“Welcome to Bulgaria” Video with Music by Milen Kirov and Balkansky

It was a pleasant surprise to hear my piano playing and this track I recorded on for my friends from Balkansky Live - Theodosii Spassov, Ivan Shopov and Ivo Kuker Christov as a soundtrack to these beautiful images. Enjoy the sights and sounds from my homeland!

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New Video – “Montis” for 2 pianos

A newly-released video of my concert etude for 2 pianos “Montis” featuring the great Neema Pazargad. This composition is a part of a book and a CD titled “Modes & Meters Vol.1″ to be released later this year. Stay tuned for that!

Montis – (Latin – “mountain; of the mountain”)
A slow, epic piece evoking the spirit of the traditional Bulgarian ornamented instrumental melodies. Written in 8/8 (3+2+3), this composition builds around a constant 2-note ostinato by systematically adding layers of melodies, harmonic structures, and more ostinato patterns. It was inspired by visions of the Bulgarian Rhodopa mountain.

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New Video – “Gorgon” for 2 pianos

A newly-released video of my concert etude for 2 pianos “Gorgon” featuring the great Neema Pazargad. This composition is a part of a book and a CD titled “Modes & Meters Vol.1″ to be released later this year, so stay tuned for that.

In Greek mythology, the Gorgon was a terrifying female creature. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means “dreadful” and the term commonly refers to three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying visage that turned those who beheld it to stone. While two of the Gorgons – Stheno and Euryale, were immortal, their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by the mythical demigod and hero Perseus.
This polyrhythmic and polymodal piece is based on two different modes and two different rhythmic patterns (2+2+3 and 3+2+2) and most of the time each player’s hands don’t play in the same mode or rhythm (i.e. Piano I left hand matches Piano II right hand, and Piano II left hand matches Piano I right hand). Sections alternate between smooth and even phrases during which the listener cannot distinguish the different rhythms, and accented phrases where the difference is obvious.

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Toccata

Toccata (from Bulgarian Suite No.1) is now available on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon,  and CD Baby. It was composed and recorded in 2000.
Available for download at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bulgarian-suite-no.-1

 

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New Recordings and Projects

Happy New Year everyone!! Hope 2014 will bring you smiles, success, and exciting adventures. 2013 was a good year for me, but judging by the way 2014 is kicking off, the new year is going to be a very exciting one!

Milen_Duets_finalA couple of weeks ago I released a remastered recording I did back in 2008 with the great Bryon Holley (percussion) and Kate Conklin (voice). “Duets” is an EP that features a couple of original compositions and a couple of arrangements I did of traditional Bulgarian songs. It is an intimate, yet powerful recording that I am glad is finally being released officially. You can download it on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.

Another recording that just became available for download is “The Lion’s Dream” – a composition that was commissioned in 2012 by the Bremen (Germany) chapter of Lions Clubs International. You can watch it on YouTube and download it from www.milenkirov.bandcamp.com

Currently I am working on 2 brand new recordings to be released this year. “Modes & Meters, Vol.1″ is an album of my newest piano music that features concert etudes for solo and duo pianos with performances by myself and the amazing pianist and good friend of mine Neema Pazargad.
Orkestar MÉZÉ’s second album is almost tracked completely. We have to finish recording keyboards and then on to mixing and mastering. It already sounds so great with amazing performances by our special guests Ellis Hall (Tower of Power, Ray Charles) – vocals and keys, Theodossii Spassov – kaval, Miroslav Tadic – guitar, and Todor Kirov -gadulka. Here’s a little clip from the studio featuring the wonderful Ellis Hall…

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Help Orkestar MÉZÉ Record Their New Album!

Help Orkestar MÉZÉ make their next record from Orkestar MÉZÉ on Vimeo.

I am gearing up to record our second album with Orkestar MÉZÉ in August, but we need our fans’ support in doing so!

As all of you know, we are not backed by a label or a sponsor and do not have a manager or an agent. We are simply an independent ensemble creating fun music and bringing it directly to you. We record music for you, we play concerts for you, and we count on you to help us make our second record. The truth is, we cannot complete it without your support.

This new album is extremely important for us, as it will show the development of our sound since the release of our debut album. It will include all original material firmly establishing our unique “peasant funk” style with a bigger, funkier, brassier sound, English lyrics and a seemless incorporation of all American and Balkan elements. And it will feature 4 very special musical guests:

Ellis Hall – the legendary singer/multi-instrumentalist, former Tower of Power singer

Miroslav Tadic – a world-renowned guitarist, called by Guitar Player Magazine one of the world’s thirty most radical and individual guitarists

Theodosii Spassov – one of the most important figures in the music of Bulgaria and the foremost performer on Bulgarian kaval

Dr. Todor Kirov – a legendary Bulgarian gadulka teacher, performer, and composer (author of one of the compositions on the new album)

With your help, our second album will take us to the next level, reaching many more people with our unique sound that instantly makes you move, this time garnished with English lyrics that will definitely bring more fans to our “peasant army” and will make our music easily understood all over the world. And with the addition of our amazing musical guests’ talents, this record will truly cross country borders and genre limitations and will present an inimitable and instantly recognizable style that can reach far and beyond our imagination and dreams.

Check out our campaign page, pick your reward, and don’t forget to spread the word!! We need to reach as many people as possible! Thank you for your support!

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FREE show with Orkestar MEZE at the House of Blues (Hollywood) on Thursday, March 14

As some of you may know, at the beginning of February I had a sold out show with Orkestar MEZE at the Foundation Room (House of Blues – Sunset Blvd), and they loved us so much that we got an invitation to play on the main stage, which is a huge honor for us. And we want you to be a part of this special moment as our FREE guests!!!

To order your FREE tickets, please email us at peasantfunk@gmail.com letting us know how many tickets you would like (no limit and the show is 18+)! And please note that the ticket also grants you a FREE entry to the afterparty (21+) with the band in the Foundation Room!!! Basically, we want to show that we love and appreciate you and your support so much with a FREE show and a party afterwards in which we can all have a drink together and share silly stories….

Also, we are excited to announce that our dear friend and a phenomenal musician and human being Ellis Hall will do us the incredible honor of sitting in with us for a song at the House of Blues!! We are so humbled and thrilled that such an amazing performer will share his artistry with us and our fans… You don’t want to miss this!!! Your favorite international peasant funk band joining forces on stage with the jaw-dropping force of nature that is Mr. Hall!!

March 14th, 2013; 7:30pm
House of Blues
8430 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
tel: (323) 848-5100
18 and over !!!!
order your FREE tickets at peasantfunk@gmail.com

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Upcoming Piano Solo and Duo Concerts plus shows with Orkestar MÉZÉ

2013 is off to an amazing start!!

Neema Pazargad and I recorded Volume 1 of my collection of concert etudes for piano solo and duo entitled “Modes & Meters”, which is currently being edited and mixed and should be released sometime late spring. We also shot 2 music videos for “Montis” and “Gorgon” – the 2 piano-duo pieces from “M&M” Vol.1, directed by the brilliant Harry Bromley-Davenport. The videos are still in the editing stage, but I can share with you that they look amazing and offer a very unique and exciting vision in the field of contemporary music. Here is a sneak peak:

Those of you who are in Southern California will have the chance to hear “Modes & Meters” Volume 1 performed in its entirety this Saturday, February 23rd at the Recital Hall of CSUN’s Department of Music. On March 17th, Neema Pazargad and I will perform “Gorgon” in the same recital hall as part of the CSUN Faculty Composers Concert.

Meanwhile, my Orkestar MÉZÉ continues with a string of amazing, high-energy, sold-out shows. Our last concert at the Foundation Room of House of Blues (Hollywood) was a smashing success and now we are excited to visit our friends from MALABOMBA! and play a show at the classic La Cita Bar in Downtown Los Angeles on February 27th. Another exciting event for us is going to be a concert produced in partnership with the Southeast European Film Festival on April 2nd. Details for this and all aforementioned concerts could be found on the ‘CONCERTS‘ page of this website.

 

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Concerts, Recordings, and New Music

Hey there,

It is been quite awhile since my last update and a lot has happened since. So, here is a summary of the news around me from the last 6 months…

In May of 2012 I successfully completed my Doctoral studies at California Institute of the Art and received the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts as a Performer-Composer. The three busy and eventful years in school culminated with my dissertation, a book of concert etudes, and improvisational and finger dexterity exercises intended for the contemporary professional pianist and entitled “Modes & Meters”. This book summarizes the essence of my improvisational and compositional piano techniques and was premiered at the Roy O. Disney Hall at CalArts by myself and my colleagues and wonderful pianists Lisa Maresh and Neema Pazargad.

For those of you who live in Southern California, you will have the chance to see a live performance of “Modes & Meters” on Saturday, November 17th at Chapman University in Orange, CA and on Saturday, February 23rd at California State University, Northridge. I will be joined by Neema Pazargad at these performances and for more information, you can visit the links at the bottom of this email.

We are also planning a recording of the entire book in late December and a video recording of “Gorgon” and “Montis” for 2 pianos in January. Both the album and the videos will be released in the early spring of 2013.

This summer I finally had the chance to release a few remixed and remastered classic recordings that I had done about 10 years ago. Among them are “Luta Rakia” and “Yash Bob/Eat Beans” featuring the great Miroslav Tadic on guitar, as well as my “Bulgarian Suite No.1″ for solo piano and another version of “Luta Rakia” by one of my projects Bulgarian Moonshine Co. Below is a video of “Fugue” from “Bulgarian Suite No.1″. If you would like to download any of these tracks, just click on the track’s title and it will take you to iTunes. All of these recordings are also available on Amazon and CD Baby.

Sometime ago the pianist Danny Holt commissioned me to write a piece for his unique piano and percussion setup for one performer. “Aegri Somnia” is the result of this commission and Danny will premiere it tonight at the Wild Beast at CalArts and tomorrow afternoon at Art Share-LA. It is an exciting and demanding piece featuring rich ornamentation resembling the epic traditional songs of Bulgaria and based on the asymmetrical 7/8 metric pattern of the Bulgarian dance Rachenitsa.

In October, a very unique and wonderful album entitled “Orenda” by БALKANSKY was released by the Bulgarian label Kuker Music. I had the pleasure of contributing to the album by recording piano on the beautiful traditional Bulgarian song “Tudora” also featuring the legendary voice of Yanka Rupkina,“the kaval-player of the Universe” Theodosii Spassov, the programming and sounds of Ivan Shopov, and the visionary producing of Ivo Christov. Check out the amazing visuals of the official album teaser: http://youtu.be/XKTxSjoPL0A

Thank you for being a part of my musical journey. Love and peace.

Milen

 

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Last concert with Orkestar MÉZÉ until Fall!!

Tonight I am performing with my Orkestar MÉZÉ for the last time before we take a well-deserved break and come back with new material in the Fall. The party is at Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier and starts at 10pm. See you there!!!

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