photo © yev kazannik
–– about

initiated in 2017 by bilyana furnadzhieva, crystal sound project is a nomad. it combines sculptures in porcelain, electroacoustic music, multiple languages, cultures and genres.

in 2018, hélène nguyen thien dao described the project as one that reunites the civilizations.

since its debuts, furnadzhieva and benev formed the core of the pluridisciplinary project with collaborative thinking in mind. in the past years, they have worked with a roster of international artists and technicians including selma savolainen, jean paul celea, artëm naumenko, åsa öhrn, axel rigaud, aida nosrat, babak amir mobasher, lea lu, arabella cortese, philippe teissier du cros, petko tanchev, wally hsu, yves chiu and others.

the eponymous debut album, released in 2018 formed the foundations of the project's artistic direction — one of concepts. crystal sound puts in use recorded and manipulated audio material coming exclusively from the sculptures. benev's growing interest in field recordings and sampling techniques at that time was put in motion.

furnadzhieva further developped the concept by inviting selma savolainen to sing inside one of her sculptures and thus force the resonance of the object in order to add its acoustic properties to the recorded vocals in the album.

the participation of jean paul celea in the composition cassiopeia (written by benev for him) is the first work to conceptually put in perspective the porcelain sculptures among traditional classical instruments (in celea's case the double bass).

in the album there are two traditional finnish songs in original arrangements, a deliberate decision in order to bring different cultures together and use languages as pure sound material.

after the project's long-term residency in cité internationale des arts in the period 2018-2019, a new direction came naturally — that of freely improvising lyrics and music and thus confronting the whole ensemble to the spontaneous and the unknown.

it was in this experimental period confronting silence was born. both furnadzhieva and benev highly esteem the work of toru takemitsu and the japanese culture as a whole. stumbling upon the published writings taken out of the personal diaries takemitsu was keeping, the title came about and added the final missing element to the album.

confronting silence will be released in september 2023 for enovae records on limited edition vinyl and digital formats with furnadzhieva taking special care of the visual aspect of the whole production.

crystal sound project has played on numerous acclaimed european stages, has been featured on radio stations, has been in residencies in france, sweden and india and currently prepares its next album to be released in 2024 in collaboration with åsa öhrn.

lately, the project has been touring in a trio format with selma savolainen, drawing inspiration from the compositions of its debut album.

–– press & critics

“with this project you have achieved what is very difficult, if not impossible to accomplish in my opinion: to make acoustic experimental music without compromise or trendy electronic artifacts but with extraordinary musicality. it’s beautiful and unusual at the same time, rightfully infused with refinement with small pop or jazz details to keep the listener in a comfort zone and gently lead him/her into less marked territories, new sound spaces.”

gilles maté, err rec label

–– awards

prize / grant

grant for the edition of confronting silence and in the willow dream by the national culture fund of bulgaria
nominated finalist for the independent music awards in the eclectic genre with the single my lover's hands featuring the iranian singer aida nosrat
grant for recording crystal sound by the nguyen thien dao foundation

–– for booking inquiries