In 2011 I travelled to Bulgaria to hear, in the flesh, a particular vocal music that had, like the ocean spray and passing sunlights, made me feel ALIVE, since I was a child. During my visit, I was rattled to the core, sent in orbit of myself and brought home to a certainty… my path travels here!
I returned to Aotearoa/NZ to complete my music degree at Auckland University, in the liberal and stimulating Jazz Dep. My graduation recital presented explorations and extrapolations of Bulgarian folk song, both in traditional form and in the highly arranged obrabokti of the socialist era, but all with an Aotearoa/NZ improvisation twist… Odd-meters, close harmony and that particular coppery tone, thrilled our acapella formation, where all musical roles where carried by female voice.
I have been exploring arrangements of Balkan song for several years, in joyous fashion with the community choir I run, World of Voice Choir, and recently crystalising more essential versions with my acapella trio/quartet Acapollinations.
My next chapter is Post-Graduate study in Bulgaria, with the serendipitous support of the University of Auckland and the many kind folk who donated to my fundraising campaign. I am currently attending the Folklore Singing Specialization Diploma at the AMDFA in Plovdiv…