Vanishing Bulgarian Traditions at Jack Straw

Views on BG | October 19, 2011, Wednesday // 13:54|  views

Photo by BGNES

By Michael Upchurch

Seattle Times

Seattle-area ethnographer Martin Koenig's survey of vanishing Bulgarian folk traditions is on show at the Seattle gallery through Oct. 28.

'Voices & Images from Bulgaria'

In 1966, Seattle-area ethnographer Martin Koenig made the first of six trips to Bulgaria to study folk dance and music there. What he found was a rural society already in the process of vanishing. Luckily he had a camera and recording equipment with him, and immediately went to work preserving what he could.

The result of his efforts, "Voices & Images from Bulgaria," mixes handsome photographs of village life with the sounds of the gudalka (fiddle), kaval (wooden flute), gaida (bagpipe) and other traditional instruments, not to mention the powerful vocals of (mostly) female singers.

The show, copresented by Northwest Folklife, is on display 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Oct. 28 at Jack Straw New Media Gallery, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle; free (206-634-0919 or A book and CD of the same name are on sale at Jack Straw, and Koenig will speak there at 7 p.m. Friday.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Bulgarian, traditions, Seattle


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