“Chirgilchin is renowned for their mesmerizing vocal and instrumental performances, which are almost beyond description. Both atmospheric and rollicking at the same time, it is the indescribable multi-phonic vocal style of Khoomei that takes center stage in a Chirgilchin performance.”
The Tuvan word Chirgilchin has two translations:
Established in 1996, Chirgilchin is a group of musicians from Tuva, a small Russian province north of Western Mongolia. Their music tells stories of their homeland, its horses and its people.
The monotone sustained notes that branch out into overtone singing with slight shifts in pitch give Tuvan music its characteristic buoyant yet meditative drone quality. The songs are sung in minor pentatonic scale, similar to American blues.
Throat-singing is an extraordinary vocal form in which one singer produces two or more voices simultaneously, the low sounds in the throat harmonizing with middle and high flute-like overtones, to create richly layered melodies that evoke Central Asian steppes and nomadic life.
Atmospheric and mesmeric, this music is almost too difficult to describe in words and must be heard to be believed. The most advanced forms of throat-singing come from Tuva, and the members of Chirgilchin are among the best and most accomplished throat-singers in all of Tuva.
Since their first international tour in 1996, the group has toured throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia, collaborating with artists like Stephen Kent and Laurie Anderson.
Igor Koshkendey is a "Throat Singer of the People of the Republic of Tuva" and is the director of the Tuvan National Cultural Center in Kyzyl. He is an award winning throat singer in multiple styles, and the only person to master the unique style invented by throat singing legend Vladimir Oidupaa. Igor won Best Urban Song in the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards for his work with Puerto Rican rapper Residente.
Mongoun-ool Ondar is one of the most decorated throat singers int he world. He is a "Throat Singer of the People of the Republic of Tuva", as well as the first Tuvan ever to be recognized as an "Artist of the People of Russia". Since first beginning his studies at the age of 13, Mongoun-ool has mastered six styles of throat singing and even invented his own.
Aidyn Byrtaan-ool is the newest member of the group, replacing Aldar Tamdyn after he became the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tuva. Over the years, Aidyn has performed with several Tuvan ensembles, including the Tuvan National Orchestra. He has toured the world as an ambassador of Tuvan culture. Not only is he respected for his throat singing talents, Aidyn is also a highly decorated archer.
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