Fly, Fly My Sadness

The Bulgarian Voices/Angelite & Huun-Huur-Tu

1996: Shanachie 64071

  1. Fly, Fly My Sadness
  2. Legend
  3. Wave
  4. Lonely Bird
  5. Mountain Story

From the liner notes:

“Lonely Bird: I think this composition is a tribute to the human voice and to the human notion of loneliness.” —Mikhail Alperin

I agree…it’s heartbreakingly beautiful. The album overall is amazingly haunting, with incredibly fascinating effects produced by this inspired experiment which combines Mongolian/Tuvan throat-singing with the electrifying and celestial sound of Bulgarian womens’ choirs, including one improvisational number that’s like an “art happening.”

Just over 4 minutes into the 11-minute-long “Lonely Bird” there’s a moment of dazzling and scintillating sonic splendour—not the only one on this album, but a stunner—which fuses the power of the two sets of voices with staggering glory, and that solar flare recurs and shape-shifts throughout the track in painfully beautiful ways you could never have pictured before. The two choirs (and soloists) clearly weren’t recorded with their overlap in mind at the time, but the effects of the interweaving are astonishing and thrilling. That track’s close, with its slow deconstruction of elements and a digital-delay descant, is mesmerizing, arresting…brilliant.