Checked out your Balkan experiment, sounded good. When I saw Balkan music in the headline, I had to read it.
When I was in my early 20’s, I lived in a house that had about 20 bands practicing in it and countless dozens of touring bands staying overnite. The only elder roommate was a guy in his 50’s who was from the folk music side but got along with us who were more progressive in newer styles. There were a number of up and coming speed guitarists who not only studied the rock and jazz greats, but also the likes of Chopin and Beethoven in an effort to improve their chops. He would invite them for a session of smoking and drinking and listening to his vintage Boris Karlov albums from the 20-50’s that he had and blow their minds. The speed, accuracy, clarity and scale craziness that Karlov played was an inspiration to every one of them. Who would have thought that an accordion player playing Balkan music was such a progressive musician?
When I meet similar guitarists today, I find myself doing the same as he did, recommending Karlov as a must listen and be inspired by. For the saturated field of speed players, Karlov brings a very uniquely different spectrum of eargasm. I never thought I would even like Balkan music, but it is strange how a good friend and an open mind brings one to a better place in music.
To this day, I listen to many different styles of cultural music for inspiration and to break the monotony of what the music industry tries to feed us. I frequently use virtual instruments from those cultures in my music. It is many times one would hear an instrument made hundreds of years ago in a hip hop, r & b, rock, or jazz song that I have composed. They might not know it by ear, but it is there mingling with the other sounds of the song.
As a modern example for those musicians who don’t see the value, two very successful teams of composers who have dozens of number 1 songs and countless Grammy’s, are Timbaland and the Neptunes. Both use tons of instruments and cultural inspiration from many styles of ethnic music. The last 5 years of Pop music and R & B has been flooded with inspiration and direct layouts from Latin, Caribbean, AfroCuban, Haitian, and various African cultures.
I see you are carrying an open mind to music variety also. Awesome.