October 3, 2008

Singers Bring Sounds of Tuva to Duke City

By David Stienberg Journal Staff Writer

From the remote land of Tuva comes the throat-singing foursome called Chirgilchin.

Throat-singing, which may have originated with people imitating the sounds of animals and nature, is big in the Tuva Republic.

"Tuvans are the masters of throat singing. We have a different style from the Mongolians. Mongolians don't use their chest very well," Alexander Bapa said in a phone interview from Venice, Calif.

And Chirgilchin may be among those masters.

At a music festival competition last summer, the ensemble was named the best throat-singing group, said Bapa, who described himself as the group's music arranger, producer and road manager.

Chirgilchin will be in concert Sunday, Oct. 5, at the South Broadway Cultural Center.

Albuquerque is not unfamiliar to the ensemble. It was a hit at the 2006 Globalquerque! world music festival.

Bapa said Chirgilchin's singer-musicians have recently been performing with other musicians. In a recent concert at UCLA, Bapa said the group collaborated with Iranian and East Indian musicians, with an American guitarist and a singerguitarist from Uganda.

And on Chirgilchin's new CD, the group worked with an American bassist and a Canadian drummer on five instrumental tunes, three rock-influenced and two what Bapa called hip-hop.

Tuva has been a republic since 1991 but remains part of the Russian Federation. Bordering on Siberia, Tuva is remote even by Central Asian standards.

Bapa said Tuva has a population of some 300,000 people, with about one third of whom living in the capital of Kyzyl.

"Many people live in small villages. Some people are sheepherders and cowboys. We are a nomadic people," he said. "We have sheep, cows, yak, reindeer and camels."


WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5

WHERE: South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway SE

HOW MUCH: $20 for reserved seats in advance at the Web site www. brownpapertickets.com or by calling toll-free (800) 838-3006 or at the door

(c) 2008 Albuquerque Journal. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.