to Blind Guardian. They are very close and they are close friends but I cannot say how long they will be with us. It is their decision and our decision as well. And if anyone of them wants to leave, okay, we’ll separate in good terms.

RR: Okay, let me leave you for your dinner. Thanks a lot and have a great show tonight.
HK: Not a problem. And we will.

неделя, 17 април 2011 г.

Баба

Бил съм на 3 или 4 години, когато, спомням си, баба ми отваряше книгата с твърди корици "Горски приказки" и ми четеше за разните животни в гората. Доста често след като аз сам съм я преследвал с книжката в ръка. И шокът на мама, когато един ден в магазина с нея и баща ми, я чух да се оплаква, че няма олио "Слънце", а аз й казах "Има. Ей го там, на етикета пише Слъъън-цеее!" и как тя ме караше да прочитам ту този, ту онзи етикет, за да се увери, че наистина чета и то две-три години преди да тръгна на училище. За едно лято баба успя да ме научи да сричам елементарни текстчета. И оттогава е любовта ми към литературата. Баба я събуди в мен от съвсем ранна възраст.

Баба и дядо живееха с нас докъм 15-тата ми година. Просто и двамата работеха тук. Пренесоха се на село като довършихме къщата там, взеха си кози, овце, куче, котки, кокошки и си заживяха спокойно и с кеф оставах дни и седмици на Поповяне.

Дядо почина преди 7 или 8 години, не помня точно. Баба си остана на село и се радваше искрено всеки път като отивах там - сам или с приятели. А и те се привързаха към нея, неведнъж някой е имал път към Самоков, или просто е минавал по онзи край и е спирал с кола/мотор, за да се видят макар и за малко. Баба обичаше компанията на млади хора около себе си и с радост ни посрещаше и изпращаше, вечно гостоприемна, наготвила, приготвила и усмихната. Обичаше да седнем в двора при нея, на открито, да се радваме заедно на градината й - нейната гордост, да си откъснем пресни зеленчуци и за София, да отнесем и на който не е дошъл този път. За последно й се изсипахме със Симо през октомври, след преход през Витоша и Плана с колелата, под постоянен дъжд, премръзнали, с мокри огромни дъждобрани, а тя ни посрещна с "Отварям и гледам два пингвина", а на печката къкреше тенджера с боб, във фурната - топла баница. След половин час кацнаха и Иван и Близнаците с коли и настана... абе, нашето си. Баба, естествено, пак се радваше и твърдеше, че не й пречим, а напротив. Вярвам й.

После баба дойде пак тук, защото преди няколко години й откриха рак и всяка зима си идва в София, да не мръзне сама по село, трудно е за болна жена да се отоплява, мие, чисти, готви. Тази зима оперираха пердето й и баба отново започна да чете книги. Много, както когато бях малък. Беше престанала от много дълго време, сигурно 12-13 години. Радвах се всяка вечер като се прибирам, да я заваря я с Хесе, я с Джойс, да чете и да ме чака да обсъдим книгата, да сподели какво й харесва и какво не. И често ме караше да й пускам дисковете на "гайдаря", както нарича Веско Митев - разказвал съм й за неговото изкуство, показвал съм й снимки от къщата му в Долен, пластиките му и тази жена на седемдесет и три години беше истински фен. Исихия и Кайно Йесно Слонце слушахме заедно и то с еднакво удоволствие. "Да го викнеш да ми свири на погребението!" обичаше да вмята от време на време, докато го слушаме.

Преди три седмици, точно преди да тръгна за Виена, ракът пусна пипалата си по цялото тяло на баба. Тя легна и повече не стана от леглото. Три седмици баба имаше нужда от помощ за всичко, нямаше сили дори да седне в леглото. Три седмици се мореше и накрая просто се отказа. "Време ми е, деца." Престана да приема храна и почти никаква вода, но и нито веднъж не се оплака, не измърмори, не проплака. Безкрайно силен дух има баба Мирка, дух, който я крепи и държа права цял живот. Снощи рано баба си отиде.



Почивай си бабо, знам какво ти беше, знам какво ти е било през всичките години на труд, работа и семейство. Истински борец. Благодаря за всичко, което си ни дала на мен, сестра ми, майка ми и баща ми и на всичките ни приятели, които също те приемаха като такъв. Аз съм това, което съм днес И заради теб. Спокоен сън, бабо!

събота, 9 април 2011 г.

Siena Root interview

This interview is published in the Bulgarian rock fanzine Rawk'n'Roll. I put here the Enlish version, so it could be used by the band and its fans abroad.

Siena Root is one of those bands the music of which pours life and sunbeams in your soul and while you listen to it you can't help smiling and loving life. In their albums there are influences of everything beautiful, colorfull and fragrant from the past decades - just take the vynils of Jimi Hendrix, the early Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin, powder them with cinnamon and let the spring summer and the scent of the awakening for new life Nature in your home and you will get an idea about their music. Or just listen while you are reading.

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RR: Hello! First, present yourself (name and position in the band) and tell us where this questions are catching you and what are you doing!

KG West – guitar, organ and sitar. You are now catching me in my home with a cup of coffee.

Mr. Sam Riffer – bass guitar riffs plus a little derbouka and singing.
Love Forsberg – percussion, Stockholm.

RR: Siena Root is going to record its next three shows for a live album. It seems that not many bands from the psychedelic rock scene are releasing live records. How did you decide to do that?

SR: To me it’s been my dream or part of the plan all along the way, a few studio albums to get moving and then it comes; the double live album!
KG: Also, ever since we started touring, people coming to the shows have asked us about a live recording. So, we have been bringing a mobile 16-track tape recorder – ”The Root Rock Mobile”, to record shows for over a year now. The next three shows will finish off the sessions.

RR: After the DVD with as-Sayf, this will be your second live record in a row out there – quite a brave act in my opinion. About the DVD – how did you decide to release it after 3 years and how do Egyptian dances add to the music of Siena Root?

SR: We did release it after all the years since we liked the sound of those tapes. We did not release right after it was recorded due to the fact that Sanya left the band a few weeks after that show.

RR: Compared to “A New Day Dawning”, your fourth album is different and more psychedelic but when we hear the two albums in between, we see that the way to “Different Realities” is very logical. How did you turn to longer instrumental trips and how have you decided to use the sitar so vastly in your music?

KG: We have always been doing a lot of instrumental music. To me, instrumental music is the most pure form of music – without any words there is just the notes and sounds without any distractions from other art forms. But of course you can use lyrics to convey a message and that combination can be very powerful, so we use some vocals lines in the right spots also on “Different Realities”. It was quite natural to use the sitar as it fits the music, and I have been studying the ragas and talas more in depth the last years and feel more at home with the instrument. But it´s not the only instrument we use that you wouldn´t normally find in rock. There´s a long list of derbuka, flute, hurdy gurdy, glockenspiel, mandolin, various keyboards and all kinds of things you can think of, that we used for live shows and albums.

RR: When should we expect a new Siena Root album and do you have any idea by now about its musical approach?

SR: I hope that the live album will be released in the fall of 2011.

RR: One of the interesting things with the band is that for four albums you have had three different singers, both male and female. Why is that fluctuation?

LF: No, that is four different singers, one for each album. We have also used three different flute palyers and many other gueasts in studio and on tour. This is partly because we don't care to stick to a classic rock structure of the band, but also because some of us have an easier and better way to work together. Not all ideas and wills are possible to fit in one band.
SR: We could never find a singer that would fit the band 100% so we had to change often in order to make the band and the music move forward.


RR: Even though the singer much or less is the face of every band, you have managed to preserve the specifics of Siena Root and each of these people has fit perfectly in the band’s style. Was it hard to achieve?

SR: Very hard, never really worked ;)
LF: It's a lot of work managing a band. Don't forget that there are great bands without singers.

RR: Your sound and musical approach is very bright and positive, yet trippy and hypnotizing. What are you in everyday life – the same shiny positive people or distinct trippers?

LF: I think that is for others to tell. I try to be positive and I'm not trippin’ very much.
KG: I doubt I come across as shiny and positive... but I´m working on it!

RR: Could you describe the band the way you feel and see it, show us Siena Root from your eyes and heart?

KG: I think that since we have been doing this for a long time, it´s hard for us to see Siena Root objectively from an outside perspective. To show you Siena Root from our eyes and heart, we let you listen to our music of course. Which is the mean of communication we have been working on very hard for a great amount of time. I don´t like to diminish our work by trying to describe it in a few sentences.

RR: Let me share a quote of an interview with Siena Root: “In the sense that blues is blue, hard rock is black, and reggae is pan African coloured, this music has the colour of siena. It is a warm, earthy colour, originally from the muddy roots of Toscana. Because this sound has roots that go deep, it was also natural to let root be a part of the bands name.” Speaking so passionately about the colors, can I ask you if you have deeper passion to the painting too and if so, do you find many links between creating music and visual art?

LF: Yes, there are obvious links, in my opinion. All art comes out of ideas and philosophical perceptions. Also, if you combine music and visual art you get movies, probably the most powerful media of them all.

RR: Your songs are like a flight above fairy lands, powered by the spirit of the blues and rock from the 60’s. Admit it – do you have a license to drive a flying carpet?

SR: You bet! All types and sizes.
LF: No, I don't, I think the music itself is the only license you need.
KG: Well, it´s of course better to have a license, but nowadays it´s getting more expensive to get one. I have been saving up, and hopefully I will have it for the summer.


RR: If you had a Volkswagen Microbus, covered with painted flowers and powered by green smoke that could take you anywhere in time and space, where would you drive to with the band?

SR: I’d be quite happy to have myself a little time trip to 1967 for some jammin´. Maybe a tour in 1968-69 and then some small festivals in 1970. I think I might enjoy it.
LF: If anywhere in time and space was an option for one day, I would like to see India at the time of Buddha. I think that might me an interesting experience. But I think the time where we are now is really thrilling to. It can be nice not to know the future.
KG: I would probably go to headline a festival in a parallel universe next month, just making a small detour to stop by 2040 and pick up the band. We would be in our 60´s then and would probably have learned to play better by then.

RR: Who would you invite to the trip and what would be the soundtrack of it?

SR: I´ll bring the band and let our riffs be the main soundtrack accompanied by Ennio Morricone of course.
LF: I would invite the prime minister of Sweden, play some improvised folk music and hope that he would gain some perspective on the ignorant stuff he's into right now.
KG: I invite all fans of Siena Root, and why not a soundtrack by Dick Dale.

RR: What bands, books and drugs have influenced mostly Siena Root?

LF: To me, I would say the single most influential band would be Black Sabbath, I think. But I also often come back to my records with Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and Grand Funk Railroad. When it comes to books, I enjoy surrealistic Sci Fi and Fantasy.
KG: You could say Siena Root is influenced by all the great bands you have already guessed, Deep Purple, Zeppelin and such, but there are also the obscure influences other than rock. I never listen to rock in my home. It´s mostly blues, Indian classical music or some old synthesizer works from the 70´s.

RR: The Swedish rock scene seems to be endless. With which bands do you keep in touch and to which of them are you fans?

KG: As Sweden is not very big, we keep running into people from bands like Abramis Brama, Bland Bladen, Öresund Space Collective, My Brother The Wind, Backdraft and others.
LF: I'm not a fan of swedish music in particular. But I enjoy acts such as November, Nationalteatern, Peps Persson, Bo Hansson, Trummor & Orgel, etc.

RR: You have played many picturesque events like “Burg Herzberg Festival”, “Duna Jam” and “Yellowstock Summer Festival”. Which of them was the most memorable experience and how will you remember it?

LF: I like Herzberg very much beacause it's so big and yet there is a friendly atmosphere. But my favourite is Dunajam. It's laidback, warm and very beautiful, that's my style.
SR: I had a great time at all of those places. I especially remember our first time at Herzberg. The night before the show the keys to our hotel got lost somehow so we didn’t get any sleep at all and when we arrived to the festival we had no idea what to expect. We were a bit late; as I recall it, we pulled in like an hour before show time, all of us out of our minds due to no sleep. As soon as we hit the stage all the stress was gone due to the warm welcome by the crowd, truly a great day in Siena Roots´ history.



RR: Quoting a friend of mine, I’d like to ask you – how does it feel to be among the “last standing hippies”?

SR: It feels very good! But I doubt we really are the last ones.
LF: I don't know whether I'm really a hippie. But if you say so, I say that there will come new generations of hippies, people that have an open mind for music, love and peace.

RR: Thank you! I hope I could catch you live one day! Take care, good luck and Peace!

SR: Thank you!