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Sounds of Siberia

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photo: Rubin Museum
On January tenth The Rubin Museum of Art (which presents art of the Himalayan regions), New York, presented an extraordinary concert called Sounds of Siberia. Two performers, Yuliyana Krivoshapkina and Nachyn Choreve, demonstrated the throat singing of the Tuva, a republic within The Russian Federation bordering on Mongolia. They accompanied themselves on two instruments: Ms. Krivoshapkina played the khomus (a type of jaw harp) and both she and Mr. Choreve played a string instrument which I believe was a balalaika, with three strings.
Ms.Krivoshapkina sang the opening song in vocalese - that is, without words, with only a vowel sound. She accompanied herself with elegant arm gestures suggesting flying. It was a marvelous choice to open the concert.
This was followed by a song in which Ms.Krivoshapkina sang words, presumably Tuvan. Mr. Choreve introduced his first balalaika, which had a boat-shaped body. He would later switch to one with a rectangular body. Sometimes h…