Dear Friends of Bulgaria,

The Bulgarian Culture and Heritage Center in Seattle (BCHCS) is raising funds to insure Bulgarian traditional music recordings, collected by the American ethnographer and Balkan dance specialist, Martin Koenig, will become part of the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection made available to future generations to enjoy.

Martin Koenig is the person who gave a wide international exposure of the Bulgarian national heritage with the recording of the Bulgarian folk song “Izlel e Delyo Haydutin” performed by Valya Balkanska and placing it on the Voyager Golden Record that was sent into space.

The funds will be used to publish a 2-CD package of 37 tracks of music showcasing traditional artists, accompanied by a 12”x12”, coffee-table-sized bilingual hardcover book containing extensive notes and photographs that Martin Koenig took of the Bulgarian musicians and dancers he worked with, photographs that bring to life the daily routines, and celebratory rituals of a Bulgaria that no longer exists.

Collected between 1966 and 1979, these materials remember and pay tribute to musical forms and artists of the highest caliber who were the bearers of this extraordinary tradition, a bright thread in the overall fabric of human musical creation. Today, the music has been all but lost in the wake of intrusive, overpowering forces of globalization. Keeping it a part of our collective memory will give continued life to a marker of extraordinary human accomplishment that shows the brilliance of extraordinary, yet ordinary, people from Bulgarian village life.

Please help us keep the music playing and the dancers dancing by making a contribution of whatever size. For more information and for a direct donation to the organization you can visit:

All donations of $250 and above will be acknowledged in the 12 x 12 hardcover book being published by Smithsonian Folkways.

Thank you kindly!