Alash

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Alash in 2007: Mai-ool Sedip, Bady-Dorzhu Ondar, Ayan-ool Sam, Ayan Shirizhik (seated)
Alash is a throat singing group from Tuva. The musicians (Bady-Dorzhu Ondar, Ayan-ool Sam, and Ayan Shirizhik) were all trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood. In 1999, while they were students at the Kyzyl Arts College, the young musicians formed a group called Changy-Xaya, which soon became the school's resident traditional ensemble. At the same time, the musicians were learning western musical techniques, and they began incorporating new musical elements and non-traditional instruments that meshed well with the sound and feel of traditional Tuvan music. They use old instruments such as the murgu and limpi (wind instruments) that are not frequently played in Tuva today, as well as distinctly western instruments such as the guitar and accordion.

Kongar-ool Ondar played a key role in the group's development in its early days, serving as mentor and artistic director. Alash has undergone several personnel changes since its inception. Former members include Sergei Sotpa, Mai-ool Sedip and Nachyn Choodu.

In 2004, Alash was awarded Best Ensemble in the throat singing festival held in honor of Gennady Tumat, in the Oviur district of Tuva, which borders Mongolia. In 2007, Bady-Dorzhu Ondar was named a People's Xöömeizhi of the Republic of Tuva. In 2008, all members of Alash won top prizes at the International Xöömei Symposium: Bady-Dorzhu Ondar won the grand prize, while Ayan-ool Sam and Ayan Shirizhik won first and second prizes for individual throat singing, and Nachyn Choodu won first prize for a duo with his wife Shonchalai Oorzhak-Choodu. In 2009, Ayan Shirizhik was awarded the title "Distinguished Artist of Tuva," and in 2011 Nachyn Choodu was awarded the same title .

Alash toured the United States in 2006, sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. They toured the United States again from April through June 2007 and in January 2008. In December 2008, December 2009 and December 2010, Alash toured as guest artists with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones to promote the Flecktones' holiday CD "Jingle All the Way," which features Alash on several tracks. In addition to concerts, the group conducts workshops at schools and colleges to share their music and culture with American young people.

Sean Quirk, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA), is the group's manager, producer, and interpreter. He studied music in Tuva on a Fulbright Fellowship, and now makes Tuva his home. In 2008, Quirk was named Merited Artist of Tuva for his promotion of traditional Tuvan music and culture both inside Tuva and abroad. He and the other members of Alash are also members of the Tuvan National Orchestra.

The CD Alash Live at the Enchanted Garden is a recording of the group's live performance at the Enchanted Garden in Ridgefield, CT (USA), on March 17, 2006. Since then they have released two additional CDs, Alash in 2007, and Buura in 2011.

Discography

Alash - Live at the Enchanted Garden, 2006

Total time. 57:57
  1. Intro - 1:19
  2. Sygyt Style - 1:53
  3. Xoomei Style - 2:13
  4. Kargyraa Style - 1:35
  5. Intro - 0:48
  6. Borbangnadyr Style - 2:01
  7. Ezenggileer Style - 2:00
  8. Intro - 0:40
  9. Byzaanchy - 1:44
  10. Intro - 0:40
  11. Demir Xomus - 1:14
  12. Ene-Sai - 4:07
  13. Intro - 0:20
  14. Bashtaglaar Deesh Meni Kanchaar? - 2:14
  15. Dynggyldai - 3:02
  16. Sygyt Yrym - 2:54
  17. Manchurek - 2:38
  18. Bady's Solo on the Bayan - 4:04
  19. Intro - 0:20
  20. Alash - 3:11
  21. Daam Dozu - 5:21
  22. Oitulaash Xeveri - 4:28
  23. Karachal - 2:51
  24. Intro - 0:28
  25. Chavadak - 1:32
  26. Aa-Shu Dekei-Oo - 2:00
  27. Eki A'ttar - 2:40

Alash, 2007

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Alash (2007)
Total time. 49:16
  1. Alash – 3:04
  2. Bashtak-la Deesh Meni Kanchaar? (I'm a Joker) – 2:07
  3. Manchürek – 2:36
  4. Karachal – 2:37
  5. Ezengileer – 1:42
  6. Oitulaash Xeveri – 4:35
  7. Daam Dözü – 4:56
  8. Sygyt Yrym Salyp Berein – 2:49
  9. Bady's Solo – 3:24
  10. Ene-Sai – 4:19
  11. Borbangnadyr – 1:56
  12. Dynggyldai – 2:22
  13. Chaghatai – 4:20
  14. Chavadak – 1:25
  15. Dekei-oo and Saiyzyral – 1:54
  16. Subudai – 5:10

Jingle All the Way, 2008, Guest Artists on the CD by the Flecktones

  1. Jingle Bells - 3:30*
  2. Silent Night - 4:41
  3. Sleigh Ride - 3:29
  4. The Christmas Song - 3:01
  5. Twelve Days of Christmas - 5:19
  6. J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio #14 - 4:26
  7. Christmas Time Is Here - 2:21
  8. Linus and Lucy - 2:54
  9. Jingle Bells (reprise) - 3:13*
  10. Hanukkah Waltz - 2:34
  11. Danse of the Sugar Plum Fairies - 3:29
  12. What Child Is This/Dyngyldai - 5:08*
  13. O Come All Ye Faithful - 2:12
  14. Medley - 5:38
  15. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - 5:48
  16. River - 3:46
*Track includes Alash

Buura, 2011

  1. Yrlaazhyyly (Let's Sing) - 4:24
  2. My Throat, the Ediski - 3:00
  3. Ediskileer Angchy-la Men (solo by Nachyn Choodu) - 2:41
  4. Ondar Girls - 3:52
  5. Xomustar - 3:52
  6. Xöngnüm Bile Salyp Berein (solo by Bady-Dorzhu Ondar) - 7:19
  7. Tractor Drivin' Woman - 4:21
  8. Kosh-oi and Torgalyg - 5:44
  9. Sygyt in the style of Maxim Dakpai (solo by Ayan-ool Sam) - 3:23
  10. Bai-Taiga - 8:41
  11. The Reindeer Herder's Song - 4:24
  12. Murgu Solo by Ayan Shirizhik - 2:28
  13. Buura (with guest artist Victor Wooten) - 3:35