Year 2001

Year 2000


Huun Huur Tu  

The Huun Huur Tu band from Tuva, Russia, practice the ancient technique of "xöömei" or throat-singing. Each vocalist simultaneously produced two distinct pitches: a lower drone and a high pitched flute-like sound. This is one of the world’s oldest forms of music making. We heard their ancient instruments and experienced the mellow beautiful tones that were exciting and yet very calming to the spirit. One of the most interesting and unusual concerts I have ever experienced.
Arrival into Seldovia airport

Vladimir Oboronko, agent and interpreter, presented information about this touring group during the concert.

Kaigal-ool Khovalyg

"An extremely talented, self-taught overtone singer, Khovalyg worked as a shepherd until the age of 21, when he was invited to join the Tuvan State Ensemble. He settled in Kyzyl and started teaching throat singing and igil. A co-founder of Huun-Huur-Tu, he left the State Ensemble in 1993 to devote his attention to the newly formed quartet. He has performed and recorded with the Tuva Ensemble, Vershki da Koreshki, the World Groove Band and the Volkov Trio. Covering a range from tenor to bass, Khovalyg is particularly known for his unique rendition of the khöömei and kargyraa singing styles. " (information from  from Huun Huur Tu website)

Radik Tolouche (Tiuliush)

"Radik was born in the Ovur area of The Republic of Tuva, near the border with Mongolia. He has been interested in studying and performing folk music since childhood, and he learned throat-singing from his grand-dad. While Radik was still in secondary school, his family moved to Kyzyl. After receiving his high school diploma, he started studying medicine. Upon graduation he worked at the Centre of Folk Medicine in Kyzyl. He later graduated from the Chyrgal-ool Arts School (Kyzyl), where he had been studying igil. He participated in various Tuvan rock and folk collectives. Radik currently teaches igil at the Kerndenbilija Arts School of The Republic of Tuva. He joined Huun-Huur-Tu in 2005." (information from  from Huun Huur Tu website)

Sayan Bapa

"Sayan Bapa, child of a Tuvan father and Russian mother, grew up in the industrial town Ak-Dovurak. He received his musical training in Kislovodsk, Northern Caucasus, where he played fretless bass in a Russian jazz-rock band for several years. In the early 1990s he returned to Tuva to study his roots, and became a member of a folk-rock band, performing traditional Tuvan music on electric instruments. A co-founder of Huun-Huur-Tu, Bapa is a versatile string instrumentalist, and performs on the doshpuluur, igil and acoustic guitar. As a vocalist he is currently specializing in the kargyraa style."
(information from  from Huun Huur Tu website)


Alexei Saryglar

"Alexei Saryglar joined the ensemble in 1995 to replace Alexander Bapa. He completed his musical training in Ulan Ude as a percussionist for classical and popular music, and became a member of the large Russian state ensemble 'Siberian Souvenir'. A multi-talented performer, Saryglar makes his mark as a sygyt singer, and his expertise with traditional Tuvan percussion and string instruments naturally extends into the art of piano playing. Like the other members of the ensemble, he resides in Kyzyl when not on tour."
(information from  from Huun Huur Tu website)

Throat Singers Serenade Susan B. English . . . by student, Rochelle Purpura

"On Wednesday, October 31st, students at SBE got a special treat, besides Halloween candy. The school was full of music that day, the music of Tuvan Throat Singers. Now before you ask, throat singing, also known as overtone singing, is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the harmonic resonances that are created as air travels from their lungs, past their vocal cords and through their lips. This can cause the singer to sound like they have more then one voice which they can use to create many different tones at the same time. The Tuvans form of throat singing is called khoomei and it can be divided into three more principle styles known as kargyraa, xöömej, and sygyt . They range in sound from a high whistle to a low rumble. The four singers who visited our school got a chance to demonstrate all three styles as they visited each classroom individually for one half-hour each.

The four men and their translator all came from Russia to tour all over the Untied States with most of their concerts being in North America and Europe. The four singers all come from the little country of Tuva, which is located on Russian’s southern edge, where it borders Mongolia. Tuvans’ are nomadic herders who travel around Tuva with their herds. They are skilled horsemen, with the most important animal to them a horse whose image they carve into their instruments and charms. Besides their singing, Tuvan’s are also known for their oral traditions. They love riddles, tongue-twisters, magical tales, scary stories, and even epics that take hours to recite.

Not only did these men “wow” the students with their incredible singing they also played traditional instruments that were made in Tuva. The instruments came in a variety of somewhat familiar and foreign designs such as a byzaanchy, which is a four-string vertical spike fiddle and a doshpuluur, a long-necked lute whose sound box was covered with snake skin. The mixture of strange harmonies combined with eclectic folk music entranced students and teachers alike as the men played love songs and a five hundred-year-old song about a boy and his horse. Susan B. English had a wonderful chance to experience a culture that few of us even knew existed. It just shows how much of the world we still have to learn about and how fortunate we are that sometimes the world and its culture comes right to our doorstep."


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Huun-Huur-Tu (Tuvan: Хүн Хүртү Khün Khürtü) is a music group from Tuva, a Russian republic situated on the Mongolian border.
One of the distinctive elements of their music is throat singing. Instruments they use in their music include the igil, khomus, doshpuluur, tungur (shaman drum), and others.


The xöömei quartet Kungurtuk was founded in 1992 by Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, brothers Alexander and Sayan Bapa, and Albert Kuvezin. Not long afterwards, the group changed its name to Huun-Huur-Tu, meaning "sunbeams" (lit. sun propeller). The focus of their music was traditional Tuvan folk songs, frequently featuring imagery of the Tuvan steppe or of horses.
The ensemble released its first album, 60 Horses In My Herd, the following year. The album was recorded at studios in London and Mill Valley, California. By the time recording began for the follow-up, Kuvezin had left the band to form the more rock-oriented Yat-Kha. Kuvezin was replaced by Anatoli Kuular, who had previously worked with Khovalyg and Kongar-ool Ondar as part of the Tuva Ensemble. The new line-up recorded The Orphan's Lament in New York City and Moscow, and released it in 1994.
In 1995, Alexander Bapa, who had produced the first two albums, departed the band to pursue production as a full-time career. He was replaced by Alexei Saryglar, formerly a member of the Russian state ensemble Siberian Souvenir. A third album, If I'd Been Born An Eagle, recorded in the Netherlands, followed in 1997. This time, in addition to the traditional folk music, the group performed some rather more contemporary Tuvan songs, from the latter half of the 20th century.
In early 1999, the band released its fourth album, Where Young Grass Grows. For the first time on a Huun-Huur-Tu album, non-Tuvan instruments (except for the guitar) were featured, including harp, tabla, Scottish smallpipe (performed by Martyn Bennett) and synthesiser. The album also features two excerpts of recordings made of Kaigal-ool and Anatoli singing whilst riding horseback on the Tuvan grasslands.
Huun-Huur-Tu participated in the 2000 BBC Music Live event, performing the opening and closing songs for a live, early morning broadcast from Snape Maltings. The following year, the band released their first live album.
In 2003, Kuular quit the band and was replaced by Andrey Mongush, an experienced teacher of xöömei and Tuvan instruments.


  • 60 Horses In My Herd (1993)
  • The Orphan's Lament (1994)
  • If I'd Been Born An Eagle (1997)
  • Where Young Grass Grows (1999)
  • Live 1 (2001)
  • Live 2 (2001)
  • Best * Live (2001)
  • More Live (2003)
  • Spirits from Tuva (2003)
  • Fly, Fly My Sadness (1996)
  • Mountain Tale (1998)"
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