Kalin Nikolov and His Bass in the Theatre 5 December 2019

Part of project “Tireless People under 40”

Kalin Nikolov – age 37

Supported by NIVEA

I wish you would listen to Kalin’s music while reading this text. I have placed in the text links directly to his music.

Music from Fasten

Music from Observers

Music from The Black Swan

Kalin is a composer and creates one of the most important components of a theatre production, film, or series – the music. Kalin represents the new generation of composers and he has appeared at an important time. When I joined the theatre, most directors used ready music, mainly from big films by great composers. Not that there were no such artists in Bulgaria, there were simply no sanctions for illegal use of music. No one was tracking the copyright. There were directors who did not use this practice. I do not judge anyone, those were just the times. I have always liked copyrighted music, one that is especially created for the theatre production. I had a large collection of soundtracks, and I still do. I have looked for months for some soundtracks. I remember going crazy about the music from the movie “The Piano”. But at that time such music was rare for Bulgarian productions. So, Kalin entered the business sometime then. When it became clear that this practice could not continue. He started to make music for Javor Gardev’s productions. Kalin’s music was amazing. For me, this was a huge motivation. How to describe it, it was like a beginning of a new era, more modern, a better one. A serious puff of the New stirred from Kalin’s music. Theatre productions became different. More intriguing and more Western. I became a big fan of him. I caught myself watching theatre productions for which he wrote music, only to hear what he had created. Sometime there I met him. Around the rehearsals of “King Lear”. A large-scale theatre production of Javor Gardev, an important production, because it was the last one with Naum Shopov. Kalin wrote great music. He recorded female vocals with Denitsa Serafimova, and that really gave a scale to the production.

Music from King Lear

He is the type of musicians who go to rehearsal just like the actors. Every day. He creates music from the rehearsals, from what we talk, how we rehearse, how we advance. There was equipment in those times, but not like now. He used a wheelbarrow, quite large one, with a speaker, a mixer, a computer and a bunch of other gadgets on it. He sat in the front row, one ear with a headphone, and the other listening to the rehearsing. We rehearsed, he composed themes. Quite often, at the end of rehearsals, he played for us what he had written. He was playing it on the speaker and we were all listening. In theatre, music is really motivating to the actors. We got such an enthusiasm from it. Especially at the end of rehearsals, when we were close to the premiere, and when Kalin was bringing all the music and we were adjusting it on the production. Exceptional feeling. When something dry starts to become juicy. Just when you are already desperate that the months of rehearsals are a failure, comes the music of Kalin Nikolov, you hear the bass, the rhythms, the voices and you are ready to conquer the stage. I can safely say that he is one of my great inspirers in theatre. I do not think I know an actor who is not a fan of him. He started traveling with Javor Gardev to put productions abroad. And all successful. After that we rehearsed quite a lot together. He has written music for about 60 theatre productions and films. When we were realising our productions at “Three Bears”, Kalin was part of our team. We did not think about it, it just could not happen without him. He made the music for “ART” and “Dakota”. My phone still rings with the music themes from these productions.

Kalin is also an enthusiast. He is always ready to respond. During “Dakota”, he wrote a very cool piece. Somehow it sounded like a summer hit to me. We were messing about it and I said I would write a text. At that time popular was the joke with “Ikebana”, a silly piece we had fun with. So, I wanted a similar text. I wrote a total nonsense. Zachary and Julian said it was mega dumb and they would distance themselves from it. However, Kalin said it was cool and so we ended up recording it at his place. I with the microphone, he on the mixer. I caw, he spins buttons. We laughed a lot and at the end we had a piece. This piece did not see the light of day, because of you know who. Last year I asked him again for help when I recorded another song. So, you can always count on him.

Music from Geshev

Music from Bubblegum

I want to say something about Kalin himself. In addition to being talented, he is terribly modest and delicate. These human qualities seem to make him even more talented. His modesty really beautifies him. He never engages in intrigues, gossips, and quarrels. Never. When such things come up, he even blushes. He is different from the noisy and selfish nature of the actor. But he is one of them and creates for them. Pay attention to the composers. We have many talented ones.

Now he continues creating. There are currently dozens of theatre productions for which he has made music. He works with many directors, writes music for films as well. He has dozens of awards. I think each year he gets one or two. Of the productions I play in, he has written the music for “God of Carnage”. Please note two great pieces there – at the beginning and at the end. Perfect for ringtones. He is currently studying for a sound-engineer and is a full-time student at Sofia University. “There is always something new to learn”, as he put it.

And last. For one of the favourite productions “Art”, Kalin wrote music for the end scene, when we all had monologues. Just hearing the first notes, it was unlocking something in me that was making me cry. When I hear it now it saddens me, I begin to think of everything that ………

Music from АРТ



Supported by NIVEA

Follow Kalin on Facebook

Here is Kalin’s website

Text – Vladimir Karamazov

Translation from Bulgarian – Diana Dimitrova

Photographer – Vladimir Karamazov for #karamazovfoto


06.12.2019                                                                             Vladimir Karamazov®