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

Buena Vista Social Club: Lost and Found (World Circuit)

Buena Vista Social Club: Lost and Found (World Circuit)

If, almost 20 years ago, someone told you one the biggest music phenomena of the era would be a bunch of mostly old people from Cuba singing in Spanish, it's doubtful you'd have believed them.... > Read more

Various: Bollywood Dreams/Bhangra (ARC)

Various: Bollywood Dreams/Bhangra (ARC)

My guess is that if you are asked to do a Bollywood compilation you'd be somewhat spoiled for choice, right? There are some thrilling Bollywood soundtrack albums and bhangra compilations out... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Amsterdam, Holland: Another invisible city

Amsterdam, Holland: Another invisible city

To be honest, to this day I couldn't tell you what it was all about, but I spent the best part of an afternoon trying to figure it out. It was in Amsterdam and I had done all the right art... > Read more

BENNY HILL: A man out of time

BENNY HILL: A man out of time

When writer Tom Hibbert sought out Benny Hill in the early 90s for a “who the hell does Benny Hill think he is?” magazine article, he found the shy, defensive star tucking into cod and... > Read more