Saturday, January 17, 2009

BUL-GAY-RIA

This is a post that I've been sitting on for a while, I was a bit unsure how to talk about this shit without sounding like a complete fag. Anyway, this is the Bulgarian National Radio Choir (Or something like that) they sing this sort of beautiful nonsense that I first heard while listening to Donal Dineen's Small Hours program on Today FM when I was a wee boy, i taped it and while I had no clue who did it, what it was or why I liked it I was constantly listening to it all the time.
Later I found out through a Radio one documentary that some herbert ethnomusicologist went out to Bulgaria and recorded these ladies voices, then that Ivo Watts-Russell fella who owned 4AD records licensed them off him and released them on an album called 'Mystere Des Voix Bulgares'. The album became kind of popular and ended up winning a Grammy for best folk or something. They went on tour and ended up recording a few numbers with Kate Bush. I don't really know if this sort of thing still goes down back in Bulgaria. I hope it does.
Now for the gay bit. The thing that got me was the strange open-ness in their throats, a weird sound that comes out sounding like a woman crying combined with what I imagine the lump you get in your throat after watching Forest Whitaker's character die in 'Ghost Dog' sounds like. I half got the gist that somewhere back in the 16th century those villain's the Turks decided that Bulgaria would be the shining example of how conversion to Islam was a good and fairly easy thing to do to christian Europe. Things didn't go that well and the ever cruel Ottomans came up with the great Idea of kidnapping young Bulgarian boys, training them as extremely cruel warriors of the Jihad and then sending them back to convince their former countrymen to convert, failing that they would hang whole villages on wooden stakes, torture, rape and burn churches.
Living in a religious battle ground, the weird cruelty used against them (the Ottomans had a rather unique way of turning their rulers into sadistic mad men through solitary confinement in palaces if memory serves me right) and the the eventual conquer of Bulgaria led to a very, very sad bunch of oppressed people and as we all know as Irish men and women oppression comes out socially in really weird ways (look at what your great-grandparents did for hobbies: playing the fiddle, bombing England, drinking until they were blind). So yeah Turkey fucked about with Bulgaria in the sixteenth century and then when I was seventeen I heard about it in my room and it sounded like a collection of noises I had never heard before, I really mean that. This is something that I really couldn't have imagined before hearing it and its one of my favorite things.

I like their little cover at the end hahaaha

1 comment:

tugboat said...

this is just crazy stuff

it's like this insane mix of all these things you would think would sound awful together but it's just done wonderfully

gold-diggin as usual rob, thanks mate