Award-Winning Bulgarian Women's Choir Performs at Denison
Date of Event: November 28, 2006
Posted: November 27, 2006
PLEASE NOTE: This Concert Has Been Canceled
Because of poor weather and resulting travel issues in Europe, Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares will not be able to perform inon Tuesday (Nov. 28). There is no alternate performance date. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Denison University's Lilly Artist Series presents the Grammy award-winning women's choir ensemble, Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, for their Denison debut at 8 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 28) in Swasey Chapel.
In 1951 Philip Koutev, known as the father of Bulgarian concert folk music, established the Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic. His goal was to join the rich heritage of his country's solo folk songs with harmonies and arrangements that would highlight their beautiful timbres and irregular rhythms. The result was the hauntingly beautiful sound of the women's choir, which has been recognized around the world. "It is impossible to train somebody to sing like this. These women are born with this ability," says Dora Hristova, longtime leader of Les Mysteres. "If you are not born with the right physiology you can easily damage your vocal chords because the tension of the air passing through them is so great to make the sound so piercing and strong," she continues.
The vocal technique was once widespread in Europe, but the historical circumstances meant that it was only preserved in Bulgaria. The Ottoman oppression isolated Bulgaria from European vocal culture while it developed a bel canto vocal style. In European bel canto resonance is in the head and chest while in Bulgarian singing the resonance is always in the chest. Consequently, the vocal range is restricted to only an octave.
The ensemble's first, self-titled, album was published in 1975. Followed by a second album, "Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares vol.II," which was granted a Grammy award in 1990. Their third album, "Rituals," was nominated for a Grammy award in 1994. Since becoming a sensation with its first release in the West in 1987, the group has collaborated with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Tuvan throat singers. They have also inspired other artists. "Our song 'Uncle John's Band' was inspired by the village music of Bulgaria," says Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Lilly Artist Series presents the world famous Bulgarian women's choir, Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares; 8 p.m., Tuesday (Nov. 28), Swasey Chapel. Free and open to the public. Call 740-587-5727 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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