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Master Throat Singers from Tuva

Sunday, March 21, 3:00 pm
$12 advance $15 door, $12 seniors

Chirgilchin is a group of musicians from Tuva, a small Russian province north of Western Mongolia, who sing the ancient folk songs in the Tuvan language, the group also plays traditional hand made instruments.

Throat singing" is an extraordinary vocal form in which one singer produces two or more voices at the same time, one voice harmonizing with the others. It is truly astonishing, magical, and beautiful to hear. This ancient tradition is kept alive in just a few countries across Central Asia, south of Siberia. According to some, the best throat singers in the world come from Tuva.

Atmospheric and mesmeric, ‘throat singing’ is almost too difficult to describe in words. It must be heard to be believed – the music, produced by resonating low sounds in the throat, creates a middle note and a haunting, flute-like harmonic.

The members of Chirgilchin are among the best in Tuva. Igor Koshkendey has twice won the Tuvan International Throat Singing Competition, singing and winning in all of the six styles of throat singing. He has won other international throat singing competitions as well. His singing, in the unique Oidupaa style, is surpassed only by its originator, Vladimir Oidupaa. Igor has composed new songs as beautiful as the traditional Tuvan melodies that Chirgilchin also performs.

Mongoun-ool Ondar won the Tuvan International Throat Singing Competition at the age of 16. He is recognized as a master of all six styles of throat singing, and has developed a new style of his own. His incredible solos can express and inspire profound feelings of tragic sadness or blissful joy.

Aldar Tamdyn won Best Instrumentalist at the 2000 International Folk Music Festival in Tuva, playing the strings of the morin-huur and the byzaanchy. He is the director of the National Tuvan Orchestra of Traditional Instruments. He builds the instruments played by Chirgilchin and other Siberian musical groups.
Chirgilchin has had several amazing collaborations with western musicians like Laurie Anderson, from the US, Stephen Kent, from England, and Instinkt, from Denmark.

The performance artist Laurie Anderson met the three male vocalists at their first New York appearance in June 2005. So taken by their vocal technique, she decided to take part in the following morning’s throat-singing workshop at the Museum.
This led to an invitation by Laurie to collaborate on some studio sessions later in the year. These sessions led to further collaborative concerts – two in New York, and one in Portugal.

Laurie commented, “I first heard Chirgilchin at the Rubin Museum [of Art] in the spring of last year and I was immediately entranced with their incredible sounds—both instrumental and vocal. I immediately attended their workshop and became more involved with their process. In October, through the help of the Trust for Mutual Understanding, I was able to spend two days with them in a studio in New York. These sessions were amazing and magical for me. We quickly moved into new musical territory. We bonded on several levels and began to make sounds that neither one of us would make on our own.”

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