Design credit: Hristiyan Mitev @theholyinkuisition
Meeting with Andrea Goleva, born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is a flute performer, music mediator, flute teacher at @academiedemusiquedescombins & flutist @sinfonietta.bern
Andrea is one of many talented Bulgarian artists living abroad.
After finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Cologne, Germany, the road leads her to Bern, Switzerland, where she goes to study a Master in Music Mediation, majoring in flute and concert designing.
Sociability is interesting to her and she gets to know its content during her studies. For her spirituality is as important as music and is probably already just the way she walks, inspires creativity with real spiritual intentions and implementations.
The young flutist wants to work on projects in places, often outside the big city.
Small places where the power of sound, her main channel of expression, can affect a person with a powerful force. There she can feel and absorb the power of sound due to the lack of city buildings, human thoughts, sensations and other modern distractions.
In such setting she could capture both people and nature into ONE and introduce them to magical sounds and melodies.
Andrea, agreed to film an improvisation with @arterra where we tried to catch exactly what she has descripted – nature, acoustics and pure sounds from the soul.
Soon we will release the video.
Introducing you to Andrea Goleva and her short story!
Hi Andrea! I'm glad you agreed to do this interview!
To begin with, could you share what do you do and where do you live at the moment?
What university did you go to, your professional interests and the projects you are currently working on?
Hello Teddy, I am very glad and extremely happy that you chose to feature me in your project!
I currently live and am a resident of Switzerland, in a small village in the Alps. I recently completed a specialized master's degree in Bern, majoring in flute and music mediation. This is so-called "concert design", i.e. we come up with concepts for more unconventional concerts. The idea is that as an artist you are a mediator between the art you present and the audience, where all barriers fall. A few years ago, I realized that this is really what I enjoy and envision myself doing for the future as a freelance artist.
In our preliminary conversation, you shared about the master's degree you just finished at the Academy of the Arts in Bern. Would you tell us a little about your education there? What vicissitudes have you gone through and what inspiring moments have you had?
This master's degree was truly a unique chance for me. I was looking for something alternative, something that didn't involve the "obligatory" orchestra or becoming a music teacher. The two professions that are usually the classical musician's path after graduation. I love playing in an orchestra and teaching, things that we musicians do anyway.
But I also wanted to do something else, something different that would be able to touch people in a different way. Something that will make them think more about their lives and the lives of others. Art is not only just for entertainment; I believe that its real purpose is to elevate people's souls.
I saw great potential in music mediation. I have learned from the examples of many musicians and artists doing non-standard projects and through that I realized that when a person burns in an idea, nothing can stop him from making it happen.
Creating your own concepts gives you the freedom to do what really makes sense to you. Developing themes important to me and society in the form of artistic projects involving the active participation of the audience is what I mainly do.
To be honest, I've always found sitting in front of a computer boring.
I am a dynamic and creative person. I like to move, dance, play, sing.
Well, through that training I had to learn it.
I realized that where it's the hardest for you, where you sweat the most, that's where you need to be. This is the proof that you have something to develop.
If you manage to overcome the difficulties and challenges,
you outgrow yourself, you outgrow your ego. This feeling of a job well done has been the incentive to keep going.
Would you share a bit about the project you did at the end of your master’s?
What did you apply to it from what you have learned at the university?
We talked about it extensively, you were excited and satisfied with the result as you shared before. I believe those moments are intriguing and worth sharing.
My final project was very special to me.
The last few years, living and being outside my homeland, made me think and something inside me started speaking. I went back to my roots. I started listening to Bulgarian folk music, reading and being inspired by all this history and traditions that we, the Bulgarians have. I had never played folk music before, nor did we listen to it at home. It started to become interesting to me and I decided to make a project in which I presented one of our national celebration days.
I decided myself for Midsummer Day, (in Bulgaria it is known as Eniov den), which inspired me with its rituals and rites. One of the traditions on that day is that people can pick up herbs in the mountains, herbs that contain the most vitality and are considered as magic. This celebration is performed on the summer solstice, and since the final exams at the university are always in spring, I decided to choose the date according to Midsummer Day- 21.06 by old custom.
When creating new concert formats, it is also important to connect one style with another, one type of audience with another. Main goal is to build a bridge between two different worlds.
As a classical musician, I have my audience, people who also listen to and are excited about classical music. But as a Bulgarian, I also carry something else with me that people in central Europe don't know much about – the Bulgarian traditions and culture. I decided to include in my project Bulgarians who dance folk dances. Of course, they brought their audience with them, meaning other Bulgarians who listen to folk music, but don't know much about classical music. And so, the idea was to make something inaccessible to everyone accessible so that everyone can learn something.
This is really great. But you say that you mainly play classical music.
Was there also a place for it in your project?
Actually, that was my idea. To put classical music on the same stage with folk music. I needed a piece of music representing spring. And that's how the idea of The Rite of Spring à la bulgare was born.
The Rite of Spring is an incredible work written by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. In the 20th century, he wrote the music for the ballet of the same name, music that will forever be performed in concert halls, even though it was criticized and rejected for its time.
Reading about Stravinsky's inspiration and the story of the piece, I learned that he was not only inspired by the old Slavic melodies and rhythms, but even chose to work with the artist Nikolai Roerich, who created paintings and images of people in the mountains wearing folkloric costumes. And not just any kind, but such extremely similar to the Bulgarian ones.
At the core of the piece stands the idea of sacrifice. There is a woman that has to dance to death until spring comes again. But I thought: today we don't need to sacrifice human life to achieve something, but first we have to start with ourselves. Everyone must be willing to give their honesty first, to part with their darkness and problems within, before asking for something wonderful to happen to them from outside.
So, I did a little interactive action with the audience in which every guest was given a piece of paper to write down their thing, their personal problem, what they felt they need to change.
We had a real fire where at the end everyone could “give their wish” … And so, with dances and rituals around the fire, together with some dancers from the Bulgarian society in Bern and musicians from the academy we made our choreography and music for my final project The Rite of Spring à la bulgare.
Are you interested in the Bulgarian scene and what ideas/desires are running through your head? As we said in the preliminary conversation - whatever you wish with your heart, sooner or later happens.
What places do you imagine to be the home of your projects, what professionals/artists do you want to work with and the topics you want to touch on?
I am certainly interested in the Bulgarian scene.
I would very much like to start working on projects in Bulgaria, and not just because I am Bulgarian, but because I believe and know that great power lies in our people.
Bulgaria has been a highly energetic spiritual center of the earth for centuries, and this can be felt in many natural places around the Rhodope Mountains, for example and in general throughout the country.
It is a dream of mine to play and organize projects in the mountains and villages, in places where culture is unfortunately declining. And I know that one day I will return to Bulgaria to do exactly that.
I think we all need art and spirituality more than ever. And these two things for me are inextricably linked.
What do you think is the relationship between music and the spiritual in people? How do you want what you do to affect the people who will hear or see your works or visit your projects in the future?
Music IS spirituality itself. It comes from another place, it is the thing that will always exist in the world and beyond. If there is no art, there is no life. If there is no music, there is no life. It is humanity's connection with the Spirit, through which we can rise, through which our thoughts can become pure and sublime.
The spiritual potential of people and its development is my personal theme and the one with which I want to connect my future musical projects.
Because to me everything is One and people need to know that.
This article, trip and publication are supported by the National Culture Fund, 2022