|Dimensions||12.5 × .10 × 12.5 cm|
CD REVIEW – by Ian Dearden
I took a big gulp as I came to review this album.
A whole album of unaccompanied Bulgarian folk music (two tracks feature some subtle percussion from the album’s engineer Andy Busuttil) sounded like a big ask. Well let me start at the start.
Not only does Silvia sing (in that very special open-throated Bulgarian style) but she sings like an angel, she is drop dead gorgeous (check out the CD front cover, in traditional dress), and her harmony singing (at times, multi-tracked with herself, at other times, with compatriots Mara Kiek and Jarnie Birmingham) is absolutely exquisite.
Much of the music is intricate, modal, in your face, and challenging to western ears, drawing as it does on influences from central Asia and the Ottoman empire.
Then you hear a track such as “Moma Kalina”, and the delicate harmonies bring you to tears, it is so achingly beautiful.
Although all of the album is sung in Bulgarian, Silvia provides a short synopsis of each song in the CD liner notes.
Silvia was a member of Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, the vocal group from Bulgaria which was substantially responsible for introducing this music to the rest of the world.
It is a rich and delightful vocal tradition and Silvia is still at the forefront of promoting it.
She brings both superb technical abilities (she is a terrific singer) and a deep emotional connection to the material.
Then there is the bonus – the last two tracks on the album feature Silvia’s two daughters Chanelle (aged 4) and Isabelle (aged 8).
Not only are they Silvia’s light and inspiration, they are also the hope of another generation of singers of this wonderful, strange, hypnotic and entrancing music.
For lovers of vocal music, of different musics, of great singers, or just something different which will move your heart and soul, this album is for you.
8 in stock (can be backordered)