Listen to the haunting new title track, "Altai Sayan Tandy-Uula" from their forthcoming album released on 5th January by Greenwave records.
The name of this group describes the effect of vertical rays of light which shine down from the clouds at dawn and dusk - a familiar sight that inspires awe wherever it occurs. No doubt it's given added drama when projected over the stunning landscapes of Tuva. This landlocked republic at the heart of Asia is the home of the four-piece Huun-Huur-Tu, whose music represents a re-imagining of traditional Tuvan folklore and is strongly evocative of the natural world.
Their trademark sound derives from the use of various over-tone or 'throat-singing' techniques which were invented by nomadic hunter-herders of the Tuvan steppes and mountains. Traditionally, these were largely performed a cappella, but Huun-Huur-Tu were one of the first groups to combine them with ancient acoustic instruments such as the cello-like two-stringed igil, the four-stringed byzaanchi, the three-stringed doshpuluur and the khmomuz - a local equivalent of the Jew's harp. Using these with percussion and voice, they create eerie harmonics and otherworldly noises, even mimicking animals like horses.
Since their early incarnation as Kungurtuk in 1992, the band have undergone a couple of membership changes, but still hold fast to their original philosophy of updating and perpetuating Tuvan folklore. Though only two current members come from a nomadic shepherd background, in a peculiar irony, the whole group have become 21st century nomads as they travel the world performing to rapt concert hall audiences.
Ry Cooder, Frank Zappa, The Kronos Quartet and The Kodo drummers are among their more high profile collaborators, and they have also recorded joint albums with the Bulgarian group Angelite and the Moscow Art Trio. Spirits From Tuva (2002) is a controversial remix album which employs DJs from four different countries and met with a mixed critical response. More representative examples of their work can be heard on the excellent 1993 debut 60 Horses in my Herd as well as Best Live (2001) and More Live (2003), both of which document a concert held in April 2001. Their latest album Malerija (2003) teams them up with four musicians who add guitars, wind instruments, programming and samples.
Jon Lusk, November 2003
Read other peoples comments
Had the honour of watching these guys at the old fruitmarket in Glasgow last night with an already converted mind set.
After 5 seconds of listening to this music you realise that you've been into it all your life but just didn't know it. What beauty humanity is capable of
The music is haunting.
Beverly Ann Waltz
I think it is really cool
I was told to listen to this for my music course. It is just incredible! Wow!
I've heard them for the first time last night at EXIT FESTIVAL in NOVI SAD.
Huun Huur Tu generously gave us a piece of ancient rhythms and magic of the far east. AMAZING...
So, please tell me, how can I get some of Huun Huur Tu CD's?
Seeing them with Nina Nastasia in Iceland was deeply moving. Their sense of melancholy merges beautifully with western music.
That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I like this music. Great, Terrific, Marvellous
saw two of the boys with Nina Nastsasia in Leicester(Eng) and they illuminated what was already a terrific night ..ab fab & incredibly moving ..made me cry ..just about as real and as authentic as you could get ..well and truly hooked
Their music is numinous.
Like a past life memory, it tingled & inspired my emotions.
These guys are awesome. Truly original, mixing tradition and modernity with success. And the talent it takes to throat sing well... incredibly diffucult! Hats off to these guys!
Conjures up images of nomadic tribes - living on the cold steppes, of Eurasia.
I love this kind of music of throat singing.. it is fascinating
shmuel ben dov
when i first heard tuvan throat-singing i was blown away it is something you just have to hear to belive and the new album "Altai Sayan Tandy-Uula" has not left the cd player in my car since i got it 2 weeks ago, fantastic!
I am speachless- they should be winners!
Huun Hur Tu changed the way I perceived singing, but still isn't enough to let people understand that it can be done on reeds. reed are just extension of human voice. Papa Anthony Braxton, live forever.
Timeless, original, traditional and haunting..evokative of Silk Road treks experienced in dreams..Too bad Richard Feynman isn't here to savor this!
Re:their NY concert- they are even more impressive in a small club setting than on a CD. Andre Mongush is a wonderful addition.