Friday, December 23, 2011

The Mystery

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.

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