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Songs That Transport You To Another Place

Huun Huur Tu - Odugen Taiga (Mother Taiga)

This song reminds me of our holiday with my stepdaughter and Swedish fiance last February at a 'Wilderness Camp' in the Arctic Circle - cross-country skiing thru forest; riding a dogsled; driving a snow mobile to The Ice Hotel; standing out at night to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights and; taking a sauna on a frozen lake (and rolling in the snow in my swimming costume under the starry skies!).

The group, Huun Huur Tu (Sunbeams), formed in 1992, hail from the Siberian province of Tuva in Central Asia which geographically lies to the north of Mongolia. They perform ancient traditional folk songs in their native Tuvan language, frequently featuring imagery of the Tuvan steppe, and its fauna and flora. With much of it's rural population leading a nomadic life, horses and reindeer feature in particular. Huun Huur Tu are leading exponents of the art of polyphonic (overtone or throat) singing - i.e. able to sing two or more different notes at the same time which the singers sing both a note and its overtones, thus producing two or three notes simultaneously. The overtone may sound like a flute, whistle or bird, but is solely a product of the human voice.

This 2008 version of the song is a collaboration with leading exponent of the electric bass guitar, Michael Manring (from the west coast of the US), and singer/songwriter Irina Mikhailova from Khazakhstan on backing vocals.

The traditional instruments:-

- the igil (two stringed horse-head fiddle);

- the byzanchi - a four-stringed vertical spike fiddle (with the bow passing between the strings)

- dunggur (shaman drum)

- flute

- doshpuluur - a long necked Tuvan lute with a trapezoidal sound-box

- along with wind and other instruments all made by their percussionist Alexei Saryglar

Reindeer on a frozen lake (Altajaarvi), with Camp Alta (Wilderness Camp) amongst the pine trees in the distance around 10 miles from the mining town of Kiruna in northern Sweden


If you have a song or a piece of music that transports you to another place and would like to share it with our website followers, than please drop me an email at include the Subject Title 'Songs That Transport You'

Paul Stocks, January 2021



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