Posts

Arte-Documentation: The Call of the Mongolian Steppe

13 minutes
Available from 09/03/2020 to 09/03/2022

The important Mongolian musician Sengedorj Nanjid, who was interviewed in the film, passed away on 9.9.2020. On this occasion I am posting this film.

Sources

German version on Arte

Version française, Arte

The HU – Mongolian rock reaches millions of clicks

With millions of clicks, the Mongolian The Hu Band is attracting attention right now. They have been working on their debut album for seven years and have now released two viral videos. They call their style “hunnu rock”, which probably has its roots in the Mongolian word for human, хүн. “It’s not rock music played by Mongolians. It’s Mongolian rock music.” the Metal-Hammer quotes the American music ethnology doctoral student Thalea Stokes. NPR even calls it Havy Metal.

Obviously the group reaches a clientele that doesn’t know throat singing yet and compares it with growling from the metal scene. Those who have been to Mongolia are familiar with the sounds, and you can hear a lot from the traditional Xhöömei music, from instruments, vocal techniques to melodies. The videos are great. The rider warrior with motorbike escort does a good job.

The HU - Wolf Totem (Official Music Video)
CD From Sea to Sea - Aaron Jansen

Uvavnuk Dreams / The Great Sea – Aaron Jensen (2012)

A composition by Aaron Jensen, Canada 2012, for mixed choir a cappella and overtone soloist.

SSAATTB + overtone singer soloist (khoomej style) 6’00″

Text by Uvavnuk – translation: Jane Hirshfield

Commissioned by The Toronto Arts Council

Premiere: 12.05.2013 — The Elmer Iseler Singers, conductor Lydia Adams

Guest overtone singer: Scott Peterson

More about the composition on Aaron Jensen’s website.

Female Bass, Male Soprano

This duo from Tuva ensures disbelief, when suddenly the woman sings a deep bass and the guy singing three octaves above. And what a bass! She uses the Tuvan undertone singin technique Kargyraa. It produces these deep tones with both the vestibular folds and the vocal cords. The man sings the famous Sygyt, the whistle throat singing style of the nomadic peoples around the Altai Mountains.

Epic overtones of Kalmykia | Okna Tsahan Zam

Throat singing from Kalmykia is limited according to Sven Grawunder on a single talented singer, Okna Tsahan Zam, who adapted the Tuvan khoomej for Epic songe of the Kalmyks. For that reason it is a particularly worth listening piece of music of the small Turkic people on the Caspian Sea.

Grawunder, Sven. 1999. Obertongesang versus Kehlgesang - Die Erforschung eines besonderen Stimmgebrauchs. Unpublished Diploma, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/S. http://email.eva.mpg.de/~grawunde/KehlgesangversObertongesang.pdf.

Whole concert: Violons Barbares on the Paléo Festival Nyon 2015

The full concert of the group Violons Barbares with the Mongolian singer and Morin Khuur player Dandarvaanchig Enkhjargal (Epi) at Paléo Festival Nyon on 24/07/2015.

Huun Huur Tu at Paléo Festival Nyon 2015 – full concert

The full concert of Tuvan group Huun Huur Tu at the Paléo Festival in Nyon on 26/07/2015.

Massive Attack on Overtones

The bizarre video Karmacoma of the English trip-hop group Massive Attack came to the UK charts in 1995 as a single, at a time when Central Asian throat singing was becoming popular in Europe. The overtone singing is probably a remix of Tuvinian throat singing. (Thanks to Bram Vanoverbeke for the tip).

Mongolian Beatbox

Royal Beat Crew with throat singing group Khusugtun (Хөсөгтөн хамтлаг), both from Ulaanbaatar Mongolia.

Portfolio Items