A musical laboratory, where the lines between tradition and genres are dissolved and recreated.
That's what happens when the floodgates are opened and Bulgarian music seeps from one side, while jazz, rock and improv come in from the other. These highly reactive musical elements combine in the lab tubes and flasks, and music is formed as a hitherto unknown entity, which the musical scientists observe and present on stage.
Leader of the team, Johan Toftegaard Knudsen, has been studying the hyper-complex melodic, rhythmical, and soulful structures of Bulgarian folk music for years. He uses this insight for transforming the jazz paradigm with which he was brought up. This has resulted in new compositions, which speak their own language, and in hybrid recollections of Bulgarian tradition.
This year, Etnolab is joined by a special guest. Filip Filipov (b. 1970), who plays the tapan (Bulgarian drum), accordion, and synthesiser. He has had a long musical career in Bulgarian, where he was born and raised. He came to Denmark in 2011 and now lives in Copenhagen, which has led his career in new directions, such as a productive collaboration with Adam Ørvad (accordion). He is musically entrenched in Bulgarian folklore and modern svatbarska muzika ('wedding music').
After 30 years of being a professional musician, he is seasoned in all three of his instruments, and has also played pop, rock, and orientally inspired music. Throughout the years, he has toured large parts of Europe with different bands such as Bulgarche, the 'svartbarski'-bands Folklorni Ritmi with singer Ruska Dobreva, Aksakovska Grupa, Orkestar Varne, and his own group Chernomorec.