Black Sea Hotel | The Forest Is Shaking and Swaying

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World: Balkan Avant Garde: Sound Sculpture Moods: A Cappella
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The Forest Is Shaking and Swaying

by Black Sea Hotel

Affectionately dubbed a "punk rock version of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares" this a cappella trio infuses the already wild traditional folksongs of Bulgaria and Macedonia with their own gutsy sound that is both dissonant and driving, lyrical and ethereal.
Genre: World: Balkan
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Trendafilcheto, Karamfilcheto
1:48 $0.99
2. Snoshti Sum Libe
2:08 $0.99
3. Sadila Јana
2:46 $0.99
4. Malino Mome
3:46 $0.99
5. Mori Dobro Vecher
3:13 $0.99
6. Spava Mi Se, Lega Mi Se
3:07 $0.99
7. Mesechinko Alena
1:38 $0.99
8. Oj Kukuvichke
3:33 $0.99
9. Ibish Aga
4:12 $0.99
10. Zhenish Me Mamo
3:31 $0.99
11. Angelino Mome
2:03 $0.99
12. Malka Moma Dvori Mela
2:32 $0.99
13. The Forest Is Shaking, Pt. I
3:30 $0.99
14. Pusta Mladost
5:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

The Forest is Shaking and Swaying is a collection of complex and adventurous vocal arrangements of traditional Bulgarian and Macedonian songs composed by the three members of Black Sea Hotel. The album runs the gamut from ethereal, lilting, and achingly beautiful to strident, tightly dissonant, and unpredictable, at times verging on shimmering, avant garde soundscape. Themes encompass love and longing, flirtation, majestic heroes on horseback, dragon men who steal brides, nightmares of white doves, the inevitability of ageing, and the eerie wind that shakes the forest.

With this album, Black Sea Hotel has created an accessible yet challenging sonic experience - visceral yet sophisticated - seamlessly interweaving the ancient and the contemporary. It was recorded in two locations: the sonorous Temple Beth Emeth in Flatbush, and in Sarah’s acoustically warm kitchen in Williamsburg, Black Sea Hotel’s rehearsal space. In this way, the group has married both acoustic grandiosity and spatial intimacy in one album. Collaborating with such talents as Don Godwin in Brooklyn (recording engineer), David Cragin in Santa Fe (sound designer), and Sarah Register in New York City (mastering engineer), Black Sea Hotel has created a captivating work of great power.


Affectionately dubbed a “punk rock version of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares,” and more recently “the Ramones of a cappella song,” Black Sea Hotel is a Brooklyn-based vocal trio that recreates traditional Balkan music, generating their own inimitable, gutsy sound. Sometimes lyrical and ethereal, sometimes dissonant and driving, their distinct voices create a harmonic blend that has been called haunting and otherworldly. Black Sea Hotel finds new ways to use melody, harmony, and rhythm to tell ancient stories which still resonate today.

Gathering inspiration from master singers, archival field recordings, and large mid-century choral arrangements, the trio creates a unique repertoire, arranging and composing complex, three voiced interplays based on traditional material. The sometimes strident, sometimes unearthly textures and overtones characteristic of Black Sea Hotel’s music make it hard to believe that their sound comes from only three voices.

Black Sea Hotel’s appeal draws a remarkably broad audience. They perform at venues ranging from concert halls and downtown clubs to folk festivals and universities to The Bulgarian Embassy. They have collaborated with such musical luminaries as Kremena Stancheva of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and The Decemberists, beatboxer Adam Matta of Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Brooklyn Balkan bands Ansambl Mastika and Raya Brass Band. The trio has been broadcast live internationally on Public Radio International's "The World, Global Hit" segment, as well as on WFMU, WNYC, WAMU, and Serius XM Radio Live on Fine Tuning. They also regularly lead classes, workshops, and lecture-demos in Balkan singing.

Black Sea Hotel’s live performances, as well as their self-titled album, have been praised by Alex Gallafent of PRI’s “The World”, David Byrne, esteemed music producer Martin Bisi, NY’s Lucid Culture, Timeout NY, East Village Radio, and more. The group was the Editor’s Pick and Featured Artist on CD Baby, # 2 on iTunes World Music Top Albums the week of their debut self-titled album’s release.


“…Black Sea Hotel takes some of the most compelling elements of Balkan folk music and strips them down to their barest form. The vocal trio executes the kind of close, difficult harmonies that inspired Kate Bush to collaborate with Trio Bulgarka."

--- The Washington Post

“(Black Sea Hotel’s) painstakingly researched, and innovative arrangements of traditional Balkan folks songs are performed with a refined emotion that hits with the magnetic pull of rock-bound sirens. Just tie me to the mast now…”

--- Paul Schomer, National Public Radio Producer

“[These ladies] are exceptional musicians and magnificent singers. Listening to them singing Bulgarian folksongs brings me back to my childhood… Their performance is just fascinating.”

--- Kremena Stancheva, Soloist- Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares

“Black Sea Hotel captures an other-worldly sonic experience, wonderfully concordant and discordant (to my post-punk ear), a totally unique sound on this planet.”

--- Martin Bisi, Engineer/Producer (Pixies, Sonic Youth, Swans, Herbie Hancock, Dresden Dolls)

“When their voices combine, these incredible women create a miraculous and transportive alchemy that, for me, transcends the very physicality of music itself.”

--- Bill Kates, Sirius Radio Personality/ Producer

“[Black Sea Hotel creates] exciting arrangements that preserve and honor the strength of Balkan folk traditions while bringing fresh and vibrant interpretations to these haunting songs. The blend of their stunning voices makes my spine tingle!”

--- Shara Worden, Singer/Composer (My Brightest Diamond/The Decemberists)

"Black Sea Hotel are the Ramones of Balkan a cappella song. They infuse this already-wild traditional music with their own gutsy sound that is by turns dissonant and driving, lyrical and ethereal.”

--- Dan Bodah (WFMU)


--- Chris Bopst (Founding Member, GWAR)



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