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Friday, August 8, 2014

50 Words For Kate: #19 - Trio

One thing is guaranteed about a new Kate Bush album: you will always hear something uniquely wonderful. Kate has always enjoyed experimenting with older or unusual instruments and styles, many of which stem from folk traditions around the world. Kate's brother Paddy was often the source of these discoveries and it was he who introduced Kate to a singing group from Bulgaria, known as Trio Bulgarka.


Kate was incredibly moved by their music, which sounds completely alien to a Western ear. She wondered if she could find a way to include them in her own music. Here's Kate to explain what happened:



Trio Bulgarka would eventually contribute to three songs on The Sensual World. Kate was seeking to create a female energy on the album, and Trio Bulgarka certainly provided something special in that regard. Their sound is indeed shocking to the unfamiliar, it is like nothing I had heard before. Kate found a way to combine them into the songs so that they become more instruments than voices. It is like spirits breaking in from another dimension. I was completely blown away when I first heard those three tracks and still tingle every time those voices appear.


Kate employed the Trio in a different way on each track. First they were the angelic voice of a mysterious computer program that made you fall in love on Deeper Understanding. Then they underlined the pain of unrequited love in Never Be Mine. Their finest moment has to be on Kate's imagining of what it must be like to be a firework. Rocket's Tail just couldn't exist without the Trio Bulgarka. Kate managed to create a song that perfectly blended the West and the East, creating something simply extraordinary. The combination of these women's voices is a jewel in the history of popular music.


Of all Kate's musical collaborations, none has excited me as much as her work with Trio Bulgarka. It opened my mind and ears to a musical inheritance I might otherwise have never discovered.


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