BELONOGA
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BELONOGA

Sofia, Sofia-Capital, Bulgaria | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Sofia, Sofia-Capital, Bulgaria
Established on Jan, 2014
Band World Experimental

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Oct
15
BELONOGA @ Sargfabrik

Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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"Belonoga"

Belonoga
Through the Eyes of the Sun
Belonoga is the stage name of Gergana Dimitrova, one of the star singers of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares and more recently with the Eva Quartet. Her work with the latter can be heard on the monumental The Arch, the sessions which inspired Dimitrova to bring the current solo project to fruition. The results of her labors have been faithfully documented on Through the Eyes of the Sun, for which Dimitrova searched deep to reawaken her vocal soul. Recorded over a four-year period, it pools her knowledge of Aboriginal, Pygmy, and Bulgarian musical heritages, and with the able assistance of percussionist Vangelis Karipis, kaval virtuoso Kostadin Genchev, accordionist Dimitar Tishev, oudist Haig Yazdjian, saxophonist Anatoly Vapirov, Violeta Petkova on rebec, and Alex Nushev at the mixing board, she forges terrain at once organic and meticulous.
The sun of the album's title is Dimitrova's voice. Earthy, precise, and speckled with the characteristic ululations of her heritage, it emerges clothed in electronic processing. Despite the digital enhancements, her voice never strays from its immediacy, never undermines the lessons of its wayfaring. As the twittering of “Salikh, from the Mountains” graces the ear, it is clear that landscape has played an important role in the growth of this music. Not only because its melodies are drawn from various geographic locales in Bulgaria and beyond, but also because its textures bespeak an environmental cause. The processed voice becomes its own entity and shares breathing room with kaval, their marriage like mountains: a fusion of groundedness and skyward pointing. Their repeated motifs come as a comfort, the cycle of life made audible.
“Gypsy Sketches” extends this emotional journey. Blending plains rhythms and oud, its underlying pulse glows like light through a prism. Rebec, accordion, and percussion leave their footprints across the canvas, echoing throughout the rest of the album.
From the wayworn suspensions of “A Song in the Dark (A Path Within)” and “A Wedding at the Camel Caravan” to the soothsaying of “A Woman without Shadow” and the title track, Dimitrova attends to details both obvious and less so. Whether surrounded in a bevy of plectrums and beats or floating on waves of applied reverb, she traces a star's path, horizon to horizon, in time-lapse sonography, her tailwind giving purchase to unwritten stories. Of those stories we get glimpses in songs like “Tsveta's Magics,” which welcomes the dawn in a surge of light, and in “Kunga,” which from elemental beginnings summons a savannah's worth of hunting. “Shopski Yenge” is less about text than context as it plies the ether for sonic riches.
Through the Eyes of the Sun is a mirage that only grows more solid with approach. When listening to it, it's difficult to tell whether one is waking up from a dream or falling into one. Dimitrova's singing carries with it vestiges of something now lost in a sullied world. There is something, then, almost postapocalyptic about the music, as if it were an echo of a better time. It holds fast to hope of its own accord and brings the omen back to us. Like the ceramic tile glued into the CD's foldout case, it leaves no mystery as to its origins. From dust to dust, it forms and dissipates. - Tyran Grillo
Tyran Grillo / RootsWorld - RootsWorld


"Solar Power"

BELONOGA
Throught The Eyes Of The Sun

Bulgarian singer Gergana Dimitrova will be familiar to many as a member of the wornen's vocal ensemble, the Eva Quartet. For this solo project, she has retained the Bulgarian singing style, sensibility and harmonic language developed over the second half of the last century, while setting it in a floating, impressionistic sonic space, cunningly combining and confusing acoustic sounds with electronic ones, her affecting voice emerging from flickering sonic backdrops of animal-like moans and whines, chiming keyboard sonorities and instrumental flurries. It's a contemplative music that takes its time; even when a groove takes hold, the music never hurries, and Dimitrova and her collaborator Aleks Nushev set fragmented accordion and gadulka (bowed lute) lines against lush, sometimes grandiose textures, developing slowly and surely over the duration of the piece.
The musicians are unafraid to mix styles, native and otherwise. 'Shopski Yenge', for example juxtaposes fragments of rural song, typified by grinding close harmonies and piercing drones, with didgeridoo, the dark boom and raffle of a frame drum and fluttering sampled nonsense syllables spur into a sequenced line. Each level of the music moves at a different speed. It's a highly effective beautifully imagined and refreshing recording, and a worthy successor to previous releases by this pioneering Iabel.
Songlines / Kim Burton - Songlines


Discography

BELONOGA Through the Eyes of the Sun (Elen Music 02)

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Bio

Gergana Dimitrova, a.k.a. BELONOGA, is best known as one of the magnificent singers from Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares and Eva Quartet.
While working with Hector Zazou on The Arch, Eva Quartets last project, she was inspired to realize her own musical ideas. She rediscovered the primordial power of the voice inside her and developed it along with her compositional talent. Due to the variety of her ideas, the process of creating the project was arduous. It required not only a deep knowledge of Bulgarian and global music traditions, but also a rediscovery of the abilities and freedom of her own voice.

Many hours of work were necessary to create an absolutely harmonic relationship between the new musical ideas and the various traditional influences. This happened in the studio between 2009 and 2012, working jointly with sound engineer and musician Aleks Nushev under the direction of producer Dimitar Panev.
Belonogas deep knowledge of Bulgarian folklore and her encounters with the ancient musical cultures of Australian Aborigines and African Pygmies over the years have led to a combination of musical ideas provoked by the primordial and structured by the melodious. Thus, an extraordinary new music, extremely rich in emotions, came into being a dialogue between the archaic culture of the Aborigines and Pygmies and the melodies of Bulgaria.

The foundation of her work the human voice sought the direct connection between them in a new musical world. Belonoga has created a whole musical universe.

A key role in the project was also played by Aleks Nushev, who helped Belonoga to realize her ideas over years of studio work. The rest of the participants include Kostadin Genchev one of the best Bulgarian kaval players and founder and director of the groups Bulgara and Wild River; Violeta Petkova gadulka (rebec); Dimitar Tishev accordion; Dimitar Hristov tambura (pandore); and Greek multi-instrumentalist Vangelis Karipis - percussion. Special guests in the project were the magnificent Armenian singer and musician Haig Yazdjian (percussion, voice) and jazz doyen Anatoly Vapirov (saxophone). The project was mixed by Peter Walsh (who also worked on The Arch, as well as with Peter Gabriel, Pulp, Stevie Wonder, and others).

The emergence of some music is inexplicable, but the music itself speaks strongly of the person who created it. In Belonogas music the listener is taken to a new musical world - beautiful, bright, archaic, contemporary and harmonic.