In the BagBy:
Cvetelin Andreev has been playing the Rhodopean Kaba Gaida since 2005. Since then the gaida is always in his hands, mind and heart. He now performs at concerts, festivals, weddings and events and has playing with world-famous musicians such as Carlos Nunes and Theodosii Spassov. He began teaching the kaba gaida in 2010 to bothadults and kids. He founded http://www.kabagaida.com - a platform for kaba gaida online. Besides music, Cvetelin has been involved in technology startups since 2003 year acting as founder, partner and occasionally Java Full Stack software developer. Founder of OfficeInTheWoods.com, as well as running a kindergarden. He practices sustainable gardening and lifestyle.
What bagpipes do you play?
I play Bulgarian Kaba Gaida
What led you to take up piping?
I guess the Rhodope mountains. In the summer of 2004 I went trekking. My next memory from these times is that in the winter of 2005 I was holding my first kaba gaida in front of my first gaida teacher, playing in a student’s dormitory.
Which pipers do you most admire?
I’m influenced by the traditional performance and ornamentation style of the kaba gaida players in the village of Gela. I admire the old masters of Kaba Gaida - Lazar Kanevski, Mihail Kalfov. Nikolay Belyashki, one of the few traditional style makers, is another favourite of mine regarding his attitude to the kaba gaida.
Name three, non-piping-related musical influences
Teodosii Spasov, Gilberto family, Thievery Corporation
What three albums are top of your playlist right now?
Recently I’m listening mostly: Mozart, Deva Premal, My daughter’s singing
If you had your life again, what instrument would you play?
I’m 31. I play also a bit guitar, kaval and piano. I think I have enough time to learn couple of new instruments: clarinet/saxophone, tambura, gadulka. Of course the Kaba Gaida is a top instrument.
Name your favourite music festival.
Carnaval Multicultural Recife-Olinda
What three words describe your piping style?
Simple, traditional, sharp
Bellows or mouth-blown?
Cats or dogs?
Do you prefer playing, dancing or both?
Cane or plastic reeds?
Elder : -) One piece. Hard to tune and makes deep and soul-touching sound that comes from the nature.
What’s your greatest musical achievement?
When I listen my 4 years old daughter to play on the small gaida, the flute and the piano.
What’s your most embarrassing bagpiping moment?
Here I include mine and those of friends of mine, as they are not to be missed! Playing with a gaida out of tune, drone falling apart, falling from the stage, pouturi (the pants of the kaba gaida player) falling down
What advice would you give a novice?
Find a good teacher
I love bagpipes because…
They bring me calm and joy. They open new opportunities.