This summer, I had the lucky opportunity to learn the basics of kaval from Valeri Georgiev at the EEFC Mendocino Balkan Camp. I recently spoke with him over Skype to learn a bit about why he came to play the instrument and the role music has had in his life.
Georgiev grew up “a city boy” in Ruse, a city along the Danube on Bulgaria’s northern border with Romania. He was not raised in a musical family, but rather came upon folk music almost by accident. There was a building he would pass on his way home from school that often had interesting sounds coming from inside. One day, toward the end of 6th grade, his curiosity got the better of him and he walked up the steps to see what was going on.