Friday, September 28, 2012

“Morin Khuur State Ensemble”, Tricesimo September 24th, 2012

A 14-member Mongolian music ensemble rode through with its magnificent music at the “Madame Guitar” festival, Tricesimo, Italy.  

Just when you thought that you’ve seen it all in the world of music, along comes a 14-member Mongolian music ensemble to grace your ears.  The “Morin Khuur State Ensemble” from Mongolia performed at Tricesimo’s highly popular “Madame Guitar” international acoustic guitar festival, now in its 6th season.

The ensemble itself is the country’s most prestigious state orchestra, which is made up of 13 male and female musicians plus one extraordinary soprano.   The group’s classical Mongolian instruments are rather particular and include rather unique names such as “morin khuur”, “ikh khur”, “yatga” and “yochin”.

The singing style, especially for the men, is also extremely particular and is known as “double-phonic” (called “khoomii”), a rather unique way of signing from deep within the throat.  The “urtyn duu” (or “long song”) method is also used during certain pieces.  The men appear to be so good at it that they make this type of singing appear rather effortless. 

The musicians’ particular costumes, as well as the music which is reminiscent of hearing the stampeding of wild horses, takes the audience back centuries to the glorious days of the formerly grand Mongolian empire.   

The group’s performance surprised all those present given the “tightness” of the musicians: there was not a single note or movement that was out of place, including the soprano’s performance “à-la-Maria Callas” (all pics by M. Rimati)!

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