Have you ever heard of Момо, the Michael Ende’s character? We met her at the Bach Pillow Concert. Little Momo brings back to people the time that’s being stolen from them. With the help of Secundis Minutius Hora, the Master of time, and his wonderful turtle Cassiopeia, Momo stands against the Grey Men – the thieves of human time, and frees the world from their dark power. Actually, this is a story from the favourite children’s book of Tea and Hristo – our Family of the month for May, and Momo is the nickname of their little daughter Samuila. We are talking with Tea and Momo because Hristo is currently abroad, but this doesn’t stop him to be a passionate visitor of the Pillow Concert, whenever he can.
MODO: How old is Momo?
Tea: In Мay she will turn two. Her birthday comes at the end of the month. I was just telling her: “You know what Momo? In May there will be a special book for you!”
MODO: How did you find out about the Pillow Concert?
Tea: Friends of ours are visiting you, they have a daughter a bit older than Momo. Actually we were discussing with them what could we do in the dark cold winter weekends with the children and where we can go with them, and that is how we found you.
MODO: When did this happen?
Tea: I looked it up and found out that the first time we came to a Pillow concert was at the beginning of December 2013. Our first concert was with oboe and piano. A guy from Greece was playing the oboe. It was wonderful! Momo was very young – she was still on my breast and was cuddling up to me and Hristo. We were able to enjoy the whole concert. Then I remember the concert at the Military Club, which was a huge success. Then it comes one of my favourite ones – Pillow concert for flute, harp and marimba. Generally we come whenever we can. We are also a next-door neighbour to the Union of the architects’ building. Sometimes we joke that besides pillows we come in slippers and pyjamas here too.
MODO: What do you like about us?
Tea: I can tell you that personally I am absolutely happy with the Pillow Concerts. Momo and I are often left all by ourselves. I take care of her by myself and I don’t have the opportunity to go to any concert for adults. So you could say that going to the Pillow Concerts is my way to reach music. It is great that in some way I can share this with the little one.
MODO: Do you listen to classical music in your everyday life?
Tea: Yes, I do listen to classical music and I miss it very much. Why do all concerts for adults start at 19:00? Couldn’t some of them start at 21:00, when kids would be already asleep and their grandmas can stay with them? Going to Pillow Concert helps me catch up with this. Another thing that I love is the free format which truly allows entire families to attend the event, no matter what age are their children and how noisy, quiet or calm. Besides, I’m sure that when children grow up they will become true admirers of the classical music.
MODO: Tell us more about your interest in classical music: you are in the musician profession, or you just love to listen to music?
Tea: I am a biologist by education. I work for a non-governmental organization Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. So professionally I am far away from music, but I have loved classical music since I was a kid, and jazz too.
MODO: Where is this love coming from? Do you have any childhood memories connected to music?
Tea: I think I love classical music because at home my parents were listening to it and I grew up with three types of LPs: records of fairy tales, jazz and classical music. When I became older my parents brought me to concerts. But I’ve never really had serious knowledge and I think that I became a music fan along with Momo – I keep all of the Pillow Concerts’ programmes. In the evenings, when possible, I look up on the web for more information about the musical pieces, and listen to all of them again. When Momo was very young, we remained for the lessons that you used to make – they were great. It’s a pity that you don’t do them anymore.
MODO: Have you noticed what attracts Momo’s attention during the Pillow Concerts, or which is her favourite instrument?
Tea: I think that the percussions are our instruments and also music that is rhythmical, melodicр and you can dance on it, for example the music of the Brass quintet. O, now that we speak of, I remember the Chopin Pillow Concert with the waltzes! It was wonderful – she didn’t stop dancing. So it is not an instrument but the music that has an impact on her.
Tea likes our magazine (the predecessor of Artelezhka). Through it she was introduced to Modo’s different projects and to interesting facts from the world of music. She has chosen the profession of biologist because of the opportunity it gives her to travel and to be outdoor. The musical journeys we do this season helps her to enrich her musical culture. Tea runs away from the city whenever she can – whether to visit Momo’s father, in Italy or in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, it doesn’t matter. It is important for the place to have rich culture, history and delicious food.
Tea: I constantly learn new things from the Pillow Concerts. My specialties are bats and birds, so today the music for the blackbird was very interesting. (We were talking about Bach Pillow Concert – MODO note). It was a treat for me, just great! I educate myself musically alongside the kids, and I am confident that if Momo was not born, I would not be here. I wouldn’t spare every Sunday to come and then to read and discover new things about music.
МODO: Do you want Momo to go into the music field when she grow up?
Tea: I would like very much when she grows up and if she wants to, to begin playing an instrument. No matter what and no matter for how long. It would be nice, if we don’t press children for achievements and to become musicians but to simply give them the chance to contact with music. I found out that children in high schools do not learn arts, unless they attend a school with a special programme! This is shocking! For instance in a city like Russe, there is a tradition in learning a musical instrument, and almost all children play piano, or at least they have had some lessons. This is a treasure! No matter what you will do after that, how far you’ve gone in your training, and how accomplished you have become. I believe that every child should have that opportunity.
МODO: If you have to make you own Pillow Concert – what will it be?
Tea: A Pillow Concert with students from the Music School. I think children will be fascinated and will stick to the small musicians! I imagine that you can invite them to present different instruments – something like the Double Bass Pillow Concert with Svoboda Bozduganova and her two students. At that concert, besides being very pleasant, she also gave an example. It felt very nice how these great musicians teach young people and give them opportunities to express themselves. Also, I think that kids react differently when they see a child playing. In the last or penultimate issue of the magazine one dad said that he will also sign up for piano lessons. This is an idea! I can follow suit.
МODO: Wish us something!
Tea: I wish you to continue on the same path and to have a very successful summer in which we can enjoy beautiful music outdoors. And your personal projects to be as successful as MODO’s projects!
Interview by Didi Brankova, Pillow Concerts’ coordinator.
Photography by Minko Minev, http://minkominev.com