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

Mahala Rai Banda: Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango/Southbound)

Mahala Rai Banda: Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango/Southbound)

Okay, definitely not for every taste but here is clubland, rocked up Gypsy music from Bucharest driven by a brassy horn section and hefty backbeats, and fronted by singer/composer/violinist Ionita... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Bubba from My Bubba

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Bubba from My Bubba

Now don't be put off by the name which conjures up Anika Moa's recent albums for wee ones, My Bubba from Sweden/Iceland's most recent single Gone was recorded by Jack White in his Third Man... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Stonehenge, England: Everybody must get stoned

Stonehenge, England: Everybody must get stoned

A couple of years ago when Britain's English Heritage was again getting fretful over the increasing number of tourists arriving at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, a wag wrote a pithy one-liner to... > Read more

Van Morrison: On Hyndford Street (1991)

Van Morrison: On Hyndford Street (1991)

By the time Van Morrison released his double album Hymns to the Silence in '91, many of his longtime followers had moved on -- some disappointed by so many uneven albums, some just having enough... > Read more