Artist Profiles: Yuliyana Krivoshapkina

Yuliyana Krivoshapkina

Yuliyana Krivoshapkina was born in Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic in northeastern Siberia, part of the Russian Federation.

Yuliyana is one of the finest performers of the khomus, which is the national instrument of the Yakut people. The khomus is a type of jaw harp that is traditionally used by shamans in Yakutia as a healing instrument. Yuliyana’s proficiency allows her to play around three octaves. The khomus is positioned in the musician’s mouth and plucked with the fingers to generate a sound that has a magnificently wide range and volume.

At the age of 7, Yuliyana obtained her grandmother’s khomus and her mother showed it how to play it. In 1991, the breakup of the Soviet Union, traditional customs s came back.

Yuliana went to college to learn music. She returned to the khomus whe she met her teacher, Albina Degtyarova. Albina is an eminent teacher and advocate of khomus music. She directed Yiliyana’s musical education and ecouraged her to become a member of Ayarkhaan, an award-winning Yakut vocal and khomus trio.

Albina also introduced Yuliyana to the throat-singing made 2400 kilometers (1,500 miles) south in the Republic of Tuva, also part of the Russian Federation.

Yuliyana won in the Ethnic Sound category at the Discovery International Music Pop Festival in Varna, Bulgaria. She has performed throughout Asia, Europe and the United States of America.

In 2019, Yuliyana joined celebrated Tuvan throat singers Chirgilchin on her first US tour. The involvement in this tour lead to the birth of a new project, Sounds of Siberia that brings together the traditional music of Sakha and Tuva.

Sounds of Siberia features Yuliyana on khomus and throat singing and Tuvan musician Nachyn Choreve (a member of Hartyga) on throat singing and string instruments.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart. Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.
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