28th July 2020
(place to be announced)
NEW-OLD TUVAN MUSIC
ALASH are masters of Tuvan throat singing (xöömei), a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. What distinguishes this gifted trio from earlier generations of Tuvan throat singers is the subtle infusion of modern influences into their traditional music. One can find complex harmonies, western instruments, and contemporary song forms in Alash’s music, but its overall sound and spirit remain decidedly Tuvan.
Trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood, the Alash musicians studied at Kyzyl Arts College just as Tuva was beginning to open up to the West. They formed a traditional ensemble and won multiple awards for traditional throat singing in international xöömei competitions, both as an ensemble and as individuals. At the same time, they paid close attention to new trends coming out of the West. They have borrowed new ideas that mesh well with the sound and feel of traditional Tuvan music, but they have never sacrificed the integrity of their own heritage in an effort to make their music more hip.
Alash enjoys collaborating with musicians of all stripes. Since their early partnership with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, they have joined forces with musicians across the spectrum—from country to classical to jazz to beatboxing. When they toured with Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, the Denver Post remarked, “As electrifying as the Flecktones’ performance was, the band were nearly upstaged by Alash Ensemble.” Alash appeared as guest artists on the Flecktones’ holiday CD Jingle All the Way (2008), which won a Grammy. More recently, Alash joined Chicago’s innovative Fifth House Ensemble in a groundbreaking concert series called Sonic Meditations.
Alash has released four CDs of its own: Alash Live at the Enchanted Garden (2006), Alash (2007), Buura (2011), and Achai (2015, re-released on Smithsonian Folkways in 2017). The members of Alash are: Bady-Dorzhu Ondar, Ayan-ool Sam and Ayan Shirizhik.
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