April 5, 2018 (Los Angeles, California) – Prophecy Productions is proud to announce the release of The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices' first new album in over twenty years on May 25th, 2018. The album titled BooCheeMish features globally revered vocalist and Dead Can Dance co-founder Lisa Gerrad on four tracks. This collection of astounding new songs combines the choir's unique and internationally acclaimed vocal style with modern and world music influences.
The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices is an all-female choir that dates back to the early 1950s. They deliver the striking and forceful harmonies innate to the Bulgarian singing tradition. Lisa Gerrard explains “When I went to go see those women when I was a kid…I thought that’s it, that’s the top, you can’t go any further!” And now performing with them she enthuses “it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given (apart from receiving the holy spirit and having my daughter) this is it. This is it for me.” Gerrard’s contributions are co-written with Jules Maxwell, a musician with whom she has worked for several years. Gerrard has also garnered critical acclaim for her work on movie soundtracks including "Gladiator" and "The Insider."
Peter Dundakov, who wrote and arranged the majority of the songs on BooCheeMish told Radio Bulgaria that "a conscious decision was made that the album should remain entirely acoustic. No electronic instruments are used, although at times the sound is quite modern and the album even features world-famous Bulgarian beatboxer SkilleR."
Early on, the choir’s music found favor with famous admirers like Paul Simon, Sandy Denny, Frank Zappa, members of Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Grateful Dead. But it was in the 1980s when 4AD reissued the record that it got the attention of artists like Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and Lisa Gerrard. The album won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Recording in 1990. Choir members have worked with or been sampled by artists as diverse as Kate Bush, U2 and Drake.
The music has been described as “the marriage of the avant-garde and the Middle Ages,” which is testament to the ensembles ability to master Bulgaria’s diverse, age-old vocal traditions while simultaneously sounding strikingly modern and original. This is due to the unique choral music structure - multi-part a cappella arrangements that transform its collective sound into something other worldly or not quite human. Conductor Dora Hristova describes it as “a natural, piercing sound for the outdoors to carry across the fields or from hilltop to hilltop. The sound is created in the larynx and resonates in the chest. It requires great pressure of the breathto create the sound and you must be very strong to sing in this fashion.”
Executive Producer Boyana Bounkova has largely been responsible for this new album. She recently told Radio Bulgaria “I invited Petar Dundakov to write music for the choir. He is a young composer, but with experience in classical choir and orchestra music, and in the past – in pop music. [Lisa Gerrard is] also co-author of several of the songs. We also invited Irish composer Jules Maxwell…The choir sings to the accompaniment of different instruments and that too is something new, changing the way they sound altogether, bringing them closer to world music."
"These are the singers that won [endorsements] from such pop superstars as Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, George Harrison, Bobby Mcferrin, Midori…" the Chicago Tribune wrote, "…it is a sound that preserves ancient folk traditions in contemporary arrangements-music that paradoxically is wedded to the Bulgarian soil but that seems to gather the whole world in its emotional embrace."