October 2012 sees the eagerly awaited second release by Bulgaria’s Perunika Trio. A Bright Star Has Risen is released worldwide on 29th October (ARC Music, EUCD2409).
Following their acclaimed debut Introducing Perunika Trio (World Music Network, 2008), described by fRoots as a “very impressive debut… sometimes sweet, but sometimes surprisingly spiky and well worth investigating”, the new album demonstrates the trio’s development from a fledgling ensemble to a mainstay on the UK world music scene. According to group leader and musical director Eugenia Georgieva: “Introducing Perunika Trio was recorded shortly after founding the group in 2006. A Bright Star Has Risen is a more mature and skilful collection of Bulgarian folkloric gems and original material. While the first album explored Bulgarian musical traditions in the context of broader Slavic influence and featured Russian folk songs and Orthodox chants, A Bright Star Has Risen delves deeper into the vocal music of south and southwest Bulgaria and focuses on the woman’s perspective of the world.”
Firmly rooted in tradition but with the kind of gentle modern touches you would expect from three young women, the songs on the album reference those subjects commonly found in Bulgarian folk music, all with the common theme of a very feminine perspective. Village life, the joys and trials of love, brides and maidens, and the mother figure, all play frequent roles in the lyrics of these songs.
Eugenia continues, “A Bright Star Has Risen [track 11] is one of our favourite tracks from the album, and evokes a powerful image. A young maiden is often likened to a rising bright star. Flowers bloom under her footsteps; she is spring herself, a new beginning.”
The trio is named after Perunika, the Slavic goddess of rain and eternal beauty, to whom the trio sing in Peperuda (track 9), an ancient pagan ritual performed at the beginning of summer in honour of the deity. Eugenia describes the trio’s music as “elegant, and temperamental at the same time”, which is perfectly demonstrated in this track, as well as Rano mi e more (Early Sunrise, track 3).
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