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15: Tuva: Are audio recordings available? p8


This article is from the Tuva FAQ, by Kerry Yackoboski kerryy@nortel.ca with numerous contributions by Bernard Greenberg, Bernard Dubriel, Alan Shrives, Kevin Williams, Albert Kuvezin, Dr Oliver Corff, Mike Vande Bunt, Ralph Leighton, Masahiko Todoriki, Alan Leighton, Ken Simon, and Sami Jansson.

15: Tuva: Are audio recordings available? p8

44- Big Sky: Standing On This Earth
Skysong Productions, inc., SPCD1001, 1997
P.O. Box 11755, Minneapolis, MN, 55412
12 tracks, total time 55:57

Big Sky features alt.culture.tuva contributor Steve
Sklar on guitar and vocals, and on one song on this CD,
"Siberia", he uses his his formidable kargyraa and
sygyt to great effect. Not a Tuvan CD, but one with
some Tuvan influence; it is mostly upbeat (in outlook
as well as tempo) pop/rock with a bright, wide-open,
spacious sound reminiscent of Tuva's wide open plains.

Additional Big Sky tracks can be found online at
http://mp3.com/bigsky --- for instance, "Fire in the
Water" features khoomei singing, (especially sygyt).

Big Sky themselves are on the WWW at
http://www.bigskyrocks.com/ and Steve Sklar has a
khoomei page at URL

45- Ondar & Pena: Genghis Blues
TuvaMuch Records, 1997, c/o Friends of Tuva
12 tracks, total time 53:54
Available from the Tuva Trader.

A collaboration between Tuva's Kongar-ol Ondar and
occasional alt.culture.tuva contributor Paul
``Earthquake'' Pena, this CD successfully blends the
traditions of Tuvan music with those of American blues.

Several of the songs are traditional, but the original
songs by Pena are the attraction: the first track,
``What You Talkin' About?'', is a killer and is worth
the price of the CD by itself. This Bo Diddley-style
tour de force recounts how Pena began his journey to
Tuva and his journey into khoomei.

Other highlights are the notable ``Kargyraa Moan'', a
song that helped win Paul Pena first prize in the
kargyraa competition at the 1995 Khoomei Symposium in
Kyzyl, as well as ``Tuva Farewell'', Pena's thoughts
and insights about his visit to (and return from) Tuva.

46- Tuvan Folk Music: It's Probably Windy In Ovyur...
Long Arms Records & IMA-press, 1997, CDLA 9707
29 tracks, total time 60:58
Contact longarms@redline.ru .

This recording may be a landmark on the horizon of
Tuvan music in that it was recorded in Tuva
(October-November 1995) by Tuvans, for Tuvans. This is
a collection of songs by musicians from the Ovyur
region (with the hope that compilations will be
forthcoming for other regions) featuring aspects of
singing that have been overlooked by foreign
recordings, which have concerned themselves primarily
with the various forms of khoomei. Ovyur is a region
southwest of Kyzyl, bordering on Mongolia.

The music is wonderful and covers a wide range of
styles; ballads, galloping songs, laments, patriotic
fighting songs... and that's just the first four!
Various instruments are used, including igil,
doshpulur, and khomus, along with the accordion, but
many songs are vocal solos, by both women and men.
Words cannot do the CD justice; the performances are
all very natural sounding and very clearly recorded.
This sounds like a performance sitting around the
campfire or around the stove in the yurt, with no echo
or effects added. My favourite songs are the ones with
the soaring melodies and quiet accordion accompaniment.

The liner notes are primarily in Russian (I think; I
can't see any Tuvan) with some translation into
English. The package and insert are well-crafted with
flashy graphic arts and photos. Produced by Sainkho
Namchylak and Otkun Dostai, this is a work to be proud
of, and I hope to see more recordings in this vein.

47- Kongar-ol Ondar: Back Tuva Future
Warner Brothers Records CD9 47131-2

11 tracks, 50'05. Wow! An interesting and adventurous
experiment bringing together Kongar-ol Ondar's music
and singing, recordings from Feynman and Leighton's
drumming and storytelling days, and some excellent
western musicians including Sam Bush, Randy Scruggs,
and Victor Wooten. Some of these tracks became instant
favourites - the ones with the most propelling beat
actually sound vaguely reminiscent of some
Tuvan-Western fusion songs I heard on a cassette tape
in a car on the road to Teeli. Don't forget to look for
the hidden track!


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