Tag Archive: folk music


In Tuvan folklore, the orphan is a key figure who shows the central impor­tance of love and family relationships. Deprived of parents, orphans are con­sidered the unluckiest of humans, even if they own lots of animals and have plenty of money.

I’m alone, I’m an orphan If I’d died as a baby.
If as a baby I’d died It wouldn’t have been such a misfor­tune
I’m alone, I’m an orphan
If I’d died as a newborn in the cradle
If as a newborn in the cradle I’d died
No one would have needed my thick­ened blood (placenta)
[i.e., it would have been better to have been aborted
than to have had such an unfortunate life]
We feel pity for a tiny bird
That tumbles from a broken nest
We feel pity for a baby
Who has lost his mother
The fate of the universe Can’t be held back
Even if my dying mother stood up and came to me
She wouldn’t add to my happiness


Kongar-ol Ondar, performing at the 2013 Rose Parade, was respected by musicians worldwide.

Kongar-ol Ondar, performing at the 2013 Rose Parade, was respected by musicians worldwide.

Kongar-ol Ondar, an internationally renowned master of Tuvan throat singing, the Central Asian vocal art in which a singer produces two or more notes simultaneously — and which to the uninitiated sounds like the bewitching, remarkably harmonious marriage of a vacuum cleaner and a bumblebee — died on July 25 in Kyzyl, Tuva’s capital. He was 51.

The cause was complications after emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage, said Sean P. Quirk, a longtime friend.

A region in southern Siberia just north of Mongolia, Tuva was an independent country from 1921 until 1944, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union. The region, which has a population of about 300,000, is now part of the Russian Federation.

Small, round and beatific, Mr. Ondar was a superstar in Tuva — “like John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley and Michael Jordan kind of rolled into one,” in the words of “Genghis Blues” (1999), an Oscar-nominated documentary about throat singing in which he figures prominently.

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Kazakh ethno-rock band “Ulytau” was formed in 2001 with the aim to highlight and convey to the audience the beauty of folk songs, to promote among youth the art of playing the dombra and present the world the greatness of the Kazakh national heritage.

The word “Ulytau” in Kazakh language means “Great Mountain”. Group Ulytau “- a real breakthrough in the world and home of contemporary instrumental music that the band with such enthusiasm and drive, perform the works of the greatest composers, such as: Kurmangazy Dauletkerey, Tattimbet, N. Tlendiev, Bach, Vivaldi, Paganini.

The guys from “Ulytau” is equally passionate about how to find cover versions of classics and the works of Kazakh classics in their own interpretation of the rich – very compacted in sound and dramatically associate opus. They hear the gusts of wind of the steppe, mnitsya smell of sun-scorched grass, seen proud gait graceful thoroughbreds, the strict gaze of elders, mesmerizing mystery ceremonial rituals … Call it art, and “World Music”. By the way, virtuoso electric guitar riffs in “Ulytau” bring to mind similar exercises Ritchie Blackmore, and dynamic and very charismatic rumbling bass – Roger Glover. Musicians with talent inkrustiruyut traditionally bright sounding violins and distinctly focused – Kazakh national instrument dombra a rigid aesthetic of hard rock, blues and … relaxing New Age.GROUP ULYTAU


The Horses of Huun-Huur-Tu

In the middle of the yellow steppe,

We rest underneath a lone birch tree,

The cool wind brings the aroma of juniper,

I’am a traveler, and my spirit is joyful,

An orphan who herded sheep on lands belonging to a certain feudal lord (noyon) had nothing except Chiraa-Khoor, his beautiful, strong and fast horse.
The noyon grew jealous of the horse and wanted to take it away. The orphan herder fled to others lands, and in this song, describes his journey. He began in the upper regions of the Khemchik River, in Bai-Taiga, and fled towards Tandi. As he travels along, he gives his own poetic names to the natural sights along the way.