Alash Ensemble - Concert of Tuvan Throat Singing

Alash Ensemble - Concert of Tuvan Throat Singing

Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 8:00pm to 9:30pm
Levinson Auditorium, Sterling Law Building See map
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 6511

Admission to the performance is free.

The Alash Ensemble, masters of the ancient art of throat singing, perform on Thursday, December 11 at 8 pm in Yale University’s Levinson Auditorium, Sterling Law Building (127 Wall Street, New Haven). Alash has earned praise for their “beautiful emotional voices, with tones and expressiveness that match their vocal gymnastics.” As the Washington Post has described their sound: “Imagine a subsonic growl, a bullfrog’s croak, some electric barber’s clippers and a high-frequency whistle – all reverberating out of a single larynx at once.” The members of Alash are: Nachyn Choodu, vocals, byzaanchy, chadagan; Bady-Dorzhu Ondar, vocals, igil, doshpuluur, guitar; Ayan-ool Sam, vocals, doshpuluur, chanzy, igil, guitar; Ayan Shirizhik: vocals, kengirge, shyngyrash, murgu, xomus; Sean Quirk, interpreter and manager; and Kongar-ool Ondar, Artistic Director.

ALASH are masters of Tuvan throat singing (xöömei), a remarkable technique of singing multiple pitches at the same time. What distinguishes this gifted young group from other Tuvan throat singers is the subtle infusion of modern influences into their traditional music. Alash collaborates with musicians of all stripes, from the Sun Ra Arkestra to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. They are guest artists on a new CD by Béla Fleck & the Flecktones and will tour with the Flecktones this December. Yet they remain deeply committed to their own ancestral heritage, winning multiple awards for traditional throat singing in international competitions, both as an ensemble and as individuals. Alash’s inaugural U.S. tour was sponsored by the Open World Leadership program of the Library of Congress and the NEA, and they have returned to tour extensively. The Washington Post described their music as “utterly stunning,” quipping that after the performance “audience members picked their jaws up off the floor.”

The ancient tradition of throat singing developed among the nomadic herdsmen of Central Asia. Passed down through the generations, but largely unheard by the outside world, xoomei is now the subject of international fascination and has become Tuva’s best known export.

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