Irfan Q & A Interview
Irfan is an ethereal world music band from Bulgaria, formed in 2001. Their sound is an original electro-acoustic world fusion, influenced by the sacred and folk music traditions of Bulgaria, the Balkans, Persia, the Middle East, North Africa and India, as well as by the musical and spiritual heritage of Byzantium and Medieval Europe. The integrity of Irfan’s sound bears the depths of an audio-archeology that explores the lost prehistoric universal human musical heritage in the layers of time.
Irfan return to Quantic on December 7th to promote their latest album. Special guest is none other than CORBU, who will complete this wonderful evening of native and Balkan folklore.
- First of all, how and when did you start the idea of making this kind of music? And why did you chose to create “world music”?
Back in 2001 Ivo and I (Kalin) met and decided to start such a musical project that would bind all our common interests in music, ancient cultures, history and arts. I’m not sure if what we do is exactly world music but folk music and early music and dark ambient music were definitely among our influences when we started.
- Can you tell me the etimology of the word “Irfan”? And what does it metaphorically means to you?
Literary it means “Gnosis” (from Persian and Arabic). A secret or mystic knowledge. It’s a term that we borrowed from the Sufi tradition. It’s a metaphore for the eternal human quest for the transcendental reality that’s beyond our conventional thinking and understanding.
- Is it true that Dead Can Dance was your main influence at the beggining? And also, what other bands had an impact on your music?
DCD was among the bands that inspired us in the beginning. We were influenced also by bands and artists like Vas, Stellamara, Susan Deyhim, Rajna, L’Ham de Foc, Arcana, etc.
- What’s the novelty of “Roots”, comparing to your other albums?
Our new album is a journey towards our roots, our traditions, our ancestors and their legacy. It’s inspired by the Bulgarian Folklore music and it’s our own interpretation of some less known Old Bulgarian traditional songs.
- Who is involved in the music and lyrics composition? All of you or do you have someone designated for this?
For the previous three albums it was mainly Ivo, Denitsa and I (Kalin) but also Kiril (ex member of Irfan) who were involved in the compositon process. And for the new album it was mainly Ivo, Yasen and Darina (our new female singer) who made the arrangements of the traditional tunes.
- What’s your setlist for the concert in Bucharest? Are you going to play those songs that made you known to the public, or are you focusing on your newest album?
The setlist for our show in Bucharest will represent both our brand new songs from the Roots album and some of the most essential songs from our previous albums.
by Eduard Farcas