New guest on my blog is Stefan Geraksiev (Стефан Гераксиев) – a Bulgarian (tall, of course) musician based in the city of Plovdiv.
He is not a typical rock musician. The genre he represents is the music of so-called modern bards (singing poets; poets with guitars). His music revolves around his poetry and its deeper meaning. Lyrics are true poetry, which is why music is mostly acoustic and simple – to accentuate the text of his poems.
He writes mainly in Bulgarian (due to the language barrier), which is one of the reasons why his name has not made it into the English-speaking world. Taking pride in being Bulgarian, he respects his fellow musicians from his home country. ‘The fact I am not famous doesn’t mean I am not worthy. Given the Bulgarian conditions, I am proud of who I am and what I have achieved. I don’t think this is something to be ashamed of.’
Over the past few years, Stefan has written many new songs, a fair number of which are in English. He sings in four languages: Bulgarian, Russian, English and Romanian.
‘Music is what I do for living. Sometimes money is tight, but at other times people will buy tickets to come to my concerts, so I can feed my family. Artists are often on the edge of survival, as written in one of my songs, ‘The Land of Tin Hearts’ (“Страната на оловните сърца”)’.
Over the past eighteen months, he has slowly been putting together his own recording studio, which is now complete – his pride and joy. Together with the band, they are working on recording their music.
Widely known in the singing musicians’ circles in Bulgaria, Stefan also has a huge fan club in Romania, where he regularly plays at festivals and live gigs. Prof. Sorin Minghiat, a genius flute player, joins him at the concerts there.
‘Fans in Romania love me, while in Bulgaria I am respected. There is a difference in the attitude. I also have friends in Russia. They understand me much better than Western people. Their mentality is closer to us. They are our soul mates. I wrote a song recently about the events in the Ukraine – in the style of classical Russian music, and their street songs’.
The Band – Denvar
You can find them on their official Facebook page, or by simply searching on YouTube. They haven’t produced many official videos yet, but one of their typical songs can be found here (“Разходка с лодка”, or ‘A Boat Trip’).
The band is a separate project from Stefan’s solo music. ‘For me Denvar is something unique and different. Something strong which doesn’t clash with my other projects. It gives me freedom and ability to develop’.
Bass player is Neli Kalacheva.
Solo guitarist is Yavor Despotov. You can see his virtuoso performance here. Based in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, Yavor plays with the British bass player Jimi Hawkins (known for his participation in Purple Haze, a Jimi Hendrix tribute band). Yavor also plays for a band called Rare Breed, as well as with Milena Slavova, a popular Bulgarian female rock singer, during her acoustic gigs. He is very enthusiastic about Denvar’s music and travels every week to rehearse with the band.
Another band member is Rossen Paskoulov (drums and percussions) – former drummer of Art Hazart (a popular rock band from the 90’s from the town of Vidin). He now plays together with Yavor Despotov in Rare Breed and Purple Haze.
‘I still listen to heavy metal, but stopped composing this kind of music. Not because it has died for me, but because it has become history now: same as baroque, classics, or pre-classics. My songs are in the genre of poetic art and alternative rock poetry. That’s different from what I listen to, as it is one thing to be a fan, another thing – to be an author, and even more different to be an author and a fan of what you create. :-)’
For those who are interested in hearing Denvar’s music, I am proud to say that this blog is the first channel that will be promoting the band’s forthcoming first single. So, follow me for more news to come!