Huun-Huur-Tu - The Orphan's Lament (1994)
world | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 370MB
From the first track, their second album, Orphan's Lament grabs your attention with "Prayer" -- the deep, unearthly, sounds of Tibetan Lamaist chant. Next they move to khoomei singing. Known in the West as "throat singing," the performer produces two or more high- and low-pitched tones simultaneously. The resulting sound -- somewhat eerie, somewhat haunting -- is a combination somewhere between the sounds of a long whistle and a Jew's harp.
But Huun Huur Tu also adds new elements to the traditional sounds of Tuvan music. In addition to the igil, a two-stringed horsehead fiddle played with a bow, and the khomuz, a Jew's harp, (both traditional instruments) the group has incorporated percussion -- not a usual device in Tuvan music. Their use of a large goat-skin drum, generally reserved for shamanistic rituals, gives a rhythm to their music, making it very appealing to a Western ear. Similarly, their use of pouch rattle (made from a bull's scrotum filled with sheep knucklebones) adds a beat.
The fact Huun Huur Tu plays together, as a group, is itself unusual. Not content to blindly follow traditional Central Asian folk music, Huun Huur Tu's four, sometimes five, performers create an ensemble that offers a complex, fascinating, and harmonious mixture.
-01. "Prayer - 2:32
-02. "Ancestors - 3:55
-03. "AA-Shuu Dekei-Oo - 2:51
-04. "Eerbek-Aksy - 2:05
-05. "The Orphan's Lament - 6:44
-06. "Kaldak-Khamar - 2:36
-07. "Steppe - 4:05
-08. "Borbanngadyr - 3:54
-09. "Chiraa-Khoor (The Yellow Trotter) - 4:52
-10. "Exile's Song - 4:13
-11. "Eki Attar - 2:22
-12. "Irik Chuduk (The Rotting Log) - 6:11
-13. "Sygyt - 2:53
-14. "Agitator - 1:55
-15. "Khomuz Medley - 4:50
-16. "Ödugen Taiga - 6:55