My adoration for the secular and religious music of Eastern Europe and beyond reaches its peak with Le Mystere de Voix Bulgares, also known as The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir (or BSRTFVC for ‘short’).
The recordings of this choir, Le Mystere de voix Bulgares volumes, have acquired almost cult status since their release in the 1980s on the marvellous 4AD. BSRTFVC’s fame has been helped along by various popular Western artists seeking to adopt the exoticism of the Soviet (or post-Soviet for later on) traditions for themselves. This is nicely illustrated in the video below. Kate Bush doubtless makes the best job of such a feature. Her voice is not far off the traditional ‘open throat’ tone and versatilty. She also heralded the importance of another of my staple choral favourites, The Rustavi Choir – a male chorus from Georgia, introducing them to a wider audience using this sample of ‘Tsintskaro’ in her wondrous song ‘Hello Earth‘ (Hounds Of Love, 1985).
The BSRTFVC are set to perform in London on 24 September at The Barbican. It’s going to be miraculous. As a taster, here is a somewhat Lynchian short film which features ‘Pritouritze planinata’ (Le Mystere de Voix Bulgares Vol 1, 1985) as its soundtrack. I’ve no idea where this is from, or what it’s for, but it IS special.