The 2012-2013 World Music & Dance Series presents...
Friday, February 22, 2013
Concert 7:00 pm
at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
Clover Lane Campus
Presented in collaboration with Clover Lane Coffee House at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg.
In collaboration with Clover Lane Coffee House at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, SFMS is pleased to present a concert of Tuvan throat-singing by Alash Ensemble. The trio are masters of xöömei, a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches simultaneously. They are unique in incorporating Western rhythm, such as the music of Jimi Hendrix, into the traditional music of Tuva. An incredible experience!
What does throat singing sound like? "Imagine a human bagpipe — a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally — by the same person, at the same time." — Newsweek
Tuva is at the southern edge of Siberia, with Mongolia to its south. Over the centuries, Tuva has been part of Chinese and Mongolian empires and shares many cultural ties with Mongolia. In 1944 it became part of the USSR; it is now a member of the Russian Federation.
Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
1280 Clover Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17113
$10 Donation at the door
$5 pre-teen children
- For more information, call Bart at 717-234-3844
or email bart.carpenter (at) sfmsfolk.org
To Learn More...
About Alash Ensemble
All members of Alash were trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood, first learning from their families, and later becoming students of master throat singers. In 1999, as students at Kyzyl Arts College, they formed a group called Changy-Xaya and soon became the resident traditional ensemble on campus. At the same time they learned about Western music, practiced on hybrid Tuvan-European instruments, and listened to new trends coming from the newly opened doors to the West. Under the guidance of Kongar-ool Ondar (best known to western audiences for his role in the film Genghis Blues), they began to forge a new musical identity. They introduced the guitar and sometimes even the Russian bayan (accordion) into their arrangements, alongside their traditional Tuvan instruments. They experimented with new harmonies and song structures. The effect is an intriguing mixture of old and new.
Alash's inaugural U.S. tour in 2006 was sponsored by the Open World Leadership program of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts. Since then, they have returned to tour extensively, playing to enthusiastic audiences and presenting workshops to eager students of all ages. Alash has also collaborated with U.S. musicians and were featured artists on the 2009 Grammy-winning pop instrumental CD Jingle All the Way by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.
About the musicians
The touring ensemble includes:
Bady-Dorzhu Ondar (b. 1984) was discovered at age 4 by Kongar-ool Ondar, who took him on as a student. A few years later, Kongar-ool brought along his young protégé when he toured the U.S., where they appeared on the David Letterman and Chevy Chase Shows. Bady-Dorzhu has a B.A. in National Instruments from the Kyzyl Arts College and an M.A. in Conducting Folk Orchestras from the East Siberia State Academy of Culture and Art in Kyzyl. He has toured in Russia, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, and the U.S. He won best soloist at the 2005 All-Russian Festival of traditional ensembles and orchestras, and best in competition at the Maxim Dakpai xöömei competition in 2006. In 2007, he was named a People's Xöömeizhi (throat singer) of the Republic of Tuva, the youngest person ever to receive this prestigious award. At the 2008 Xöömei Symposium, Bady-Dorzhu was awarded the grand prize for throat singing. He specializes in the kargyraa style of throat singing and is especially talented on the igil and the guitar, being a great fan of Jimi Hendrix.
Ayan-ool Sam (b. 1983) began studying with Kongar-ool Ondar at the Republic School for the Arts in Kyzyl in fourth grade. After completing a B.A. in National Instruments at the Kyzyl Arts College, he continued his studies at the Moscow State Pedagogical University and at the East Siberia State Academy of Culture and Art in Kyzyl. Ayan-ool has toured in Russia, Europe, and the U.S. He was awarded first prize for throat singing at the 2008 Xöömei Symposium). He sings all styles of Tuvan throat singing and is best known for his exceptional ezenggileer. He plays all the traditional Tuvan instruments, with particular emphasis on the doshpuluur.
Ayan Shirizhik (b. 1982) started singing as a child. When his family moved to Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva, he began studying and performing with Andrei Mongush, the singer from the group Huun-Huur-Tu. He completed a B.A. in National Instruments at the Kyzyl Arts College and an M.A. in Conducting Folk Orchestras from the East Siberia State Academy of Culture and Art in Kyzyl. Ayan has toured in Russia, Europe, and the U.S. He was awarded second prize for throat singing at the 2008 Xöömei Symposium, and in 2009 he was awarded the title "Distinguished Artist of Tuva." He sings all styles of Tuvan throat singing and is particularly noted for his mastery of borbangnadyr. He plays all the traditional Tuvan instruments and is especially talented on the kengirge.
The people of Tuva have a wide range of throat singing vocalizations, and were the pioneers of six pitch harmonics. All styles of throat-singing involve controlled tension in and manipulation of the diaphragm, throat, and mouth. However, there are great differences between the different types of throat-singing; for example, some styles are multi-phonic whereas other styles are not. Even this description must take into consideration the hearing, or conditioned hearing, of the listener as much as the intention and execution of the singer.
Xorekteer means singing with the chest voice. It has a hard, bright tone and usually serves as the springboard to launch into khoomei style and sygyt.
Khoomei is both the generic name for all throat-singing styles and also the name of a particular style of singing. Khoomei is a soft-sounding style, with clear but diffused-sounding harmonics above a fundamental usually within the low-mid to midrange of the singer's voice. In Khoomei style, there are 2 or more notes clearly audible. Compared to sygyt, the stomach remains fairly relaxed, and there is less laryngeal tension than harder-sounding Sygyt. The tongue remains seated quietly between the lower teeth. The pitch of the melodic harmonic is selected by moving the root of the tongue and the attached epiglottis. Phrasing and ornamentation come from a combination of throat movements and lip movements. Lips generally form a small "O." The combination of lip, mouth and throat manipulations make a wide spectrum of tones and effects possible.
Kargyraa is usually performed low in the singer's range. There are two major styles: Mountain (dag) and Steppe (xovu). Both feature an intense croaking tone, very rich in harmonics. This technique is related technically to Tibetan harmonic chanting. The Dag style is deeper and has more nasal effects, while Xovu is raspier and sung at a higher pitch with more throat tension and less chest resonance.
Sygyt is usually based on a mid-range fundamental. It is characterized by a strong, even piercing, harmonic or complex of harmonics above the "fundamental," and can be used to perform complex and very distinct melodies, with a tone similar to a flute. The ideal sound is called "Chistii Zvuk" (Russian for "clear sound"). Part of achieving this ideal is learning to filter out unwanted harmonic components.
Borbangnadyr is not really a style in quite the same sense as sygyt, kargyraa, or khoomei, but rather a combination of effects applied to one of the other styles. The name comes from the Tuvan word for rolling, and this style features highly acrobatic trills and warbles, reminiscent of birds, babbling brooks, etc. While the name Borbangnadyr is currently most often used to describe a warbling applied to sygyt, it is also applied to some lower-pitched singing styles, especially in older texts.
Ezengileer comes from a word meaning "stirrup," and features rhythmic harmonic oscillations intended to mimic the sound of metal stirrups clinking to the beat of a galloping horse. The most common element is the "horse-rhythm" of the harmonics, produced by a rhythmic opening-and-closing of the velum.