World Village (UK) have announced the release of a new album by Bulgarian clarinet super star Ivo Papasov. The album, to be called Dance of the Falcon, will be distributed by harmonia mundi in the UK (released June 30th) and world-wide during the late spring and summer of 2008.
Ivo Papasov is a master of the Balkan clarinet whose fiery concerts have been acclaimed throughout the world. Ivo was first introduced to audiences outside Bulgaria by impresario Joe Boyd who recorded him for his own Hannibal Records.
In 2005 Ivo received the BBC Awards for World Music audience award and brought the house down with an unrehearsed demonstration of virtuosic clarinet playing. The exposure which followed has again brought Ivo to the attention of his compatriots and led to plans for this recording: a return to form and to the songs of his childhood.
The album features traditional themes of sex and death: songs sung at weddings; music summoned to pacify the spirits; music to dance to; music to drink to. Ivo takes these potent songs and reinvents them in his own image.
Ivo's style is uncategorisable: there are elements of the potent jazz, funk and world music fusions of Weather Report in Echoes of Rumelia, more traditional themes surface in Tinner's Dance. It all comes together in the larger than life personality of Mr Papasov.
Dance of the Falcon takes inspiration from themes close to Ivo's heart. "I've been wanting to record these tunes for a long time. They've been in my mind for years and I didn't even dare to think that one day I'd be able to record them… My performances here are modern interpretations. But it's good to look back and to remember who we are, where we come from and to preserve this music for our children and for those who will come after us."
Joe Boyd remains inspired: "Ivo Papasov continues to play the dance rhythms of Central Thrace and other agrarian regions of the South Balkans. He has modernized, but not much. And as a soloist, he remains a giant who transcends the folk music of his home and joins a world-class list of instrumentalists who can turn a melody inside-out and set feet flying."
Dance of the Falcon features the great drummer and regular Papasov sideman Stoyan Yankoulov and introduces Bulgarian jazz pianist Vasil Parmakov alongside an extraordinary ensemble of players. Traditional instruments such as the tef (tambourine), champari (finger cymbols) and tarambukka and tupan drums (familiar from Balkan wedding bands) appear alongside classical strings, guitars and keyboards, even tabla, oud, congas and a talking drum. The album was recorded by Messechina Music in Bulgaria.
N.B. The record is licensed worldwide exclusively to Harmonia Mundi