Recess 2

Play time why don't we sample a bit of a frightening bit of clarinet. Fasten your seat belts! Listen!

Was that scary or what? That was the great clarinetist Ivo Papasov and he performed with his Bulgarian wedding band. Here's a bit of background on them.

And here is a performance from the old Night Music program hosted by David Sanborn.

The young kids stand in front of the giant speakers blasting out music at ear-splitting volume. The drummer attacks the kit with manic intensity as the horn players trade riffs and the electric guitarist propels the music with rapid-fire chords and rhythm lines. A crowd gathers as someone breaks into a wild acrobatic solo dance. It is a scene typical of rock clubs throughout the world, and perhaps the archetype comes from the r & b road-houses of the American South in the '50s or the dance halls of the '30s. But this scene is from a rural Bulgarian wedding in the 1980s and the band is Ivo Papasov's . BBC's "Rhythms of the World" launched their series in the autumn of 1988 with a selection of videos from around the world, one of which was of Papasov. No other clip they have shown on the series has triggered such a response of letters and phone calls.

"Wedding Band" or "Stambolovo" music is a phenomenon in Bulgaria and Ivo Papasov's Thracian Wedding Band is a colossus within the movement. Ivo comes from a long line of zorna and clarinet players. While traditional Bulgarian music has been actively encouraged by the government both in the villages and the large formal choirs made famous in the "Mystere" records, the wedding bands have flour­ished outside official channels into a cultural force which some fear will sweep away the quieter acoustic forms. They have now gained their own annual festival at Stambolovo, hence the name of the movement. Their job is to play for dancing and a typical wedding starts with music at noon in the wedding tent and finishes at midnight with wild horos and rachenitzas in the village square .• All Stambolovo bands aspire to the power and energy of Papasov's band, which features jazz-inspired improvisations against the complex time signatures of Bulgarian dances: 11/16,5/8,7/8,9/8 etc. as well as 2/4.

Here's one other thing to hear: Ivo's accordion player. Listen!

By the way, the accordion player is Nechko Neshev.

Album title: Orpheus Ascending
Label: Hannibal
Catalog number 1346
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