Atanas Ourkouzounov Combines Traditional and Contemporary Elements in Fascinating Ways. Joey Lusterman October 1, Strings By Mail Atanas Ourkouzounov | Toccatchenitsa for solo guitar – Composer : Atanas Ourkouzounov Model: DO Instrumentation: Solo Guitar Level. Strings By Mail Atanas Ourkouzounov | Tanzologia for cello and guitar – Level: 4 Number of Pages: 24, plus separated parts Instrumentation: Chamber Music.

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Ange Turell is a Swedish guitarist and composer.

I have no rules about how the work should go ahead. He also writes about music, focusing mainly on contemporary music for classical guitar. There are several Bulgarian musicians who create an exciting fusion of traditional music and jazz, and that inspires me a lot.

I cannot fully explain how I get my ideas. You have composed so much, made several recordings, and also tour a lot. When Atanas Ourkouzounov plays, things are cooking. It is like watching a movie where you are the one creating the storyline, and of course you want to know how it all ends!

Atanas Ourkouzounov | Tanzologia for cello and guitar

How do you get your ideas and how do you go about manifesting them? He studied guitar, chamber music, analysis, ethnomusicology and improvisation at the Paris Conservatory and graduated in with unanimous vote the first prize in guitar. If you have ever encountered the dance music of the Balkans, with its frequent use of uneven time-signatures, or the sometimes harsh and other-worldly beautiful harmonies of the singular Bulgarian female choruses whose singing has fascinated so many of us, you may feel partly at home with the tonal language and rhythms Ourkouzounov frequently employs.

So I pick up my guitar in order to try out something, or I go deeply into my own imagination to intensely figure out what a musical idea might sound like. So it will hopefully turn out as an interesting mixture of three different views: Another project for next year is to record my guitar concertos in Denmark, together with my engineer Leif Hesselberg.


Atanas Ourkouzounov | Tanzologia for cello and guitar

lurkouzounov Did you grow up in a family of musicians, or how did you get to know this tradition? Again, movement, kaleidoscopic whirling, loss of gravity. There have been interesting blends of musical influences, such as Orthodox Slavic music, Turkish and Arabian maqamthe musical uorkouzounov of the Gypsies, Jewish, Armenian—all of these are being mixed and that is the main reason this music is so rich.

I see no specific problem with that. There were no musicians in my family, but in Bulgaria the folk music is very much alive and present in everyday life.

Sometimes it happens with the guitar, sometimes not; it might happen in front of a computer or with pen and paper. I remember what it was like when I started playing the guitar—pretty quickly I found it boring ourkouzzounov practice all of those classical arpeggios, tremolos, and the like.

When it comes to conductors, I often listen to the interpretations of Carlos Kleiber. Na ti mome dzivri Bulgaria. His guitar playing eventually took him to France, where he studied at the Paris Conservatory with teachers such as Olivier Chassain and Arnaud Dumond.

What are the main challenges in transferring this music to the guitar? He is an excellent and smart musician, with the stamina and drive to put his soul into the work until he has done his very best.

Eventually it resembles the process of composing.

Other recordings by Atanas Ourkouzounov: The two of you are creating something fresh, making a new piece of music, while the melody still remains.


My own arrangements are mainly from the classical domain, with pieces from such composers as Bartok, Debussy, and Ligeti.

The rhythms and the uneven time-signatures? Several internationally recognized performers have played his works.

Atanas Ourkouzounov | Toccatchenitsa for solo guitar

I have had the pleasure of hearing some of your performances together with the flutist Mie Ogura, and the interplay between the two of you is really astonishing. Mie and I have several concerts coming up, and we also have a plan to make a new album of entirely Bulgarian music. It is highly inspiring to work with such people—it motivates me to perform on a higher level, as well. I soon give up the desire to understand what time-signature is present, atnas surrender and tag along on the journey.

The bases are the rhythms and the different modal scales that we use in this ourkouzounob of the world. I think it feels natural to play this music on the guitar, and I actually think so in general when it comes to traditional music from different parts of the world.

Atanas Ourkouzounov | Toccatchenitsa for solo guitar

Polegnala e Tudora Bulgaria. During my childhood I was fascinated by the folk musicians that used to gather in the square at night in the village where my grandparents lived in the Balkan mountains. I am very fond of Indian music and its underlying life philosophy that regards existence as a huge interconnected network; an approach that is most appealing to me.