The Gega New Music Company
"Gega New" is established in December 1992 as a private music company with a main subject of activity producing and editing of music classics and folklore. Yuliana Marinova is its proprietor and manager. The prior experience of Marinova in the music industry is related to her work at the "Balkanton" State Company and later at the "Gega" Ltd., where she used to work as the executive director. She has vivid memories, related to the ideological selection of repertory, neputism and censorship. For example the whole circulation of the "Boney M" LP had been canceled, because of the hit "Rasputin". As well as "The White Sequence" with Bulgarian authors had been an occasion for fights and jumping over. Her next position becomes a cover for an Austrian proprietor pirating CDs.
Before making the step towards opening of the "Gega New" company Yuliana Marinova, who has a background in Economics, undertakes a marketing research in order to estimate the risk of her enterprise. Foreign friends almost like prophets predicted year after year the coming events of the 90-ties - the financial pyramids, the inflation, the corruption, the criminal offence.
All these shocks do not avoid "Gega New" either, the office has been "striped stark naked", Yuliana herself goes through two street assaults, which affect her business too. Nevertheless, she thinks that at the beginning it has been much easier for her, than it is at the moment, because of the opportunity to choose successfully your niche, because of the lower prices of honorary requirements and maybe because of the common enthusiasm. The first year 25 titles are edited - folklore, liturgy music, chamber music... At that time many people (and some of them today still) hardly make out the difference between state and private enterprise. Artists visited her to market themselves, even representatives of the Union of Bulgarian Composers summoned her to instruct her that she is obliged to produce editions of their works. At the moment "Gega New" not only doesn't avoid but also relies on private initiative of musicians - those who offer their product for edition, and at the same time have made effort to raise money and win a subsidy for the implementation of their project. In 2002 the "Gega New" offers a catalogue with 153 titles, the team consists of 12 people, and the nice music shop is situated in the centre of Sofia. It is especially designed for the "Gega New" production and it is one of the many shops in the chain of distributors. The considerable income derives from foreign commissioning of audio recordings and circulation, from partnership with foreign firms. The investment in a new album comes next. The publishing philosophy of the "Gega New" is based on the understanding that each genre has to find its own pathway and although unprofitable - just like for example chamber music is, to enrich the catalogue at least with one new title annually. There are no full time repertory advisors here, but the editing of each CD is a result of a consultative process in the professional community, gathering information and matching oppinions. For the 10 years of operation the Pancho Vladigerov music album is the best seller. This has encouraged "Gega New" to make a second edition of the album. One of the most unsuccessful on the market is the album of a prominent and talented Bulgarian avantguard composer - 197 copies out of 500 circulation have been sold for ten years.
According to Marinova the state damages the development of the music industry with the unbearable conditions for crediting, the slow delivering of legislation and adoption of the set of rules for application of laws, the unwillingness of the state to adopt a sponsorship law.
The general pressure, that subdues enlargement of initiative, is the common low standard of living. Maybe this is the reason why major companies do not open branches in Bulgaria. If they did, that could turn out to be an advantage able to attract foreign investment in Bulgarian culture. According to Yuliana Marinova the Bulgarian Law of Authors Rights and Congenial Rights is one of the best in the world and has already proved its efficiency. She herself is not afraid of pirate operating. She has noticed that in the last several years Bulgarians visiting MIDEM are not met with reminding of piracy for a welcome. Nevertheless the poor Bulgarian attendance in Cannes this year has grieved her - as if we had lagged behind in the music industry for years. Her attitude towards Internet sales is skeptical. She explains the standstill in that commercial development with psychological reasons, with the indiscretion concerning personal data like income, and facing global issues yet to arise. The little worm that just starts biting at the CD and erodes CD commerce is called CD-R. Why buy a CD that costs 10 BGN if you can re-record it for a 10 times lower price! One of the barriers against that temptation, according to Marinova may be found in design of the booklet and the packaging - a tendency already followed by many participants in the MIDEM this year.