This is Misha Alperin's exploration of fusing Bulgarian folk/traditional music with Russian jazz improvisations & the Tuvan music of Huun-Huur-Tu. What otherwise could become a clash or cacophony of cultures, melds into a unity and harmony which is very enjoyable and natural.
Angelite (The Bulgarian Voices, a female choir/chorus) starts out the first track, later a male Russian soloist sings a totally different song as a complementary counterpoint: beautiful, spiritual, transcendental!!! The qualities are enhanced by the combination of cultures. The second track, "Sunrise" is like a worship service: Angelite provides the harmonies, just like waves rushing up onto the shore, creating sculptures of sound. Track #3, "Early Morning with My Horse", starts out with the "clip - clop" of horse's hooves on a pavement, the sound for which the Tuvans are famous. It continues with their unique male vocals accompanied by ancient Mongolian instruments, combined with the harmonies of Angelite. Track #10 is the only disappointment. The liner notes explain the music is based on the composer's wife's experiences in Norway, hearing how the Norwegians called their cows. Well, it could be intriguing, if done with taste & creativity, since the Tuvans create masterful hoof beats with their instruments ... Instead, the outcome is ludicrous, adults "mooing", like kindergarten children! Please leave the cows in the pasture!! The composer is forgiven as it is only 1 track out of 10 which falls short of artistic merit. Obviously, he lost creative perspective (or had a deadline to meet). 90% of the CD is great! The ethereal voices of Angelite are without comparison! The Moscow Art Trio provides the modern instrumentation: piano, French horn, clarinet, and folk reeds. Huun-Huur-Tu provide the earthy rhythms, ancient instruments, and authentic vocalizations, such as "throat singing" from their Mongolian homeland ('Throat singing' has similarities to Buddhist chanting). If you are open to artistic exploration, try folk-jazz fusion, it is out-of-the-ordinairy and will lift your spirits.