Elka Atanasova

Winds of the Rhodopes

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This 19-year-old Bulgarian virtuoso violinist is truly electrifying. A classically trained child prodigy, she began experimenting with other music forms at age 14. What she has created on her Erdenklang debut album with her partner, Atechan Usseinov, are stunning compositions that combine jazz, rock, and Turkish and Bulgarian folk themes. She plays with a passion for the unique in this rich borderland of tradition and bold invention. The diverse selections include the title cut, "Winds of the Rhodopes," a beautifully haunting vocal, and, in contrast, a pyrotechnic rendition of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the lead-in to "Humble Bees and Scorpions." Other instrumentalists on this Erdenklang album include the acclaimed Achim Gieseler on analog and digital keyboards, Werner Schmidt on drums, Fabio Accurso playing ud, saz, lutes, and percussion on the doumbek and frame drums, as well as Usseinov, himself a virtuoso on acoustic and electric tambura.

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