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View Poll Results: Fly,Fly My Sadness by Huun-Huur-Tu
Excellent 5 100.00%
Good 0 0%
OK 0 0%
Disappointing 0 0%
Awful 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I came across these notes from Mikhail Alperin explaining what he was trying to achieve.

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Originally Posted by Mikhail Alperin

The story of this project has its own tiny prelude, to my mind a rather mysterious one, which I would like to share: Some time (Roughly?) about a year ago, I developed some kind of vision of a family where the father would be from Tuva, the mother Bulgarian, the daughter a Russian, and the son Jewish. The very idea might have been nothing more than a funny whim, but then, all of a sudden, I pictured this family as a musical one, not consisting of professional musicians, but a family where ... Then I didn't get any further with my vision. Instead, I started collecting musical material and writing scores for some non-existing future project. These, then, would be the ingredients of the salad to come: The Bulgarian Women's Choir - "the mother", overtone singers from Tuva - "the father", The Moscow Art Trio, with the Russian soul of Sergei Starostin and my own Jewish melancholy, plus a blues singer of some category or other - the children of the peoples of the world. Luckily, at the time I wasn't about to think of it as a concrete, pre-programmed plan. I was just playing with the idea. That family, however, started to live its own more specific life, even if only on paper. Having spent a week writing out some of the compositions I realized that all of this was just a dream and as dreams have a tendency to dissolve and create disillusion I figured I would have to come to terms with that. In my embittered mind, dream and reality seemed to collide head on, until one day the producer, Uli Balss, of JARO, Germany, phoned me unexpectedly to suggest that we work on two disks with my Moscow Art Trio and subsequently the "Bulgarian-Tuvan project" of which we had been dreaming, not he, strange as it may seem. Needless to say, I immediately hurled myself at the task. Some dreams do come true. But in any family problems arose, and some specific ones did show up in "mine". During recording sessions for my disk, Prayer (with members of a Russian folklore choir - JARO 4193-2) one of the Russian female singers suddenly stopped singing and left the studio as a sign of protest against what she held to be a too radical treatment of folkloristic material. Thus, I knew from that experience that the Bulgarian-Tuvan project would require lengthy and emotionally demanding explanations on the phone of concepts unfamiliar to the various participants. And even when the choir finally got their scores, work wasn't necessarily made easier. Unexplored musical ideas kept knocking especially forcefully on the door of the "mothers", who generally tend to prefer what is familiar. The "fathers" in far-away Tuva smoked their tobacco and sipped their vodka, shaking their heads in astonished patience, whereas their Russian "son", following his people's tradition, preferred not to brood too much about the future. Now, a few words about the project itself - about the music you'll hear on this disk. For a long time I had been studying the common denominator of meditative structures in various folkloristic forms of expression, for instance the Russian tradition of lengthy songs with their characteristically brooding melancholy. Actually, a similar mood might be found in Tuvan songs of the steppe, and is also reflected in the musical landscape of folk songs from the Radopi region in Bulgaria, as well as in many Jewish songs, filled as they are with that very same stillness and affection. That's why, in the beginning, I named the project "Meditation" as a working title - in an attempt to stay away from any "modernization" of folk song themes, but instead unite different folkloristic sources in the vision of a bird's flight.

Should I try to capture in words the essence of what I have tried to do here, I would do so in terms of a small scene that got stuck in my mind: I remember an elderly couple dressed in black on a small island in Greece. They were looking out across the sea, into the distance, motionless, and time stood still. I liked the way our experiment ended. During rehearsals, singers who had never seen each other before and were at first glance utterly remote from each other as far as cultural roots are concerned, began suddenly and spontaneously to perform their forefathers' songs for their "alien" colleagues, as though discovering this possibility for themselves right then and there. Each began to pick up intonations, modes, and moods of songs stemming from seemingly infinitely distant areas. The family were coming together, getting to know each other as though after centuries of separation. That in itself was enough for me to be satisfied with the final product.

.

Last edited by Stephen; 06-24-2012 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow, I am really enjoying this album. Well, maybe "enjoying" isn't the right word. In fact it's much too small of a word. The music on Fly, Fly My Sadness is so vast and elemental that I have a hard time imagining it being written and performed by human beings. This music sounds pre-human, ancient, all-encompasing, almost as if you are hearing the inner workings of the forces that drive all creation and destruction on Earth. It's so stark and pure and massive that listening to it is almost a scary experience, like looking into the chasm of your own mortality. Each time I've listened I've been left with the impression that it is perfect funeral music, the sound of the mountains and oceans simply existing, uncaring and unaware of our brief flashes of life on the skin of this planet. It many ways the feelings evoked by these songs are painful and depressing but it's also a beautiful experience, a reconciliation of a quieting mind with the way things are.

Thanks for the heads up about this thread, Lisnaholic. I've already tracked down one other Huun-Huur-Tu album, which is also excellent, and this has kind of rekindled my interest in other Asian folk and classical music as well.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Definitely gonna check this album out! I happened upon throat singing a few months back, and was really fascinated by it. I was taken especially by how deep some of them can get (I'm assuming it's a different style altogether). It's almost eerie!

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Old 07-01-2012, 02:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stp View Post
I came across these notes from Mikhail Alperin explaining what he was trying to achieve.
^ Very interesting information about how this album was conceived; who would think that a dream about a multi-racial family could generate something so beautiful. I thought the bit about a Russian singer walking out during the recording of "Prayer" was amusing. I presume your wife would`ve walked out as well, stp. Either way, I wonder what that album sounds like ?
The conclusion of MA`s notes was a nice touch : all those musicians gathered together, spontaneously sharing their different heritages must`ve been wonderful to see. I hope someone had a tape recorder running ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
Wow, I am really enjoying this album. Well, maybe "enjoying" isn't the right word. In fact it's much too small of a word. The music on Fly, Fly My Sadness is so vast and elemental that I have a hard time imagining it being written and performed by human beings. This music sounds pre-human, ancient, all-encompasing, almost as if you are hearing the inner workings of the forces that drive all creation and destruction on Earth. It's so stark and pure and massive that listening to it is almost a scary experience, like looking into the chasm of your own mortality. Each time I've listened I've been left with the impression that it is perfect funeral music, the sound of the mountains and oceans simply existing, uncaring and unaware of our brief flashes of life on the skin of this planet. It many ways the feelings evoked by these songs are painful and depressing but it's also a beautiful experience, a reconciliation of a quieting mind with the way things are.

Thanks for the heads up about this thread, Lisnaholic. I've already tracked down one other Huun-Huur-Tu album, which is also excellent, and this has kind of rekindled my interest in other Asian folk and classical music as well.
That`s a great description of the effect this music can have, Janszoon ! You pinpointed something that was way down in the back of my mind when you talked "the chasm of your own mortality" ; mixed in with the beauty,there is something chilling about this music too.
BTW, I`m sure I`m not the only one who would like to hear more about that other Huun-Huur-Tu album you found.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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BTW, I`m sure I`m not the only one who would like to hear more about that other Huun-Huur-Tu album you found.
It was Altai Sayan Tandy-Uula. Very good album. Different though. It definitely has a folkier, more simple sound. Since then, I've actually gotten a hold of several of their albums, all of them very good.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I thought the second track Legend was an absolute stand out. Beginning with the amazing bass chant and then the contrast with the women's choir and finally the lone reed (harmonium?). Brilliant.
I had the right instrument in mind but it's not called a harmonium. It's a melodica and according to these notes it's played by Mikhail Alperin.

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