URAGSHA: INSTRUMENTAL AND VOCAL MUSIC FROM BURYATIA AND MONGOLIA
CD from Global Village Music, 1999.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
"For the throat-singing enthusiasts, this album may deliver some of the best, but that is not all of its magical charm. There's a beautifully mournful melody by a female vocalist, relating the story of the Buryat princess who led her people out of Manchuria, and then sang this song before her execution by the Manchurian army. A number of lovely limbe (Mongolian flute) pieces also grace this recording. To Western ears, these unusual instrumental and vocal delicacies stand in acute contrast with the relatively gruff reverberations of traditional throat singing: therein lies a lesson or two, for those who are perceptive enough to appreciate it. Most of these vocals have traditional accompaniment, including bish khur (a monastic reed instrument), morin khur (a fiddle-like instrument), aman khur and khurmus (Mongolian jaw harps). There are two celebratory songs, with male and female vocalists together, that are especially enjoyable. These talented performers from the Buryat National Theatre in Siberia are justifiably proud of their heritage, and jubilantly share their amazing wealth and variety of customs." -- review by S.M. in NAPRA REVIEW Sept/Oct 2000
"Persons interested in the distinctive throat-singing and other musical traditions of Central Asia will appreciate the excellent quality and rich variety of the musical selection presented on Uragsha: Instrumental and Vocal Music from Buryatia and Mongolia. Uragsha is a trio of traditional musicians from the Buryat Republic... This disk provides an excellent sampling of several different types of Buryat music ranging from mesmerizing chants sung in earthy throat-singing styles to lyrical melodies played on a Mongolian limbe, a high-pitched transverse flute." -- Jaime Blanco, SHAMAN'S DRUM
"The recordings are a bit "raw," just I like them, and devoid of the tendencies to popularize that too often appear in a world music recording. This is the real thing, the mood and instruments from inner Asia... They all convey a gut felt strength not often encountered... There's some very effective "throat singing" on Uragsha, but not so that it detracts from the whole. Each of the compositions takes its course. By allowing them to develop, they acquire a richness not found in more commercial packaging. Kudos to Global Village." -- Richard Dorsett, ROOTSWORLD ON-LINE MAGAZINE
URAGSHA is Sayan Zhambalov: khun khur, guitar, vocals and throat singing; Erzhena Zhambalov: vocals and khese; Battuvshin: morin khur, various types of limbe, bish khur, aman khur and khumus. Uragsha means "forward" in Buryat and Mongolian.
1. Uliger - Altan Galu Noyon Khubun (Storyteller - Khan Golden Goose)
2. Balzhan Khatane Duun (Last Song of Balzhan Khatyn)
3. Bogd Dunzhyn Garavyn Magtal (Hymn to the Great Dunzhyn Mountains)
4. Durben Sag (The Four Seasons)
5. Khan Khukhyn Uyanga (Melody of the Khan Khukhyn Mountains)
6. Talyn Ayalga (Steppe Melodies)
7. Rinchin Darzhin
8. Sayan Uulyn Magtal (Hymn to the Sayan Mountains)
9. Huulshyn Buian (Last Gift)
10. Khun Shubuun Yerenel Yanal (Are Those Swans Flying High in the Sky?)
11.Yoxor, traditional Buryat round dance songs
12. Short Melodies on the khomus
13. Tala Bere Tarbazha (Every Steppe Has Its Own Eagle)
14. Durben Uul (Four Mountains)
15. Khoer Setkhel (Two Spirits)
16. Altai Khangen Magtal (Hymn to High Altai Mountains)
17. Khoomin Kholboo (Selection of four types of throat-singing)
18. Mandukhai Sesin Khatan (Mandukhai the Wise Queen)
19. Durbun Naste Khalun (Four Year Old Horse)
20. Yider Genchin (Young Camel Rider)
Limbe - Mongolian cross flute with six finger holes and a pentatonic scale. Performers use circular breathing especially when playing the long songs.
Bish khur - a reed instrument with six holes, originally played in Buddhist monasteries.
Morin khur - (horse-head fiddle) bowed instrument with two strings tuned a fourth apart. It has a long fretless neck, which ends with a carving of a horse head.
Khun khur - (swan-head instrument) a plucked instrument with two strings tuned a fourth or fifth apart. Its long fretless neck ends with a caring of a swan.
Aman khur - wooden jaw harp from Western Mongolia.
Khumus - metal jaw harp from the Altai Mountains in Western Mongolia.
Khese - (shaman drum).
SAYAN and ERZHENA ZHAMBALOV are the premier artists of their generation at the Buryat National Theatre in Ulan Ude, Siberia and have been recognized as Honored Artists of the Republic for their achievements. They are composers and published authors, who have created and performed in a number of original theatre pieces in the Buryat language. They also perform both traditional and popular music in Buryatia, while Mr. Zhambalov is an accomplished throat-singer. Last three years they have worked on collaborative projects with artists of Yara Arts Group from La MaMa Experimenatal Theatre in New York, collaborating with Yara on Virtual Souls, Flight of the White Bird and Circle.
BATTUVSHIN was born in the Bulgan province of Mongolia and now lives in Ulan Ude, Buryatia. He is uniquely talented on the limbe and was a Gold Medallist at the International Folk Music Festival in Korea and the Grand Prizewinner at the All-Mongolian Flute Contest. He performs with the best know Buryat folk ensemble - the Baikal of Ulan Ude. With the Baikal Folk Ensemble he has toured in Spain, Iraq, France, England, Canada, Taiwan and Belgium. He also works with the Badma Seseg Folk Ensemble of Ulan Ude. He is an accomplished throat singer and plays the traditional Mongolian string instrument, the morin khur. In 1999 he was named Honored Artist of the Buryat Republic. He has worked with Yara on Flight of the White Bird and Circle.
YARA ARTS GROUP brings together drama, poetry, song, and movement to create original theatre pieces. Yara began its collaboration with Buryat artists in 1996 by presenting a joint work, Virtual Souls, in New York, Ulan Ude and Kiev. In 1997 Yara artists traveled to Siberia to collect folk material for a new piece, Flight of the White Bird, which was presented in Ulan Ude and at La MaMa in New York.
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