Bulgarian violinist Biliana Voutchkova lives and works in Berlin as a soloist and with renowned ensembles such as Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, the Splitter Orchestra, Zeitkratzer, Ensemble Modern, Voutchkova/Thieke duo etc. She is a dynamic and thoroughly engaged performer/composer/improviser with truly personal musical language. Her work spans the widest possible range of music, sound and movement and her interests lead into various multi disciplinary collaborations. Recent/current projects include solo tours in Colombia, Chile, USA, Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, curation and participation for the festivals Suture Soven and the debut edition of her DARA String Festival. Biliana is a recent recipient of the Composition Stipend from the Berliner Senate and grands from INM/Berlin, Musikfonds and the Trust for Mutual Understanding/New York.
1: Safely uncivilised.
2: Be kind, attentive, aware, truthful, forgiving.
3: Make peace with what is. Dive in.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
All arts, nature, the state of quietly intuitively sensing.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing the violin when I was four years old, my both parents being musicians contributed to this fact. Until my late teenage years I was immersed in the classical music world, went to a specialised music school and concertised worldwide. By age of 19 I felt somehow limited in this field and longed for growing further, learning more. I went to study in the United States and opened up towards contemporary music, improvisation, performance.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
My taste has been changing dramatically throughout the years, I prefer to specify 5 most beloved albums from the recent years
Steve Tibbetts – Life of
Séverine Ballon – Solitude
Audrey Chen – Runt Vigor
Frank Ocean – Blonde
omrr – Devils For My Darling
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Artistic freedom, respect and support towards originality, beautiful green surroundings, constant street constructions
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Omoni Restaurant, the North – East countryside, my house.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Disappear in a remote nature place, become self efficient and create…
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
The Necks – Mosquito/See Through
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Already collaborating with a number of loved artists, future wishes include Alexandre Schubert, Andrea Parkins, Meg Stuart.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I find this question quite limited since overall “best” is not relevant to me – the concept of it changing depending on the ever changing circumstances of life lived. An experience worth mentioning is the recording of my solo album ‘Modus of Raw’ during my residency in the Swiss Alps/Poschiavo, where after long days of hiking in the high mountains I would record by myself in the late hours, very special. It did change my own perspective on studio recording and inspired me to look forward to release more of my music after many years of not being motivated to do so due to my strong bond to live performance. I’d also mention the project ‘Into the dark’ with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop and Sabrina Hölzer as a performer and ‘Projecting [Space[‘ by Meg Stuart as a spectator…
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Discovering the world of electronics/digital and sound art after my move to the USA back in the nineties tremendously broadened my perception of sound and largely influenced the development of my musical vocabulary. It has been very inspiring and more and more appealing to collaborate and exchange with the digital world for the past years, especially after my move to Berlin in 2008.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have no siblings.
Biliana Voutchkova’s DARA String Festival will take place at Hošek Contemporary on 30th & 31st August!
Photo © Photomusix/C.Marx