Bayarbaatar Davaasuren: The Art of Mongolian Khoomii (Arc Music)

 |   |  <1 min read

Bayarbaatar Davaasuren: Tungalag Buyant
Bayarbaatar Davaasuren: The Art of Mongolian Khoomii (Arc Music)

When I first witnessed a Mongolian throat singer some 30 years ago – and I did weirdly feel I was a witness at something beyond my comprehension – I asked someone where the feedback was coming from. Quite how a singer whose vocal range seemed to be in the lower register also managed that high whistling overtone sound remained a pleasant enigma.

This unedited recording by an acclaimed master of khoomii (throat singing) took place in an abbey in France – so has a real sonic breadth and resonance at higher volume – with Davaasuren also playing tovshuur (goat skin lute) and morin-khuur (two-stringed horse-hair fiddle). He is accompanied by the renown Chinbat Baasnkhuu on yatga (a bowed zither with adjustable bridges).

We'd concede an album of throat singing can be a hard listen – if sandpaper could sing in a bass baritone but also replicate a melodic and piercing whistle it might sound like this – but that doesn't deny the sheer emotional power here. Unless you are familiar with the style and quite a fan this intriguing but demanding album is probably is best enjoyed in small doses.

However, If you only buy one Mongolian throat singer album this month . . .

This album is on the very creditable Arc Music label out of Britain (see here) which Elsewhere commends. We have reviewed world music from the label frequently.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective: Watina (Cumbancha/Elite)

Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective: Watina (Cumbancha/Elite)

If nothing else, Music From Elsewhere can send you to the atlas: this collection of warm, melodic and memorable songs comes from one of the most well-known singers of the Garifuna, a people who... > Read more

Sambasunda Quintet: Java (World Music Network)

Sambasunda Quintet: Java (World Music Network)

This group from West Java make a very different kind of music from that of the familiar gamelan orchestras on nearby Bali. This music is based around the zither-like kacapi which was originally... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

20TH CENTURY DREAMS by NIK COHN AND GUY PEELAERT: A life less ordinary

20TH CENTURY DREAMS by NIK COHN AND GUY PEELAERT: A life less ordinary

Max Vail was an extraordinary character. Part-Zelig and part-Chauncey Gardiner, he was seen in the company of the great and famous throughout last century. He counted among his friends Andy... > Read more

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more