Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares
On Tour Autumn 2011
"A breathtakingly beautiful sound like nothing else in the history of music." NME
Internationally renowned vocal ensemble Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares blend traditional songs with contemporary arrangements. Formerly known as the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir, the group was created in Bulgaria by Philip Koutev, aka ‘the father of Bulgarian concert folk music’.
It was the release of Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares Vol.1 in 1986 on British indie label 4AD that brought the choir to the attention of the wider world. The album had first been released in 1975 on Disques Cellier, a small label run by Swiss ethnomusicologist and producer Marcel Cellier who had been working on the project for some 15 years by then. In the 80s, Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of 4AD, was introduced to the choir from a third or fourth generation audio cassette lent to him by Peter Murphy, singer from the band Bauhaus. Watts-Russell became entranced by the music, and tracked down and licensed the recordings from Cellier.
The Observer wrote about the release: "When this thrilling, spine-tingling soundtrack first struck Western ears, back in 1986, the effect seemed almost frightening in its intensity, like a Greek tragedy. The women’s voices combine in a haunting mixture of harshness and purity, the very opposite of the Western notion of a ladies’ choir although many of them were, in fact, members of the Women’s Chorus of Bulgarian State Radio. This is not simple folk music. The songs themselves are ancient, mostly dating from the years of Turkish domination, but shaped and refined over the years by the singers themselves, working with some of Bulgaria’s leading composers. If you have not yet experienced the mystery of Bulgarian voices, don’t let the chance pass by."
Now conducted by Dora Hristova, the Grammy Award-winning ensemble have toured the globe to great acclaim, carving a distinctive voice within the rich heritage of Bulgaria’s folk song. Following a sold-out tour last year, the choir return to the UK to play a special one-off London concert in September (as part of the Barbican’s Transcender Festival), before going on to tour the country in October-November 2011.
Sat 24 September – LONDON Barbican
As part of the Transcender Festival
020 7638 8891 http://www.barbican.org.uk
Wed 19 October – BELFAST Ulster Hall
As part of the Belfast Festival
02890 971197 http://www.belfastfestival.com
Thu 20 October – EDINBURGH Usher Hall
0131 228 1155 http://www.usherhall.co.uk
Fri 21 October – MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall
0161 907 9000 http://www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk
Sat 22 October – GATESHEAD The Sage Gateshead
0191 443 4661 http://www.thesagegateshead.org
Mon 24 October – CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
01223 357851 http://www.cornex.co.uk
Tue 25 October – BRISTOL Colston Hall
0117 922 3686 http://www.colstonhall.org
Fri 28 October – LEEDS Town Hall
0113 224 3801 http://www.leedsconcertseason.com
Sun 30 October – BIRMINGHAM Town Hall
0121 780 3333 http://www.thsh.co.uk
Tue 1 November – BRIGHTON Dome
01273 709709 http://www.brightondome.org
Wed 2 November – BASINGSTOKE Anvil
01256 844244 http://www.anvilarts.org.uk