Resonance of Bells in Bulgarian Creative Works – Access to Some Problems of Cultural Reception

Dedicayed to the memory
of the iconographer
Atanas Karklisiyski
1The permanent museum display of National Revival Period iconography in the Varna church of “Saint Atansiy” also houses a painting of A. Karklisiyski, who is a representative of the Shoumen Iconography School (mid-19<sup>th</sup> century). It is interesting to know, that this church’s bell, placed there during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828 – 1829, began ringing right on 6<sup>th</sup> of December 1828. Cited from: “History of the “Saint Atanasiy” church – Varna – http://www.sv-atanasii-varna.org/history_bg.php Last visited – 27.11.2015.

Editor’s note: This study was presented, together with multimedia materials before the scientific community at the NMA “Professor Pancho Vladigerov” on December 3rd 2015.

This paper is a first attempt at integral understanding of the sound of church bells in this country as access to certain problems of cultural reception by exploring three typical areas in Bulgarian creative works – scientific, literary-poetic and music.

The reception of bell sounds with respect to the scientific area covers in general complex cultural-historical and archeological drilling, architectural-building sites, production and functions of bells, analysis of bells as physical-acoustic objects with their practically-applied possibilities. This paper refers in particular to the fundamental and unique dissertation paper of Prof. Dobri Paliev, D.A. (1928-1997) „Bells, Clappers and Shepherd’s Bells in Bulgaria“ from the 80 of the 20th century and the relevant reception arising from his scientific system – a first-of-its-kind modern research project with strategic potentials concerning our cultural traditions.

The attempt at systematizing cultural reception models of bell images and sounds in the Bulgarian literary-poetic tradition is based on well-established formal-substantive criteria genre, subject-matter, expressiveness, composition, style, etc. Important documentaryhistorical facts in this tradition, related to the Bulgarian struggle for ecclesiastical independence, to the April Uprising and the Edirne Epic, reveal the transformation of the bell sounds from a ritual signal and external time marker into a chronotopic cultural reference, cultural memory and a type of distinctly structured cultural-historical consciousness through creation. The line in this creative area embraces also the fairy-tale and legend tradition, the integration of various religious and mundane festive events in the conception of creative works. Emphasis is placed on the importance of bell images and sounds as a peculiar psychological screen, and the effect of metaphoric and symbolic forms related to them is discussed – integral cultural concepts generalized in significant culturally meaningful topoi.

The resonance and the cultural reception of bells in the Bulgarian professional artistic music based on examples of both classical and modern works and authors directs the attention to three fundamental points 1) creative inspirations and impulses 2) creative compositional solutions technological aspects of synthesis in the compositional modeling processes 3) significance as spiritual value symbols. In the given context, determining is the common cultural archetype, while music is the specific creative esthetic space, where this archetype has found soil and is functioning as a cultural-esthetic phenomenon.

The conclusion of the paper is a brief visualization of some new creative fields in fine arts, sculpture and applied arts, which reveal new unsuspected aspects of richness and meaningful nuances, new spiritual insights and horizons. This closes the circle from the primal and universal social-signaling system of bells to their meaning and functions in the cultural-information field of Europe and of the world, in which the modern Bulgarian creative contributions deserve proper attention.

References   [ + ]

1. The permanent museum display of National Revival Period iconography in the Varna church of “Saint Atansiy” also houses a painting of A. Karklisiyski, who is a representative of the Shoumen Iconography School (mid-19<sup>th</sup> century). It is interesting to know, that this church’s bell, placed there during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828 – 1829, began ringing right on 6<sup>th</sup> of December 1828. Cited from: “History of the “Saint Atanasiy” church – Varna – http://www.sv-atanasii-varna.org/history_bg.php Last visited – 27.11.2015.