Black Sea Hotel
Affectionately called a “punk rock version of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares”, Black Sea Hotel is a New York based Balkan a Cappella trio that recreates traditional Balkan music into a vocal sea, creating their own inimitable, gutsy sound. Sometimes lyrical and ethereal, sometimes dissonant and driving, their distinct yet unified voices create a harmonic blend that has often been called haunting and otherworldly. With deep reverence to arranging styles in the canon, Black Sea Hotel finds new ways to use melody, harmony, and rhythm to tell ancient stories which still resonate today.
Calling upon such diverse sources as master vocal teachers of the region, archival field recordings, and large mid-century choral arrangements, the trio finds its inspiration in various ways. They then make these songs their own. Sometimes a single, ancient melody is fleshed out into a complex, three-voiced interplay. Other times a large classic choral piece is winnowed down into three encompassing lines. With the sometimes strident, sometimes unearthly textures and overtones characteristic of Black Sea Hotel’s music, listeners are often heard to exclaim that they cannot believe the sound is coming from only three voices.
Black Sea Hotel’s appeal draws a remarkably broad audience. They perform at venues as diverse as concert halls, universities, downtown clubs, folk festivals, and 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, beatboxer Adam Matta of Carolina Chocolate Drops fame, Ansambl Mastika, and Raya Brass Band. Black Sea Hotel has lectured and taught at Westminster College of the Arts, Rider University in Princeton, NJ and Trevor Day School in NYC.
The trio’s live performances, as well as their self-titled album have received much acclaim, garnering accolades from the likes of Alex Gallafent of Public Radio International’s “The World”, David Byrne (Talking Heads), 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, and #18 on Lucid Culture’s top 50 best albums of 2009. In addition to PRI’s The World Global Hit segment, BSH has appeared on WFMU, WNYC, and Serius XM Radio Live on Fine Tuning.
Black Sea Hotel is recording their second album this winter.