Chirgilchin - Tuvan Throat Singing
The word Chirgilchin has two translations:"dance of the air in the heat of the day" and "miracle". Established in 1996, Chirgilchin is a group of musicians from Tuva, a small Russian province north of Western Mongolia. Their music tells stories of their homeland, its horses and its people. The monotone sustained notes that branch out into overtone singing with slight shifts in pitch give Tuvan music its characteristic bouyant yet meditative drone quality. The songs are sung in minor pentatonic scale, similar to American blues. Throat-singing is an extraordinary vocal form in which one singer produces two or more voices simultaneously, the low sounds in the throat harmonizing with middle and high flute-like overtones, to create richly layered melodies that evoke Central Asian steppes and nomadic life. Atmospheric and mesmeric, this music is almost too difficult to describe in words and must be heard to be believed. The most advanced forms of throat-singing come from Tuva, and the members of Chirgilchin are among the best and most accomplished throat-singers in all of Tuva.