Tag Archives: Choir

Video

Bulgarian Bass session with Stela Petrova

A session in Bulgarian Music with bass star Stela Petrova. During this two-hour session, Stela taught me how to play 3 songs. One, in a very tricky (for me) form of 9/8, from her band Diva Reka, is named “Happy Nine” and composed by one of the great kaval (Bulgarian flute) players of Bulgaria, band mate Kostadin Genchev. Two others, in 7/8, from the highly prestiged Ensemble Trakia, by great Bulgarian Composer Stefan Mutafchiev. Later, Stela would kindly demonstrate on video excerpts of “Happy Nine” and “Oi, Shope, Shope”. Hoping one day I will make my own versions of these and more wonderful Bulgarian Music.

Here’s Stela with Diva Reka playing “Vesela Devyatka” (Happy Nine)

As for  “Oi, Shope, Shope”, Stela pointed out that the actual meter is 13/16, but it’s simplified to 7/8 for music sheet, meaning that the actual duration of the first and last beats are not exactly equal, as in 7/8 (2+2+1+2).

Here’s the Trakia Ensemble orchestra and choir, performing “Oi, Shope, Shope”, joined by the “Cosmic Voices” choir.

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Video

Tokushima Children Choir

It’s unusual that I post on my channel clips from other performers but this footage from a show that I attended was one of the most fascinating musical experiences that I witnessed. This is the children’s choir of Tokushima, Japan. I love choirs and vocal harmonies and this brilliant performance really touched me. I am also posting this clip, hoping that some of my dear viewers would help me to find more music from this fantastic group. This choir came to Portugal to celebrate almost half a century of the relationship between Japan and Portugal. I learned from this show that it was also our ancestors who transmitted many of the European musical traditions to Japan for the first time. I hope that you enjoy this excerpt of the show and, especially for our Japanese friends, that you could send me more information about this beautiful musical group. Thank you!

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Merry Christmas from Miguel

These are my wishes of Merry Christmas for all of you visiting my music.
May the Music be with you always!
Miguel

Video

Koprivshtica 2010

(i) “Koprivshtica sings!” . I would like to share with you some of my wonderful experience at the Koprivshtica festival in Bulgaria.

With the few pictures and video clips I was able to record, I hope you will taste a bit of the atmosphere of this unique event, celebrated only every 5 years, and to enjoy the music, dances and colours…

(ii) One of the highlights of this segment is an off-stage performance by a choir that was leaving after their act on the regular program (see part one). As they were leaving, they heard the song that was at the moment being sung at the nearby stage and they naturally sang along, just as naturally as anyone breathes – this is their life, after all.

The last section is the evening at the centre of the village, with the Horo dances, at one of the restaurants.

(iii) The program was arranged so that on each stage would perform groups from each folkloric zone of Bulgaria. I can’t remember all right now, so any of you Bulgarian friends watching this… I would like to add some information on the comments… thank you! :)

(iv) Two more ensembles in Koprivshtica, including the famous “Ku-ku”

(v) This section focuses on the Horo dances and I try to figure out some of the odd-time signatures used. The images become a bit dark but the music never has been so spectacular!

(vi) Last bits recorded at Koprivshtica 2010. Hope you like it!

Video

Merry Christmas!

This is my Christmas video – Silent Night / Night of Silence, where I perform all instruments and vocals. Wish you a Merry Christmas!

Pilence sings on “Voxbulgarica”

My latest clip appears on Voxbulgarica – this site, beautifully re-designed, is a must-see for those interested in Bulgarian Music, including sheet music and recordings on their catalog, covering many styles of Bulgarian Music.
I am delighted with the mention of my work on such a prestigious website. Thank you very much, Voxbulgarica – Много благодаря!

Video

Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares – Пиленце пее (Pilence Pee) [arr. Miguel Falcão’s “BEBE”]

Pilence Pee (Пиленце пее) is my latest musical adventure. This song features a traditional Bulgarian choir arrangement, adapted by me to an ensemble of bass instruments.

Sometimes an idea is just an idea… the idea of making this arrangement has been haunting me for the last 8 months and for 8 whole months I worked on it. This is the second effort of my BEBE, following the test experience of “Svatba”. My dear channel viewers sent me an incredible loving feedback by then, including some very own native Bulgarian friends. I thank you all for your encouragement and I really hope that this time it will please you too.

Having in mind, once again, that the Bulgarian female choir voices *are* irreplaceable, I tried again to absorb the inspiration of those wondrous sounds and, somehow, to speak my soul through my playing.

The original BEBE concept had to be extended. To achieve the expression of the sustained pairs of voices, I used effects on some basses, namely, the Malekko b:assmaster (second appearence after “Amazing Grace“) and a Sansamp TRI O.D.. My BEBE (Bulgarian Electric Bass Ensemble) had a very special non “electric” guest – one of my doublebasses had an important contribution for the final texture of the sound. BEBE’s veteran members Rickenbacker 4001CS and Fender VI also welcomed the Zon Sonus 8-string and the Warwick Thumb Bass.

The notes were taken all by ear and, later, checked with the help of a friend of mine. Then many changes were (as in Svatba) made, as to adapt the song to my own taste and style of playing, hopefully without spoiling it too much. On the outro I did take some more freedom, harmonically, and in general drifted away from the original Krassimir Kiurktchiiski’s arrangement.

Pilence Pee (sounds like “Pilentse Peh”) is a Bulgarian folk song and it means something like “Little bird sings”. I just know a little Bulgarian and I searched for the meaning of this song, with the generous contribution of some friends. For 20 years, since I heard this song released on the album by 4AD, I sang it without understanding a word, just sounds. But, having understood the lyrics this year, I honestly had the sensation that I already had got the message. The message is beautifully composed and yet extremely tragic. And if there is a sign of hope for the years to come, the beauty of the Bulgarian Music that blossomed from its people, in spite of five centuries of slavery couldn’t be a better example. Love now – because it may be too late and you will regret it. Hear what the little bird speaks.

Voice order
high (main):Rickenbacker 4001CS + b:assmaster
high (pedal):Warwick ThumBass + TRI-O.D.
mid (main & pedal):Fender VI and doublebass
low (main):Rickenbacker 4001CS + b:assmaster
low (pedal): Zon Sonus 8

Video

Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares – Сватба (Svatba) [arr. Miguel Falcão’s “BEBE”]

This idea was inspired by the magnificent music of the Bulgarian female choirs, better known as “Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares”, conceived by the great Filip Kutev. This Music is part of me since I long ago came across its 1st vinyl, released by 4AD. Only some years back I had the great priveledge of witnessing two great performances by The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, directed by Prof. Dr. Dora Hristova. Needless to say, it was a dream come true. My little tribute’s idea is simple but not necessary successful – To recreate the choir format, such as the voices correspond to bass guitar timbres. Each of the 4 voices was attributed to one specific bass, and played twice to create the ensemble effect. Eventually each voice plays a slightly different line, usually intervals of a second, very specific of these arrangements. A tough task – to transcribe the piece by ear, adapt it to the playability of the basses, trying to mantain the dynamics of the piece, and produce it, so all the low frequences don’t colide too much and each “voice” can be heard. 10 tracks vere recorded and 2 to 6 vocal lines can be (hopefully) heard. No effects were used, to preserve each instruments own “voice”. And then producing the video. I invite you to discover this unique Music, checking my favourites section. This is only a mere recreation, done by heart and it’s galaxies away from the Real Thing. One of my favourite songs is “Svatba” (Wedding) – a Bolyar wedding celebration coming from far away. So, without further delays, I present you: the Rickenbacker 4001, the fret-ripped j-bass copy, and the Fender VI – I name it, with all due respect, the Bulgarian Electric Bass Ensemble, or simply, “BEBE”.