Thursday, March 25, 2010

Deep Gaida

With the prospect of a Bulgarian hiking trip on my summer agenda I started doing some research on the local musics - in the course of which I discovered the gaida, a goatskin bagpipe indigenous to the Rhodope mountains of Southern Bulgaria. The Rhodope mountains are known for their flourishing music traditions, and due to their proximity to Greece bear part of that country's mythic legacy - the Rhodope's "Devil's Throat Cave" being supposedly the place where Orpheus descended to hell to retrieve his bride.

The gaida is played in a rather droney and intense way, sounding very little like its much kitschier Scottish cousin, and more like a certain Moroccan-Jajoukan pan flute. It's a haunting, spiritual sound that gains in intensity when it's like, played by a hundred dudes at once!

the last clip is my favorite, for obvious reasons. it's linked here as it is not embedding properly for some reason.

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