Badma Khanda Ensemble: Mongolian Music from Buryatia (Arc/Elite)

 |   |  1 min read

Badma Khada Ensemble: Romance
Badma Khanda Ensemble: Mongolian Music from Buryatia (Arc/Elite)

The European Arc label is doing God's work in this world by bringing to light music from Eastern Europe right across to the shores of the western Pacific. Already in its ever-expanding catalogue it has well annotated collections from Tuva, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Samarkand and beyond.
And this 21 song collection is very much from that "beyond", the remote south-central region of Siberia with Mongolia to the south (population fewer than 400,000 in an area about half the size of Japan).
Singer Badma Khanda was born in Inner Mongolia where the songs of the Soviet Buryat territory had been preserved and she learned them from her grandparents and parents. By all accounts she is a star in Buryatia but has also sung at Carnegie Hall -- and my guess is she wouldn't have needed microphones.
Her voice is strong and pure, and here with her ensemble which includes local versions of the flute, fiddle, zither and so on, she offers a programme of song (and some instrumentals) which is quite enchanting, and sounds like a less grating and piercing version of traditional Chinese song.
Highly melodic and evocative of a vast landscape uninterrupted by too many towns, but also music of great intimacy when the occasion requires it. Like quirky pop in places too.
Unexpectedly good.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba/In a State of Reversal (World Village)

Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba/In a State of Reversal (World Village)

This great interpreter of Arabic music has made a number of appearances at Elsewhere for her sinuous voice and often remarkable songs. She could hold her own with TransGobal Undergrounds in the... > Read more

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Three years ago I chose the Mahima album by Bhattacharya and American guitarist Bob Brozman (who played at Womad that year) as one of the best of the year in the Herald with the comment that their... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WHIPLASH, a film by DAMIEN CHAZELLE

WHIPLASH, a film by DAMIEN CHAZELLE

Films about jazz are rare, good ones even more so. The reasons for this are pretty easy to discern: jazz is a minority art form and therefore of not much interest to the general... > Read more

SOUNDBREAKING, a television doco series by JEFF DUPRE and MARO CHERMAYAFF

SOUNDBREAKING, a television doco series by JEFF DUPRE and MARO CHERMAYAFF

If you listen to the debut solo album Mind of Mine by former One Direction star Zayn Malik – and you should, it's mostly very good – what strikes you immediately is how well produced... > Read more