The Six Musketeers
Honoring one of their own in San Jose
It was a truly a memorable evening, a reunion of brothers. Like a handful of Musketeers these friends of Alex Eppler are bonded by higher ideals - Bulgarian music. All for one and one for all! And they came together to honor one of their own!
But before I tell you about the musketeers, here is what Fred said after watching the film in Orange County.
"I loved the movie and the arc of the main character! I also loved the intimate setting of the world tour, the Q&A and the sense of community it creates."
We have received some questions about how the word tour is funded. People just can’t believe that oddball Bogdan is undertaking such an endeavor. The truth is that we’re entirely funded by the people! Even the sponsorship we secured for the summer tour in Bulgaria was given to us by another filmmaker and friend. While the tour in Bulgaria was emotionally a huge success, we have had barely any financial returns.
But Bogdan is crazy like that. For those who have known me for years, I have stopped at nothing to realize my vision for cinema and for the community cinema creates. “Kaval Park” is a living example of what is possible. I’m very fortunate that my wife, Mariya, supports me a hundred percent. Actually, she told me at the beginning of the summer,
“Bogdan, you have to go for it now! Don’t wait until next year or the right moment.”
Luckily, audiences both in the US and Bulgaria have also supported us wholeheartedly. Some of you have also asked where you can support my cinema and community work with a reoccurring donation. We give you two choices bellow.
THE SIX MUSKETEERS (honoring one of their own)
Bill Cope (far left in the image) was our host for the showing of “Kaval Park” in San Jose. Bill and Alexander Eppler met in the late seventies and played many concerts together. Bill plays the tambura and the gaida. "Alex told me I was the only one who could keep up with his playing," he remembers. "He was always very kind to me and instrumental in teaching me Bulgarian music."
John Gibson (far right), who also met Alex in the seventies, had a very different experience. "Alex told me I had wooden fingers and was quite critical of me," says John. Perhaps every student requires a different approach... John is quick to add that Alex was a huge inspiration to him and they remained good friends for the next forty years.
Victor Robin, next to John in the image, also met Alexander in the seventies. Victor digitized many authentic melodies of Alex playing at Mendocino Camp in the 70s. You hear two of those melodies in the film! One when we first hear Alex play the kaval. The other at the end of the film!
Next to Victor is Bruce who said, "I was one of those Americans Alex could talk to about anything. We've had many meaningful and deep conversations over the years."
To my left is fellow Bulgarian Nikolay, who once belonged to a rock band. He often says with reverence,
“All of the Americans who value our culture and folklore inspired me to learn Bulgarian folk dances.”
Victor Robin, bellow, gifts me a kaval made in 1969 by the famous maker of kavals bai Slavi Ivanov. His grandson is featured in the film!
Master craftsman bai Slavi Ivanov at his shop.
Bai Slavi Ivanov at work! You will recognize this exact setting from the film when his grandson talks about where Eppler sat watching the master work.
We reenact the poster!
A truly meaningful moment and gift!
It's 1AM and Bill Cope has decided to teach us circular breathing.
Laughter flows - it's only natural!
The six musketeers! All for one and one for all! Honoring one of their own - Alexander Eppler (featured on our t-shirts)! Actually, we’re seven musketeers, counting maestro Vasil Denev!
With singer Maria Babalekova and friend Albena! Their bags are handmade by Lubka in Bulgaria. We have been selling them on the tour and thus supporting Lubka who is now a retired 75 year old!
The gentleman in the picture above met Alex in 1975.
"Alex walked up to my wife, who plays the kaval, and asked to borrow her instrument. Then, he walked away into the woods. Everything was quiet for a moment. Suddenly, we all hear him play a beautiful Bulgarian melody. Coming from the trees. We were all transfixed."
SAVE THE DATE
02.04.2023 - Chicago
TICKETS BULGARIA 2022
And we just added Veliko Tarnovo and four other destinations at the beginning of December. Find out more here on our site.
We have also added photos and the stories that go with them from Orange County!
See you at the movie theatre!