A manifesto for making and consuming
Bulgarian music

By Kurt Kolev, January 2023.
For the site-specific installation "Let the Water Play"

1. The Bulgarian language is a shortcut to my heart. I think and feel in Bulgarian. If you sing in Bulgarian, it’s more likely I’ll listen.

2. A song can be culturally significant even if it’s not financially successful. It’s better to reach ten people in Bulgaria who really get it, rather than a thousand around the world who don't care. Spotify pays pennies anyway, it doesn’t matter if they'll put you on a playlist.

3. Bulgarian music needs to be in dialogue with Bulgarian literature, cinema and, most of all, other Bulgarian music.

4. Bulgarian music needs to lead to other Bulgarian music. If you record a song, upload the stems online. The remix is the easiest way to start a conversation.

5. You can sing in Bulgarian even if you live abroad (see Ladytron and Neopit Pilski).

6. There are no real rules in music. I don’t care that your song is “mixed bad.” If it’s new, strange and honest, I want to hear it.

7. The lyrics aren’t the only thing that makes a song Bulgarian. The composition and instrumentation can say something as well.

8. You don't need to sample Bulgarian folklore to make a Bulgarian song.

9. Chalga is a political genre.

10. Balkanton is a political label.

11. An album must be conceptual. A Bulgarian album reveals something about Bulgaria. We want more Bulgarian albums.

12. The generation that grew up with Zamunda knows that the Western model of music distribution is not always adequate for environments like ours. We should not follow it blindly. There are alternatives.

13. The independent bands of the 90s made music in conditions that did not allow for its musealization. We live in a better time, now’s the moment to archive them.

14. If you or a parent has ever made music, find the demos. Digitize them and upload them online. We'll all be grateful.

original text in Bulgarian