Captivating Drones and Whistles

Huun Huur Tu

Ancestor’s Call (World Village 468107, 2010)

The ancient art of throat singing is a cause for celebration this year. The Mongolian traditional art of khöömei (throat singing) was inscribed in 2010 on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Throat singing is also deeply rooted in the neighboring Siberian regions of the Altai Republic (Russian Federation), Tuva (Russian Federation) and Khakassia (Russian Federation).

One of the leading throat singing groups from Tuva is a quartet called Huun Huur Tu and they are also joining the celebration with an album titled Ancestor’s Call. Huun Huur Tu has earned a great reputation as one of the finest exponents of throat singing, although they are also superb multi-instrumentalists. They tour extensively, have crossed numerous musical boundaries and collaborated with international musicians representing various genres.

Ancestor’s Call is a mesmerizing voyage into the roots of Tuvan music. The musicians imitate the sounds of nature, including eerily beautiful whistling sounds that recall the sounds of the wind in the high mountains. Other times, the percussion beats emulate the galloping sounds of the horse, an essential in the life of Tuvan herdsmen.

North American listeners will get a chance to experience the music of Huun Huur Tu in January and February 2011, as the group tours the United States and Canada.

With its throat singing magic and instrumental mastery Ancestor’s Call is a tantalizing voyage to the shamanistic roots of Tuvan music.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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