“The overall sound is more ancient than the Western European ideal of bel canto, and some believe this rawer sound was once more widespread across the continent. Its isolation in the more remote regions of Bulgaria has helped preserve both the style and the local language.
It’s a true folk tradition, one with several regional variations, although it’s one that’s largely always been female. Many of the songs are solo pieces, tales of village life and love, although around the Shop area (near the capital, Sofia) there’s a strong history of diaphonic singing, a two- and sometimes three-part harmony. Yet harmony might seem an odd word for a song that thrives on apparent dissonances, underlaid by a drone and interrupted by whoops and yells. But that’s exactly what it is.” Chris Nickson, Bulgarian Choral Music