Australian-born singer Gerrard performs with Bulgaria’s Grammy-winning choir The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices at a concert in Varna.
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Thirty years ago an all-female folk choir set up in Bulgaria became the darling of Western audiences with its tradition-steeped a cappella singing, before the fall of communism threatened its survival.Now the Grammy-winning choir from Sofia is back, with their embroidered blouses and floral hairstyles plus a contemporary twist, having teamed up with Australian-born Lisa Gerrard of the music group, Dead Can Dance.'can't be taught'The choir's signature vocal style is made up of powerful layered polyphonic harmonies, created by different combinations of voices, a sound once described as something between a call to prayer and The Beach Boys.In the 1950s, encouraged by the communist regime which propagated working-class and peasant culture, composers did more popular arrangements of these traditional songs and the best performers were drafted into state choirs.And in 1952, the all-women choir was founded as The State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir.Hristova also struggled to recruit younger singers, who could still sing the traditional harmonies.
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