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alt.culture.tuva FAQ Version 1.49 [Part 2 of 2]

( Part1 - Part2 )
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Archive-name: cultures/tuva-faq/part2
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Last-modified: 2001/10/15
Version: 1.49

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Anyone wishing to take a shot at improving this should go ahead and send
the edited section along to me <>. Thanks to Bernard
Greenberg [BSG] for his numerous additions and edits and to Bernard Dubriel
[BD], Alan Shrives [AS], Kevin Williams [KW], Albert Kuvezin [AK], Dr
Oliver Corff [OC], Mike Vande Bunt [MVB], Ralph Leighton [RL], Masahiko
Todoriki, Alan Leighton, Ken Simon, and Sami Jansson.

                     Alt.culture.tuva FAQ Version 1.49,
                       Part 2 of 2 (October 15, 2001)

Table of Contents - Part 1:

1: How can I get a copy of this Frequently Asked Questions list?
2. Are there any WWW sites for Tuva?
3: What is Tuva?
4: What is all the fuss about?
5: How can I contact X in Tuva?
6: What's this about two voices from one singer?
7: Where can I find out more? (Friends of Tuva)
8: Are there any video tapes about Tuva?
9: Does anyone still collect the old Tuvan stamps?
10: What can you tell me about travel to Tuva?
11: How can I learn to sing khoomei?
12: How did the "Tannu" get into "Tannu Tuva"?

Table of Contents - Part 2:

13: Any recommended reading about Tuva?
14: Any recommended reading about Feynman?
15: Are audio recordings available?

Questions and Answers:

13: Any recommended reading about Tuva?
A: Send your suggestions. Here's what I've found.

     1 - Tuva or Bust! Ralph Leighton. W.W. Norton, 1991.

          The canonical work. Describes Feynman and Leighton's
          decade-long struggle to reach Tuva. Semi-related works
          are ``Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!'' and ``What
          Do You Care What Other People Think?'', both by Richard
          Feynman (with Ralph Leighton).

     2 - Journey to Tuva

          Otto Mänchen-Helfen, extensively annotated and
          translated from German to English by Alan Leighton.
          Ethnographics Press, University of Southern California,

          Available from Friends of Tuva. A great book detailing
          the visit of a Westerner in 1929. Contains an appendix
          about present day Tuva and a map.

     3 - Nomads of Eurasia Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
     County University of Washington Press, 1989.

        * This book accompanied the museum exhibit "Nomads: Masters of
          the Eurasian Steppe" in 1989-1990. Great pictures and text.

     4 - Nomads of South Siberia Sevyan Vainshtein, translated by
     Michael Colenso Cambridge University Press, 1980.

          Wow. The detail is impressive as the author examines
          Tuvan nomadic life.

     5 - In Search of Genghis Khan Tim Severin, Arrow Books, 1992.

          The author joins a horseback expedition to trace the
          steps of Genghis Khan from Mongolia to Europe in 1990.
          An intriguing foray into the life of the modern
          Mongolian nomad, with many details that may frighten
          prospective visitors to the region.

     7 - The Peoples of the Soviet Far East Walter Kolarz, published
     by Frederick Praeger of New York, 1954.

     8 - The Tuvan Manual John Krueger, available from the Mongolia
     Society, 322 Goodbody Hall Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
     47405, USA.

          An indispensable work that includes a primer on the
          area and culture, lessons on how to read and speak
          Tuvan, a Tuvan to English glossary, and several samples
          of Tuvan text. An extremely valuable book that is worth
          double the price (about $20). A word of caution; the
          only Tuvan I know to have seen the book commented that
          "no one uses those words anymore".

     9 - Ancient Traditions: Shamanism in Central Asia and the
     Americas Edited by Gary Seaman and Jane S. Day. Published by the
     Denver Museum of Natural History and the University Press of
     Colorado, 1994.

          Based on the proceedings from ``Nomads: Masters of the
          Eurasian Steppe,'' Volume 4 of the Soviet-American
          academic symposia in conjunction with the museum
          exhibitions. The one chapter devoted to Tuvan shamanism
          is by Russian ethnographer Vera P. Diakonova.

     10 - The Lost Country: Mongolia Revealed Jasper Becker. Hodder &
     Stoughton, 1992. ISBN: 0-340-57978-1

          Written by the Asia correspondent of the Guardian
          newspaper, who visited Mongolia and surrounding
          countries several times in 1989-90. Includes are
          chapters on Buryatia and Tuva. Plenty of personal
          observation as well as background history.

     11 - The Last Disco In Outer Mongolia Nick Middleton. Onon, 1992.
     ISBN: 1-85799-012-9

          About the travel experiences of a British student who
          visited Mongolia in 1987 and 1990. He observes the
          changes that have taken place between his two visits.

     12 - Recherche experimentale sur le chant diphonique Hugo Zemp
     and Tran Quang Hai. Cahier de Musique traditionnelle,
     4,p27-68,Atelier d'ethnomusicologie, Geneve, 1991.

          The most thorough analysis of Tuvan, Tibetan, Mongol
          and Altai styles. Plenty of sound spectra representing
          excerpts from a variety of songs, including cuts from
          the Smithsonian Folkways CD. [BD]

     13 - Structural, aerodynamic and spectral characteristics of
     imitated Tibetan chanting. Aliaa Ali Khir, M.D. and Diane
     M.Bless, Ph.D. Proceedings of the 21st symposium of The Voice
     Foundation. Philadelphia, June 1992.

          A study on ``the underlying physiological adjustments
          of this unique phonetary mode''. For those with high
          interests in acoustic and physiological details. The
          subject under study was an American male, not a Tibetan
          monk. The study suggests aphonic patients may benefit
          from Tibetan chanting, as it requires minimal mean flow
          rates. It quotes and agrees with previous authors
          (Smith, Stevens, Tomlinson 1967), that Tibetan style
          may be due to ``two modes of oscillations, one at the
          normal frequency and another at some ``ill-defined''
          low frequency that synchronized to every pulse of the
          higher frequency''. It rules out glottal fry as the
          source of the low note, which I believe is an error.

     14 - Sons multiphoniques aux instruments a vent Michele
     Castellango Rapport IRCAM, 34|82. Paris, France.

          Wind instruments, not just voices, can play multiple
          sounds. The trombone, the flute, the oboe, bassoon and
          bass clarinet are examined in that respect. Defined as
          : ``l'entretien d'un son stable percu comme un
          accord'', multiphonic instrumental emissions are
          compared to vocal overtone singing. ``Si l'on renforce
          l'intensite de certaines harmoniques, ceux-ci peuvent
          etre percu isolement et former une melodie
          independante. A un instant donne, on percoit alors deux
          hauteurs. C'est le cas du chant diphonique, de la
          guinbarde et de l'arc musical ou l'on a dailleurs
          souvent deux ou trois melodies formantiques en

          N.B In previous years, Michele Castellango and Trang
          Quang Hai have worked together on a number of
          occasions, trying to pin down the nature of biphonic
          singing. [BD]

     14 - Theorie physiologique de la musique Hermann von Helmholtz
     Editions Jacques Gabay Paris, 1990.

          The Bible of acoustics and music, from the well known
          19th century Heidelberg university professor. First
          edition in French: 1868.

          When we sing overtones, we behave as Helmholtz
          resonators, amplifying certain harmonics in the note we
          sing. We do so by slightly changing the volume of air
          contained in our vocal tract or by changing the surface
          of the aperture of our mouth. Helmholtz shows us that
          in matters of resonance, there are no other variables
          at play than volume of air and surface of aperture.

          Following up on Helmhotz I hypothesized that whenever
          three notes were distinctly heard in a given style
          (i.e. Kaigal-ool Khovalyg singing in khoomei style) one
          was amplified using the tongue as a means to vary the
          volume of air, one was amplified using the aperture of
          the mouth. Both field observations of professional
          Tuvan singers and personal practice seem to verify
          this. [BD]

     15 - Tuvan Folk Music A.N. Aksenov Asian Music IV, 1973

          I've been unable to confirm the existence of this book,
          or even find out what language it has been published
          in. It was listed as one of several books being
          auctioned by a specialist in antique books.

     16 - The Choomij of Mongolia: a Spectral Analysis of Overtone
     Singing R. Walcot Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology 2, 1974

     17 - The Land In The Heart Of Asia Vladimir Semenov and Marina
     Kilunovskaia Bronze Horseman Literary Agency (1995) 70-52 Olcott
     Street Forest Hills, NY 11375

          $22, 112 pages, 72 color illustrations. Bronze Age,
          Neolithic, and Scythian artifacts from excavations in

     18 - Unknown Mongolia: A Record of Travel and Exploration in
     North-West Mongolia and Dzungaria Douglas Carruthers Hutchinson &
     Co., 1914.

          ``Unknown Mongolia'' is an enormous two-volume tome
          based on British geographer Douglas Carruthers'
          20-month journey and mapping expedition through what is
          now Tuva and Mongolia. The first volume is almost all
          about Tuva. Carruthers was literally charting uncharted
          territory. The stated intent of the journey was as a
          geographic expedition. Carruthers set out to map the
          territory and investigate its geology, flora and fauna.
          The result is a fascinating and highly informative
          account, written in the somewhat overblown, erudite
          manner typical of the aristocrats who were members of
          the Royal Geographic Society.

          Despite his understandably "Orientalist" approach,
          Carruthers for the most part manages to avoid the
          judgmental condescension of many other British
          explorers. His account of the indigenous people and
          their ways of life is sensitive and respectful, and his
          painstaking attention to detail is rendered more with
          refreshing candor and wide-eyed wonder than with the
          bored skepticism of some of the other British travel
          accounts of the period. It's informative, entertaining,
          readable, and full of vivid geographic and ethnographic
          detail. [Review by Brian Donahoe.]

          Booksellers list a 1994 edition of this book (ISBN
          8120608577) with a price in the $40 (US) range - much
          better than the rare 1914 edition.

     19 - Open Lands: Travels Through Russia's Once Forbidden Places
     Mark Taplin Steerforth Press, 1998, ISBN 1-883642-87-6

          In 1992, when the doors to formerly forbidden areas of
          the Soviet Union were opened, Taplin visited seven
          newly accessible cities and regions. One chapter is
          devoted to Tuva; the chapter is an interesting read,
          the highlight being his run-in with Mongush
          Kenin-Lopsang. Taplin has an eye for detail and
          provides generous descriptions of the situations he's
          encountered; his Tuvan chapter doesn't include much on
          aspects of Tuvan tradition or day-to-day life but does
          provide much insight on the legacies of the Soviet

     20 - Books by Lev Nikolayevich Gumilev (1912-1992)

          Several Russians have reported that they first became
          interested in Tuva through the works (in Russian) of
          this author. Some titles of interest are "Hunnu in
          China" "Ancient Turkic people".

14: Any recommended reading about Feynman?
A: Send your suggestions. Here's what I've found.

1 - Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Richard Feynman, as told to Ralph
Leighton W.W. Norton, 1985. Paperback by Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-34668-7.

     Another canonical work. Sometimes inspirational, sometimes
     educational, always amusing. I can't praise this book highly
     enough to do it justice.

2 - What Do *You* Care What Other People Think? Richard Feynman, as told to
Ralph Leighton W.W. Norton, 1988. Paperback by Bantam Books, ISBN

     In a way, "What Do You Care" fills in the holes that "Surely
     You're Joking" left unexplored. Some stories are light hearted,
     while others are somewhat tragic. The second half of the book
     details Feynman's work with the Rogers Commission. Highly

3 - QED - The Strange Theory of Light and Matter Richard Feynman Princeton
University Press, 1985.

     Quantum electrodynamics explained for the generalist. Will the
     reader understand modern physics after reading this book? No, but
     not to worry (as explained on page 9). The clearest and most
     concise explanation of the subject available.

4 - The Feynman Lectures on Physics Richard Feynman, Robert Leighton,
Matthew Sands Addison-Wesley, 1963.

     This legendary three-volume set established the precedent of
     "Feynman talks, Leighton writes". Fascinating lectures delivered
     with insight usually not presented to undergraduate students.

5 - Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman James Gleick Pantheon
Books, 1992. Paperback by Vintage/Random House, 1993, ISBN 0-679-74704-4.

     Gleick is a thorough researcher; the bibliography is formidable.
     His writing does not convey the same friendly charm of Feynman's
     narrated stories, but the different viewpoint will be of interest
     to the completist.

6 - No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman Christopher Sykes
W.W. Norton, 1994.

     Great book. Ralph Leighton describes it as a get-together at a
     home where Feynman is the main topic of conversation, and Feynman
     shows up to tell his version of events.

7 - SIX EASY PIECES: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant
Teacher Richard P. Feynman Addison-Wesley and the Caltech Archives, 1994.

     Six Lectures from The Feynman Lectures on Physics, with
     accompanying audio on CD or cassette.

8 - The Art of Richard P. Feynman : Images By a Curious Character Compiled
by Michelle Feynman G+B Science Publishers SA, G+B Arts International ISBN

     173 pages with 92 full page black and white images and 7 colour
     plates by Feynman the artist. Accompanying the images are 57
     pages of commentary and reminiscences, some of which has been
     printed before (``But Is It Art?'' from ``Surely You're Joking'')
     and some of which is new. Particularly interesting are the
     contributions from the wonderful Albert Hibbs and from Michelle
     Feynman. A great book for the enthusiast.

9 - The Beat of A Different Drum: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
Jagdish Mehra Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1994 ISBN 0-19-853948-7 (cloth)

     According to the book jacket, Feynman in 1980 requested that
     Mehra ``do what he had already done for Heisenberg, Pauli, and
     Dirac, that is write a definitive account of his life, science
     and personality.'' Mehra, who had known Feynman personally for 30
     years, readily agreed.

10 - Richard Feynman - A Life In Science John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin
Dutton, published by the Penguin Group, 1997 ISBN 0-525-94124-X (hardcover)

     The book attempts to capture both the essence of Feynman's
     scientific works and the essence of his `curious character' in
     one book, and succeeds to a good degree. The scientific
     explanations are well-explained in an interesting manner, and the
     anecdotes are always engaging. This may be of the most interests
     to the reader who has not already enjoyed other books featuring
     stories from Feynman's life, since there is inevitably some
     duplication between books, but even the seasoned reader will find
     something new here.

11 - Most of the Good Stuff - Memories of Richard Feynman Laurie M. Brown
and John S. Rigden, editors American Institute of Physics, 1993 ISBN
0-88318-870-8 (hardcover)

     One of the better books, this is a collection of reminiscences
     and anecdotes from colleagues and friends, organized around the
     impact he made through his scientific work, through his teaching,
     and through his personality. Several of the pieces appeared in
     the February 1989 issue of `Physics Today' but are not reprinted

15: Are audio recordings available?
A: I'm glad you asked. Long gone are the days when Tuvan (and other central
Asian) music was difficult to find; the enthusiast now has a wonderful
array of offerings to choose from. Of course, not all of these recordings
are available in every store, but we've tried to supply all the information
needed to place a special order. of course, if you're not certain of what
you want, you can always ask in Usenet newsgroup alt.culture.tuva.

     1 - Tuva: Voices From The Center Of Asia.
           Smithsonian Folkways CD SF 40017
           Distributed by Rounder Records, Cambridge MA.

          33 tracks, 41'50, featuring numerous performers
          recorded in Tuva by Ted Levin, Eduard Alexeev, Zoya
          Kirgiz. Khoomei, jew's harp, sigit, animal imitations.
          Excellent, scholarly, musicological liner notes.

     2 - Tuva: Voices from the Land of the Eagles
          Pan Records CD 2005CD
          P.O. Box 155, 2300 AD Leiden, Netherlands

          11 tracks, 46'46, khomus, tyzani, igil, amirga,
          toshpular. Features Kongar-ool Ondar, Kaigal-ool
          Khovalig, Gennadi Tumat, all soloists of the folk
          ensemble Tuva. Recorded February 23, 1991. Excellent
          liner notes.

     3 - Voix de l'Orient Sovietique
            Inedit W 260008
            Maison des Cultures Du Monde , Paris

          Only one Khoomei track, but it is supposedly very good.
          Other tracks from other Soviet (now CIS) central Asian
          republics. [I don't have this one - Kerry]

     4 - Mongolian Folk Music
           Hungaroton HCD 18013-14

          Selected from the 1967 year's collection by Lajos
          Vargyas.  [I don't have this one - Kerry]

     5 - Mongolie- Musique vocale et instrumentale
           Inedit W 460009

          [I don't have this one - Kerry]

     6 - Sainkho Namtchylak - Lost Rivers
           Free Music Productions FMP CD 42
           Postbox 100 227, 1000 Berlin 10, Germany

          Solo voice. Avante garde singing, with some polyphonic
          singing. 13 tracks, 74'18.

     7 - Sainkho Namtchylak - When the Sun Is Out You Don't See Stars
           Free Music Productions FMP CD 38

          With Peter Kowald (bass), Werner Ludi (saxes), Butch
          Morris (cornet). 20 tracks, 72,50, less avante garde
          than Lost Rivers.

     8 - Sainkho Namtchylak - Out Of Tuva
          Cramworld/Crammed Discs CD CRAW6
          Released 1993.
           Recorded between 1986 and 1993 in Kyzyl, Moscow, Wuppertal,
     Paris, and Brussels.

          Mostly pop songs incorporating traditional folklore and
          some traditional techniques, the liner notes explain
          that these are recordings that Sainkho had made with no
          plans to release them. Muscovite Artemy Troitsky
          thought that they should be released and put them on
          this disk, along with three new songs.

          The songs are generally less esoteric than other
          Sainkho works and they are far more accessible to the
          casual listener. The featured instrument is her voice,
          and the accompaniment varies from somewhat bare
          percussion to a large orchestra to synthesized washes.
          I like this disc more than the other Sainkho ones I've
          heard, and if I were to recommend a first Sainkho album
          to newcomers, this would be it.

          As an added bonus, the insert artwork is pretty good;
          the cover is a stunning photo of Sainkho's face and
          shoulders superimposed in front of a bright blur of
          colour. The liner notes are good but too brief; only
          some of the songs have accompanying notes listing the
          details of the recording. 13 Tracks, total length

     9 - Sainkho Namtchylak - Letters
           Leo CD 190. Unreviewed.

     10- Tuva: Echoes from the Spirit World
           Pan Records CD 2013CD

          17 tracks, 61'38, khomus, tyzani, igil, amirga,
          toshpular, dambiraa, bell, kengirge, byzaanchy, limbi,
          buree, savag, tung, tenchak, khirilee. Features 11
          performers, includes recordings made on tour in 1992 as
          well as older recordings from Soviet radio (1973, 1983,
          1986). Superlative liner notes explaining many ideas
          and terms.

     11- Ozum (Sprouts): Young Voices of Ancient Tuva
          Window to Europe CD sum 90 008
         Jodenbreestraat 24, 1011 NK, Amsterdam, Netherlands

          A Dutch-Russian release from Otkun Dostai, Oolak Ondar,
          and Stanislav Iril, three young Tuvan musicians who
          have built on the traditional style. A strong album
          that I really like. Oolak Ondar (b. 1973) was the
          winner at the throat singing symposium (1991, Kyzyl) in
          sygyt style.  Stanislav Iril was  also a symposium
          winner (best kargyraa, 1995).  See
          khomus, acoustic guitar, and shaman drum.
          13 tracks, 42'34.

     12- Mongolian Songs
            King Record Co CD KICC 5133
           2-12-13 Otowa Bunkyo-ku Tokyo 112 Japan

          Part of King's World Music Library, this is a Japanese
          import with almost no English in the package. 7
          performers, 19 songs, 54'52. The men's khoomei is very
          good, the women's takes some getting used to.

     13- Mongolian Epic Song (Zhangar)
           King Record Co CD KICC 5136
           2-12-13 Otowa Bunkyo-ku Tokyo 112 Japan

          Male vocal with instrumental accompaniment. Short and
          long songs.

     14- Mongolian Morin Khuur Ci Bulag
          King Record Co CD KICC 5135

          Sentimental horse-head fiddle solos.

     15- Morin Khuur Ci Bulag
          JVC World Sounds, VICG-5212

          More Sentimental horse-head fiddle solos.

     16- Mongolie Ensemble Mandukhai
            Playa Sound, PS 65115

          Large variety with some khoomei.

     17- Mongolie Chants Kazakh et tradition epique de l'Ouest
            Ocora - Radio France, C 580051

          25 songs, with tobsuur accompaniment, recorded in
          Mongolia in 1984 and 1990. Twenty songs of Kazakh
          music, some of it actually danceable! Minimal khoomei,
          although the voices do make good use of changing
          timbres. The final five songs are labelled ``epic
          tradition of the West'' and the lyrics are fragments of
          lengthy epic songs.

     18- Huun-Huur-Tu: Sixty Horses In My Herd - Old Songs and Tunes
     of Tuva
           Shanachie Records CD SH 64050 CD/MC
           37 E. Clinton St., Newton NJ 40017

          Master khoomigch Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and his new group,
          which has toured all over the US. 12 tracks of all
          natures of top-notch khoomei, other singing, igil
          (Tuvan viol) playing. Its being studio-produced, which
          although lending a slight inauthenticity, makes for an
          eminently listenable album. Decent liner notes and
          text. [BSG]

     19- Uzlyau: Guttural Singing of the People of the Sayan, Altai,
     and Ural Mountains
            (1993) PAN 2019CD (PAN Records Ethnic Series)

          37 recordings from Russian archives form a catalog of
          all known styles of overtone singing from Tuva (12),
          Altai (2), and Baskhiria (23), collected, produced,
          (partially) recorded, and documented in encyclopaedic,
          scholarly liner notes by Vyacheslav Shchurov. Studio
          and field recordings, featuring master khoomigch
          Oorzhak Khunashtaar-ool in some awesome 1977
          performances recored by Radio Moscow. Some doshpuluur
          and khomus, but almost all vocal. Some absolute
          knockout kargyraa. A must. [BSG]

     20- Tales of Tuva

          Kira Van Deusen recites three Tuvan stories (in
          English) with musical accompaniment by Kongar-ool
          Ondar, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, and Anatoli Kuular.

     21- Shu-De: Voices from the Distant Steppe
           Realworld/WOMAD Productions (Real World Records Ltd)
            (In US): Carol 2339-2 Caroline Records, Inc 111 West 26th
           New York NY 10001

          16 tracks by the Tuvan ensemble Shu-De (M. Mongush, L.
          Oorzhak, N. Shoigu, B. Salchak, O. Kuular), including
          all varieties of khoomei, igil, doshpuluur, & limbi
          (flute) playing, plus a wide variety of styles from
          Buddhist Chant to Tuvan tongue twisters to
          Western-style choral harmony. A shamanic ritual ends
          out the CD. A magnificent kargyraa cut by Leonid
          Oorzhak is a highlight. Eminently listenable. (Spring
          1994). Weak liner notes. [BSG]

     22- Tuvinian Singers & Musicians: Khoomei: Throat-Singing from
     the Center of Asia.
     Distributed in Germany via Zweitausendeins Versand, Postfach,
     D-60381 Frankfurt. Order Number 55838.

          Volume 21 of the World Network series, a coproduction
          from WDR (West-deutscher Rundfunk - a major TV and
          radio station in Germany) and World Network.

          16 tracks (total playing time: 64' 01"), partially
          recorded in Cologne in April 1993 and in Tuva in
          September 1992. Performers include Schaktar Schulban, a
          10 year old boy, the 18 year-olds Ondar Mongun-Ool and
          Bujan Dondak, and the Tuva Ensemble, founded in 1988 by
          Gennadi Tumat, Oleg Kuular, Stas Danmaa and Alexander

          This CD can be warmly recommended to all lovers of
          Tuvinian music. The music presented is a well performed
          collection of authentic vocal and instrumental pieces.
          Since all pieces are strictly traditional this CD
          cannot be compared to the performance by e.g. Sainkho.
          Track no. 9, performed by the unusually young artist
          Schaktar Schulban, reveals the enormous talent of this
          promising singer.

          The CD is very interesting because next to the overview
          of singing styles the listener is also introduced to a
          representative spectrum of instrumental music. [OC]

     23- Tuvinski Folklore
            Melodiya Stereo 33 C60-14937-42 1981, Out of print.

          This three LP set features a total of 65 tracks, most
          of which are khoomei, and instrumental music. One
          entire disk (both sides) is devoted to two tracks, each
          over 24 minutes long, of byzanchi playing. There are
          also several tracks of story telling, and a few of the
          musical numbers are repeated with variations or in
          slightly different styles.

          The Melodiya record that Feynman had is apparently
          unavailable, although the vaults of recording agencies
          in the former USSR have been opened to interested
          entrepreneurs. Latest reports say that the masters have
          been lost.

     24- Kronos Quartet: Night Prayers
           Elektra Nonesuch CD 2 79346
           Distributed by Warner Music.

          One track on this CD, "Kongerei", features Kaigal-ool
          Khovalyg, Anatoly Kuular, and Kongar-ool Ondar singing
          along to the accompaniment of the Quartet (2 violins, 1
          viola, 1 cello). This new version is interesting in
          it's approach to a traditional Tuvan song with modern
          Western instruments.

     25- Yat-Kha
            General Records GR 90-202 (Moscow), 1993

          Albert Kuvezin (throat-singing and instruments yat-kha,
          byzanchi, organs, khomus, percussion & gongs) and Ivan
          Sokolovski (keyboards, computers, cello, drums &
          percussions, noises). Kuvezin is a founding member of
          the group Huun-Huur-Tu, living in Moscow, who
          specializes in his own style of kargyraa, extremely
          low-pitched singing with artificial subharmonics. In
          this hour of 13 tracks, he exploits this awesome and
          rarely-heard technique, combining it with techno-pop
          backup sounds (and a token amount of traditional
          singing/playing) to produce a thoroughly unique,
          avant-garde offering which has the power to grow on
          you. Deliberately obscure liner notes [BSG].

          Here is some news from Yat-Kha from August of 1995:

          Eki ergim eshter! (Hello dear friends)

          I would like to inform you about some news of the
          Yat-Kha band. We are right now recording a new album at
          the Global Mobile studio in Helsinki under the roof
          (and rules) of Anu Laakkonen. The album presents our
          new style: "Yenisei kargyrapunk". The participating
          musicians in this projects are: Alexei/vocal, tungur,
          igil; myself/kargyra & guitars; Evgeniy/percussions,
          Kari/sound & drinks; Anu/sauna; Mikko/cooks & drinks;
          Akym/phonecontrol. The CD will be released by Global
          Music Centre soon. Start saving now! We will give the
          account details later. [AK]

     26- Huun-Huur-Tu (with Mergen Mongush): Orphan's Lament
           Shanachie Records 64058

          A work of well-produced art, contemporary offerings in
          traditional Tuvan styles, not an ethnomusicological
          assay. Its 16 pieces in styles varying from unison
          Kargyraa chants to political songs to khomus ("Jews'
          harp") solos provide a tour-de-force of Tuvan styles
          designed for listening pleasure and wonderment. Master
          khoomigch Kaigal-ool Khovalyg's deeply touching igil
          (Tuvan viol) playing is (as on "60 Horses") a real
          highlight of the album. His frequent vocal solos in all
          styles, and those of the sweet-voiced Anatoli Kuular,
          joined by Mergen Mongush for one sygyt cut, help place
          this album among the two or three "must-have"'s for
          anyone who *enjoys* authentic Tuvan music. [BSG]

     27- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Geronimo, An American
            Columbia CD CK 57760

          Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, Anatoly Kuular, and Sayan Bapa
          sing and play on six of the seventeen tracks. The
          Tuvans make a significant contribution to the
          soundtrack and share writing credits on some songs.
          This CD is not a "must-have" for the traditionalist but
          is interesting. The CD seems to have a higher Tuvan
          content than was actually heard in the movie.

     28- The ReR Quarterly, Volume 4, Number 1 (ReR 0401)

          The ReR Quarterly is a sort of audio magazine dedicated
          to weird and experimental music. The first track on
          this issue is "Koongoortoog," whom we know today as
          Huun-Huur-Tu. Most of the rest of the CD is
          significantly modernist abstract composition or
          alienated rock music.

          This old traditional song was recorded in 1991 in
          Moscow when the Koongoortug band consisted of only
          Albert Kuvezin and Alexander Bappa. On this song Mr.
          Kuvezin sang and played all the instruments (yat-kha,
          fretless bass, drum machine, buddhist percussion)
          except shell by Mr. Bappa. Arrangement was done by Mr.
          Kuvezin. The studio time was purchased by Mr. Bappa.
          This tape was given to Chris Cutler in London. The
          picture and the information was mistakingly taken from
          the first CD of Huun Huur Tu. ReR Megacorp is reachable
          at 74 Tulse Hill, London SW2 2PT, England, or
          distributed in the USA by Wayside Music, PO Box 8427,
          Silver Spring MD 20907. (Source: [AK], Alexei Saaia,
          Anu Laakkonen, Akym (AAAA Club))

     29- Whistling In the Temple: Harmonic Voices
            Simone Records, 412 East Ellis Ave., Inglewood, CA 90302.
            In the USA, call 1-800-300-3315 for info.

          Most songs have overtone singing and other cultural
          references such as instrumentation and source material
          which refer to Tuvan lifestyle. It is a hybrid
          recording, but not in a pop type manner such as Sainko.
          I did enjoy the music and gist of the material
          immensely. [KW]

     30- Jeff Lorber: West Side Stories
            Polygram Records, distributed by Verve Records, 314 523

          Kongar-ool Ondar sings on one track, ``Tuva'', five
          minutes long. He sings two themes (the old favourite,
          ``Alash River'' and another, about the Tuvan forests),
          and Lorber has built a song around them. The music is
          not traditional, or a facsimile (for example, the
          Kronos Quartet blended their instruments well with the
          Tuvan themes on their Tuvan song) but is funky light
          jazz played mainly on synthesizers. An added bonus: in
          the liner notes Lorber mentions that he made his studio
          available to Kongar-ool to record an album for release
          in Tuva.

     31- Biosintez
            Lava Productions. 23705 Vanowen St., suite 123, West
            CA 91307, USA. E-Mail: LAVAUSA@AOL.COM

          Tuvan music played on modern rock instruments.

     32- Kongar-ool Ondar - Echoes of Tuva

          This recording is a solo recording by Kongar-ool Ondar,
          made in the picturesque old city hall of Pasadena,
          California. The building's natural reverberance is used
          to great effect and gives the recordings a very natural
          lively feel.

          The recording opens with traditional songs done
          impeccably, but it is the more modern-sounding songs
          that are most interesting. Also striking is the prayer
          for Richard Feynman, a song featuring only voice and

          The recording is available directly from Friends of
          Tuva, Box 182, Belvedere CA 94920.

     33- The Legend of Tannu Uriangkhai
            Published by The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission,
            4th Floor, #5, Shu-Chow Road, Taipei, Republic of China.
            Produced by the Typhoon Music Co, director Lee Hou-kou.

          A book and CD combination in Chinese and English, with
          references, the CD is excellent [Not reviewed by me -

     34- Khomus: Jew's Harp Music of the Turkic Peoples in the Urals,
            and Central Asia.
            Pan Records CD PAN 2032CD
            P.O. Box 155, 2300 AD Leiden, Netherlands
            Phone: (+31-71)219479 fax: (+31-71)226869

          While only one track (out of 33) is from Tuva, this is
          an excellent survey of khomus music of the Turkic
          speaking peoples. Excellent liner notes, including
          repeated mention of Tuva and a Tuvan folk tale
          regarding the origin of the khomus. Very listenable if
          you like khomus (very twangy if you don't like
          khomus...) with most of the songs being complete,
          though fairly short. Music is from Gorno-Altai,
          Kyrgyzstan, Tuva, Bashkortostan, and Yakutia. There is
          surprising variety in the music from this simple

          Here are the details on the Tuvan track (#5): ``BAYAN
          KOL and BISTING TYVA (Our Tuva). Also found on LP
          Melodiya 14937 #1 and #10. Many folk musicians do not
          perform on the stage but rather prefer to play in a
          natural environment, like the Tuvan herdsman
          Khunashtaar-ool Oorzhak playing temir khomus''. Total
          time: 66'03. [MVB]

     35- Khoomei 92 - WTE Tapes 004
            Window to Europe
            Jodenbreestraat 24, 1011 NK, Amsterdam, Netherlands
            tel +31-20-6245747 fax +31-20-6203570

          Though I have not heard this one myself it comes highly
          recommended by a friend in Amsterdam. It is a tape
          (presumably also on CD) from the first International
          Symposium on Throat Singing in Kyzyl, June 1992. [MVB]

     36- Planet Soup
           Produced by Ellipsis Arts, 20 Lumber Rd., Roslyn, NY 11576,

           (800) 788-6670, FAX: (516) 621-2750.

          This illustrated book (48 pages) and three compact
          discs (or cassette) includes one song (1:51 minutes),
          ``Genghis Blues: The Ballad of Cher Shimjer (What You
          Talkin' About?)'' featuring Paul Pena, (vocals,
          guitars, kargyraa vocals); Kongar-ool Ondar (sygyt
          vocal, khomus) and; ``C.T.'' and Rusty Gunn (backing

          There's also an interesting track by Bolot Bairyshev,
          from Altay in Mongolia (this track is originally from
          ``Voice of Asia 2'').

     37- Jon Rose: Violin Music For Supermarkets
            Megaphone Records, Megaphone 016 (CD), released 1994.

          Sainkho Namtchylak appears on track 11, ``Shopping In
          Tuva'' (3:51).

     38- Yat-Kha: Yenisei-punk
            Global Music Centre GMCD 9504, Finland, 1995.
            Duration: 56:31
            Contact: e-mail: ,
      (Finnish) or

          Solun chaagai sovet churtum (Beautiful Soviet Country)
          Karangailyg kara hovaa (In the endless black steppe)
          Kaa-khem (Name of the river)
          Kuu-la khashtyn baaryndan (At the foot of a mountain)
          Kamgalanyr kuzhu-daa bar (We have protection force)
          Irik chuduk (Rotten log)
          Chashpy-khem (Name of a river)
          Kadarchy (Shepherd boy)
          Chok-la kizhi yry (Song of a poor lonely)
          Een kurug kagban-na men (I didn't leave my yurt empty)
          Toorugtub taiga (Cedar taiga)

          If Michael Gira would have been born in Tuva, this is
          how the Swans would sound, I guess. All the instruments
          but the electric guitar are ethnic Tuvan, but I have
          the impression they're not as lively and diversified as
          with Huun-Huur-Tu. Also, the throat singing is quite
          threatening in a monotonous way, but not as
          breath-taking and crazy as with Huun-Huur-Tu. Although
          many of the songs are about nature, this CD sounds very
          dark and gloomy, hence the "punk" title; not the Sex
          Pistols kind of punk, more like Joy Division.

          Every song on its own is an impressive listening
          experience, but maybe there isn't enough variation to
          make the whole CD interesting enough. Luckily, some
          songs have accompanying extra voices.

          The last track is more than 10 minutes long, and is not
          really a song, more the singer showing of his low
          throat voice, which only rarely gets the "vacuum
          cleaner" sound effect. Conclusion: good, but not
          essential exotica stuff. [Reviewed by Johan Dada Vis

     39- Deep In the Heart of Tuva - Cowboy Music From the Wild East
            Ellipsis Arts CD4080, ISBN 1-55961-324-6
            64 page book, 60+ minute CD

          This recent release comes with a well-produced booklet
          full of information (interviews, khoomei details, liner
          notes, etc.) and superb photos. The music is a sampler
          of a wide variety of performers and styles. This
          release sets a new standard for Tuvan music production.

     40- Huun-Huur-Tu: If I'd Been Born An Eagle
           Shanachie Records

          "If I'd Been Born An Eagle" explores a possible past
          with the addition of an end-blown flute, an instrument
          of other Turkic mountain peoples, which may once have
          been played in Tuva. Once you hear it along with the
          other Tuvan instruments, you'll wonder why the Tuvans
          ever gave it up! This CD is a worthy addition to the
          other two by HHT. [RL]

     41- Huun-Huur-Tu and Angelite: Fly, Fly My Sadness

          Recorded in Bulgaria with the women's choir Angelite
          (formerly called Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares), this CD
          is definitely meditative stuff --- not quite my style,
          but certainly an interesting mixture of distinctive
          musical traditions. [RL]

     42- Vershki da Koreshki
            Al Sur CD ALCD 204, 1996.
           15, rue des Goulvents, 92000 Nanterre, France,
           Telephone (33) 01 41 20 90 50.

          9 tracks, 56'08.

          Featuring: Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, voice, khoomei, igil,
          khomus Mola Sylla, vocals, kongoma, xalam, kalimba
          Alexei Levin, accordian, piano, khomus, kongoma
          Vladimir Volkov, double bass Paco Diedhjou, sauruba

          This album features one musician from Tuva, two from
          Senegal, and two from Saint Petersburg. The musicians
          blend their styles and genres to form an interesting
          and attractive result; although similar experiments
          haven't always worked well in the past, in this case it

          The accordian and the double bass complement, rather
          than steer, the other instruments. The addition of the
          rich sounding double bass to Tuvan melodies is quite
          satisfying. The African and Tuvan musical elements are
          not as disparate as one might expect; this is more a
          testimony to the talents and to the calibre of the
          musicians than to any similarities inherent in the

     43- Chirgilchin: The Wolf and the Kid
            Shanachie CD 64070 16 tracks, 1996.

          Featuring: Ondar Mongun-ool, throat-singer Aidysmaa
          Kandan, singer Tamdyn Aldar, instruments Produced by
          Alexander Bapa

          The 20-year old Tuvan performers sound great on this
          recording, and some listeners will already know
          Mongun-Ool from a sygyt cut on the World Network CD
          ``Choomeij: Throat-Singing From the Center of Asia''.
          Mongun-Ool is one of the greatest sygyt-singers, but he
          masters other styles as well. [Review by Sami Jansson.]

     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
   --- for instance, "Fire in the
          Water"  features  khoomei singing, (especially sygyt).

          Big Sky themselves are on the WWW at
   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 .

          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!

     48- Huun-Huur-Tu: Where Young Grass Grows
           Shanachie Records CD 66018

          15 tracks, 45'05. No review available yet. Tracklist: 1
          Ezir-Kara 2 Anatoly On Horseback 3 Deke-Jo 4 Xöömeyimny
          Kagbasla Men (I will not abandon my xöömei) 5 Avam
          Churtu Dugayimny (Dugai, the land of my mother) 6
          Dyngyldai 7 Highland Tune 8 Hayang (name of a hunter) 9
          Barlyk River 10 Tarlaashkyn 11 Interlude: Sayan playing
          khomus with water in his mouth 12 Sarala 13 Sagla
          Khadyn Turula Boor (It's probably windy on Sagly
          steppe) 14 Ezertep-Le Bereyin Be (Do you want me to
          saddle you?) 15 Live Recording: Anatoly and Kaigal-ool
          riding horses in Eleges while singing sygyt (Anatoly),
          kargyraa and xöömei (Kaigal-ool)

     49- Tuva, Among the Spirits: Sound, Music, and Nature in
            Sakha and Tuva
            Smithsonian Folkways CD SFW 40452

          19 tracks, 49'00, featuring numerous performers
          recorded in Tuva and Sakha by Ted Levin and Joel
          Gordon. Excellent music with excellent scholarly,
          musicological liner notes. To be reviewed further.

     50- Tarbagan: Tarbagan Rises On The Earth
            BooxBox World Wide Music CD BWM-A801

          14 tracks. Japanese release featuring Haruhiko Saga and
          Masahiko Todoriki.

     51- Yat-Kha: Dalai Beldiri
            Wicklow Entertainment LLC

          10 tracks, 46:05. More amazing bass from Albert Kuvezin
          with Aldyn-ool Sevek and Zhenya Tkach'v. Mainly
          traditional songs arranged in a modern style by
          Kuvezin; some exciting sounds. This is a very
          natural-sounding album and the fusion doesn't sound at
          all forced and contrived - a very musical record. Comes
          in a cool package with some great photos.

     51- Shu-De: Kongurei
            Newtone Records - NT 6745 2 CD

          12 tracks.

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