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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

Triumph of Tuvan Throat Singers in Moscow

Tyva ensemble. Photo by Alisa Burmistrova Legendary 'Tyva' ensemble opened a 3-day program of the Third Kyzyl-Moscow Festival in the Central House of Artists concert hall. The third generation of the 'Tyva' Ensemble turned out to be none the worse its first outstanding ten. 'Tyva', founded in late eighties in cooperation of ethnomusicologist Zoya Kyrgyz with remarkable throat singer from Oviur, Gennady Tumat, was a pioneer in ensemble throat singing in Tuva. Ten singers of the Tyva ensemble set a new ensemble mode which is nowadays wide-spread in Tuva. 'Tyva', whose then repertoire was for the first time deliberately made up of the old Tuvan songs taken from the music archives of the Tuvan Scientific and Research Institute for Literature, Language, and History, gave birth to a whole bunch of Tuvan throat singing stars - Kaigal-ool Khovalyg (Huun-Huur-tu), Kongar-ool Ondar, Sergei Ondar, Stanislav Danmaa, Evgenii Oyun, Ivan Saryglar, Boris Kherli, Otkun Dostai etc.

Many of them soon quit the ensemble which numbering almost 10 was a hard burden for producers to organise an overseas tour.

'Tyva' has lived through and its current third generation - Evgenii Saryglar, Eduard Damdyn, Ayas Kholazhyk, Ayas Kuular - showed in Moscow high-class ensemble throat-singing, outdoing at times in energy, class, and voice beauty the world-known group 'Huun-Huur-Tu'.

Tyva and Saradak ensembles. Photo by Alisa Burmistrova They began a concert with the Caravan Men's Song, a classic of Tuvan throat-singing repertoire, but then introduced to the Moscow public new old songs unknown even to the connoisseurs of Tuvan music. They were charming, energetic, different and professional. Their leader Evgenii Saryglar commented each song. Evgenii is the most experienced in the group. He started his musical carreer at 18, in the group 'Shu-de', performing in company with virtuoso throat singer Oleg Evgeni Saryglar, Tuva. Photo by Alisa Burmistrova Kuular in Australia, New Zealand. Evgenii Saryglar is a Tuvan Paganini with igil. His masterful instrumental igil improvisations carried away the Moscow public.

He was drowned in a sea of applause.

'Saradak' ensemble from Turan was a discovery of the festival. Young singers, aged from 9 to 14, come of 'not-throat-singing' Pii-Khem district which thanks to music teacher Kheimer-ool Khovalyg (who moved to a new place) began to throat-sing. Kheimer-ool Khovalyg comes of a throat-singing Bazhyn-Alaak village (Dzun-Khem disrtict), he is Kaigal-ool Khovalyg's younger brother, he is 24. His pupils and he not only sang but also showed pieces of Tuvan life - from tevek and durgen chugaa to khuresh wrestling on stage.

Yesterday and today the Kyzyl-Moscow festival program is followed by Mai-ool Sedip (Tuva, Alash group), Kheimer-ool Khovalyg (Turan, Tuva), Yulia Charkova (Khakassia), Aiar-Khaan khomus players group (Yakutia), Authentic Music Ensemble (Irkutsk).

The main organiser of the Kyzyl-Moscow festival is Tuva's big enthusiast Georgi Beletski. He is contactable at

Dina Oyun
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