Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares is known world-wide and has performed over 1250 concerts in the most prestigious halls around the world. The Grammy-winning choir specializes in both traditional and contemporary Bulgarian folk music and performs a cappella under the expert direction of conductor Prof. Dora Hristova, PhD.
The choir is “one of the most distinctive groups in the world” (Columbus Dispatch) and gives concerts of unearthly beauty for the enthused and very often cheering audience. The choir’s secret weapon is its harmonies that break your heart. To Western ears the intervals that are blended note choices sound unusual, even dissonant. Their microtonal harmonies produce a distinctive drone almost ungodly in its beauty. The fascination concerns one of the most unique sounds in music and multi-part a cappella arrangements delivered by up to 23 women dressed in traditional costumes representing the different regions in Bulgaria.
“The ‘mystery’ is in just how they combine diaphonic singing and dissonant harmonies to produce a breathtaking, otherworldly sound somewhere between the Muslim call to prayer and the Beach Boys”. (Guardian)
The ensemble’s appeal stems from its ability to capture the essence of Bulgaria’s diverse and age-old vocal traditions and at the same time to sound strikingly new and original, thanks to a unique choral arrangement approach. The programs of the choir contain beautiful folk traditional songs as well as some religious custom songs and church chants.
The choir sings songs that tell of life and old traditions in Bulgaria. In the past, small groups of young men and women would meet at “work parties” that were an excuse for young people to get together, flirt, and exchange vivid, full-voiced songs that formed the backbone of courtship across rural Bulgaria. Women would sing to the first signs of spring, to the harvest, and to the festive days around Christmas and Easter. With stops and glides that resounded magically off the mountainsides and across the fields surrounding these remote communities, Bulgarian women used their voices to awaken the love of their future husbands, the bounty of nature, and the joys of the season.
The choir has taken part in joint projects with famous musicians. The choir did the soundtrack for the video game Alone in The Dark, which was widely acclaimed around the world, and also recorded music composed especially for the choir by the two-time Grammy-winning American composer Christopher Tin.