The Top 100 started as a hobby; a fan adoring his musical heroes and paying tribute by making portraits of them. The hobby became obsession and the project went from the boy’s room into the art world. But I'm still that fan, it's about them in the end, their music, and not about me.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares 24" x 18", oil on canvas, 2011
Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares was one of the first examples of field recordings that found a mainstream audience. I was one of that audience and the Bulgarian recordings were also the first field recordings in my Top 100 lists. Producer Ivo Watts-Russell was responsible for all this by re-releasing the original 1975 album on his intensely popular label 4AD in 1986. Scott, my brother-in-law, forwarded me a link to an interview by Richie Troughton with 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell on The Quietes online music magazine. Watts-Russell elaborates how he was introduced, became entranced, and licensed the music of the Bulgarian choirs. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of the 4AD release. The recordings were a result of 15 years of field work by Marcel Cellier who released a selection of the best tracks on his own small Disques Cellier in 1975. At the time of release I bought both 4AD's LPs (a year after the first one they released Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Volume 2 which won a Grammy award in 1990) and now 25 years later I dug 'em up again. These will be great records forever.