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Lot Lorien – Music from an enchanted world

March 2, 2009 by · 2 comments

Vanya Nikolaeva’s interview with the ethno-jazz band Lot Lorien

Translated from Bulgarian by Velina Vateva

The musical style of the Bulgarian band, Lot Lorien, has been described by critics as “ethno-jazz/world-fusion, and if that description sounds all-encompassing then it matches the size and diversity of their fan base. The music of Lot Lorien appeals to the lovers of jazz and classical music, progressive rock, folk, and heavy metal.

The band also appeals to those who love folklore, perhaps because the musicians have long been fascinated with the works of the English writer, J. R. R. Tolkin; especially his writings about The Middle Land. In fact, the band’s name is also the name of the magical forest (Lotlorien) of the elf’s realm of Galadarmi. Time in this realm stops and travelers who pass through forget their worries. Therefore, Lot Lorien (the band decided to separate the title) creates richly imagistic music.

Composer Kiril Georgiev, and musicians Zlatomir Vylchev, and Peter Pavlov formed the band in 1996, but they spent two years experimenting before achieving their current unique style that mixes the sounds of guitar, violin, and a feminine voice with piano, percussion, bass, and a variety of folkloric instruments. This mix of sounds is what makes Lot Lorien like no other band.

“Mari Marijko”

Which concert was your most memorable, where and why?

It would be very difficult to choose just one concert. Audiences everywhere have created an unbelievable atmosphere and have given us a warm welcome. We have played in many amazing places. However, the concert dedicated to our 10th anniversary, which took place at the Opera in Varna (December 21, 2008) is one that we treasure. We dedicated it to our heart and soul—we wanted this concert to be a wonderful spectacle for our fans. According to the comments afterwards, it was indeed amazing.

21 Dec 2008, Varna

The concert lasted almost 2 hours, highlighting guest musicians (Dragni Dragnev-bagpipe and wooden flute, and Snajen Kovahev-voice), new compositions, old and new arrangements, songs from all of our periods, and special multimedia and illuminations that were tightly connected with each song. The people welcomed us with all their heart. What we also keep deep in us is our first concert abroad called, “Life-giving Water.” It was held high in the Altai Mountains (Russia), near Lake Taltec.

Our participation at the Kihaus Festival (Raakyla/Finland) was also memorable and very successful.

Photo: Zornitza Miladinova

The musicians make some of their own instruments, and this process is also essential to their work. Lot Lorien has been performing abroad to enthusiastic audiences since 2000. They recorded their first album, “East Wind,” in 2002 and released it shortly thereafter.

As band members, do you hold different opinions about the work, or do you find that you compliment one another?

What makes our style fascinating are our different manners. We have things in common, but we each also have our personal passions and musical influences, and these always influence the face of the band as well the individual compositions. Our differences have their boundaries and are not an obstacle to the work. On the contrary, they help us.

Photo: Zornitza Miladinova

Early on, Lot Lorien was influenced by classical music and English folklore. As time passed, their style became more heavily influenced by jazz, progressive rock, and Bulgarian folklore. In 2003 their most creative collaboration to date began with artist, Theodosij Spasov, one of Bulgaria’s most famous flutists.

The band’s 2003 appearance in the renowned festival “Mobimak Balkan Square” (Ohrid, Macedony) resulted in their second album, “Vo jivo od Ohrid” (Live From Ohrid.)

Lot Lorien & Теodosij Spasov

Which musician would you most enjoy working with on a new project?

We would work on a new project with Theodosij Spasov with great pleasure, also with musicians from all over the world who would like to work on such projects.

“Towards you”

In 2005 the band built a home studio that allowed them to invite musicians from all over the world as well as Bulgaria to work and experiment with them. This ambitious project resulted in 12 compositions for the new album, completed in 2006, “Lot Lorien and Friends.”

What are your sources for inspiration?

There are many of them and they are all around us – nature, music, art (in all its forms), meetings and conversations with people, our history and folklore…

Photo: Plamen Mihaylov


A 10th anniversary DVD, containing recordings of their concert at the Varna Opera, video footage, interviews and archival photos of the band is forthcoming.

Lot Lorien is currently at work their next album and preparing for upcoming concerts in Bulgaria and abroad.

Lot Lorien:

Kiril Georgiev – guitar, mandolin, lute, baglama, lod, lyrics and composing
Zlatomir Vylchev – drums and percussions, didjeridu
Galina Koicheva – violin
Bora Petkova – vocal, percussions, kazu, lyrics
Petar Pavlov – bass guitar
Aleksander Kinov – sound-engineer, keyboards, web support


East Wind—2002
Live from Ohrid—2003
Lot Lorien–2006

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