The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices: BooCheeMish (SACD)
featuring Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance)
HYBRID SUPER AUDIO CD
The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, also known as Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, are releasing their first studio album in over 20 years. For several tracks on "BooCheeMish", the renowned Bulgarian choir worked with Lisa Gerrard (co-founder of Dead Can Dance), who, like themselves, was also temporarily signed to the cult English label 4AD Records. This brings together singers from two camps whose voices are among the most distinctive on the music scene
The tracks on "BooCheeMish" were mostly composed, arranged and produced by Petar Dundakov. Some are entirely his own, but some are based on traditional folkloric songs and dances, to which he added his own ideas. Gerrard's contributions were made in collaboration with co-writer Jules Maxwell, who has worked with her for several years. The singer, who is also known for the soundtracks of films such as "Gladiator" and "Insider," has repeatedly cited the choir as a significant artistic influence after coming across its music in the early 1980s
Thanks to a successful fusion of Bulgarian folklore with traditional music from other cultures, the album preserves the unique characteristics of the voices, vocal styles and techniques of the individual choir members even in the accompaniment of a wide variety of acoustic string and percussion instruments such as gadulka or kaval or diverse rhythm providers (djembe, kanjira, riq) up to modern beatboxing
The debut album, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, when it was first released in 1975, offered "world music before that term even existed" (The Guardian), in the form of contemporary arranged Bulgarian folk songs performed by the "Women's Choir of the State Radio and Television of the Country of Bulgaria." This unadulterated, unique music - timeless melodies with goosebump-inducing, sumptuous harmonies created by the ensemble's throaty pressed vocals - was originally discovered and recorded during several trips by Swiss musicologist and producer Marcel Cellier to the formerly culturally isolated Eastern Bloc country
The magic of the ensemble, whose music was once described as a "marriage of the avant-garde with the Middle Ages", stems from the fact that it reproduces Bulgaria's storied vocal tradition in all its diversity and at the same time sounds captivatingly modern and original, due to its unmistakably choral structure - multi-part a capella arrangements in which the voices together take on unusual timbres as if they were not of human origin. Hristova describes them as "natural, pervasive organs, as if made for the wild, to communicate across fields and from one hilltop to another. Sound is produced in the larynx, with the rib cage serving as a resonating chamber. This requires strong breath pressure; anyone who sings this way must be very strong."
Among the choir's admirers were prominent musicians such as Paul Simon, Sandy Denny, Frank Zappa, members of Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Grateful Dead. However, like many groups that did not move in the world of conventional Western pop and rock and were only available on a small Swiss label, the choir almost fell into oblivion. It was only after more than ten years that the 4AD label reissued the album, reaching a whole new audience already enchanted by the unparalleled, otherworldly voices of singers Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance), who were already under contract there. In 1988, a second album was released via 4AD, which even won a Grammy in the USA as "best traditional folk recording"
Under the direction of conductor and musicologist Dora Hristova, the choir has performed over 1,250 times outside Bulgaria since the late 1980s, including in some of the world's most famous concert halls. Its members have also been asked to collaborate or sampled by musically diverse acts such as Kate Bush, U2 and Drake. However, with the retirement of producer Marcel Cellier, the flow of new recordings by the choir dried up and the choir was in danger of being forgotten for a second time
Incidentally, one of the choir's tracks is included on one of the "Golden Record" data discs aboard the two Voyager probes that were launched into space in 1977 with selected music as well as images meant to represent life and culture on Earth. Further proof that, since their inception, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices have been creating music that transcends cultural, national and spatial boundaries in spectacular ways
After more than 20 years, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, also known as Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, are releasing another studio album. For several tracks on BooCheeMish, the renowned Bulgarian choir collaborated with Lisa Gerrard, co-founder of Dead Can Dance. This brings together singers from two camps whose voices are among the most distinctive on the music scene.
Thanks to a successful fusion of Bulgarian folklore with traditional music from other cultures, the album preserves the unique characteristics of the voices, vocal styles and techniques of the individual choir members even in the accompaniment of a wide variety of acoustic string and percussion instruments such as gadulka or kaval, or diverse rhythm providers (djembe, kanjira, riq) up to modern beatboxing.
The limited edition of the hybrid SACD comes with a remastering by Andreas Torkler and Dieter Denzer that has been adapted to audiophile systems: less compression, better stereo image and significantly better audibility of the vocals are clearly distinguished from the normal CD in terms of quality on the DSD file mastered in 24 bit / 96khz.