Iron Curtain to Green Belt Artist Residency


Ivan Shopov

BSPB are hosting an artist residency which will celebrate the beauty of the landscape in Bulgaria and raise awareness of the conservation work they are doing for the protection of birds and their habitats. Bulgarian musician and composer Ivan Shopov will be working in collaboration with Nico de Transylvania and local communities to develop new music inspired by the natural and cultural landscape.

A priority for the artists will be to engage local folk singers and musicians, to preserve these traditions as well as direct people’s attention more to nature and the landscape. The idea is to raise awareness to the pressing environmental challenges we face and inspire people to make positive changes for nature.

‘I’ve worked for a long time with Bulgarian traditional songs, our culture which like nature is also at risk of being lost, and forgotten. This collaborative project is a perfect opportunity to work together creatively, to bring attention to these subjects and help preserve our natural and cultural heritage for the next generation.’ – Ivan Shopov

This residency is a collaboration with the winner of the ELSP Landscape Residency prize, Romanian-British musician and producer Nicoleta Carpineanu (Nico de Transilvania).  Working with the team from the charity she established, Forests Without Frontiers (FWF), she collaborated with local musicians and elders on a multi-media project, Interbeing, that celebrates traditional music and the beauty of the landscape in Romania.

Shopov and Nico de Transilvania will be co-creating new music tracks which tell the story of this landscape and the people that live there. In January they will be undertaking a research and development trip with the BSPB team, to explore the area and meet local folk singers and musicians, and hear about how local communities connect with the landscape, wildlife and natural heritage.

Through this artist residency, the BSPB team will explore the diverse tools that art provides, aiming to enhance their communication of the vital work they do. They hope this will help reconnect the bond between people and nature, showcasing how we can actively contribute to environmental solutions.

Art, as a powerful medium, will serve as a means to expand our message, elevate the visibility of our efforts, and resonate with individuals who may currently be unaware of the pressing environmental challenges we face.’ – Elitsa Ivanova

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About the Artists

Ivan Shopov

Ivan Shopov

Ivan Shopov is a painter, musician, producer, composer. A graduate from The National Academy of Arts in Sofia with an MA in Printmaking, Shopov creates artworks and posters for his own projects and popular artists in the electronic scene. He has been involved in over 250 musical releases, both solo and collaborative albums, establishing him as one of the leading figures in the European electronic underground, and released over 120 vinyls via his two labels Etheraudio Records and ABCD. Among his most popular releases are “ELATE” with Trigaida, “Kanatitsa” with Avigeya, “InFusion” with Theodosii Spassov, “Kuker” and “Orenda” with Бalkansky. With 20+ years of experience he’s also regularly working as a mixing and mastering engineer, and has toured internationally in the USA, South America, Russia, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. As a composer Shopov writes scores for contemporary dance and theater productions, including dance pieces by Derida Dance and scored the “Speculators” movie alongside the composer Maria Karakusheva, and is a lecturer in Analog and Digital Sound Design at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia.

Portrait by Ivaylo Petrov

Nico de Transilvania

Nico de Transilvania

Using music and film, Nico de Transilvania showcases Romania’s natural and cultural heritage to tell stories, link generations and dissolve barriers. Connections between cultural and ecological ecosystems are central to Nico’s creative practice. She sees celebrating ancient traditions, instruments and folk songs as intrinsically linked to environmental preservation. Nico is also involved with an initiative called Forests Without Frontiers, with the aim of planting trees for the future generations with the help of music and arts.