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Alash bring traditional Tuvan throat singing to the Old Town School

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Alash bring traditional Tuvan throat singing to the Old Town School

Alash are a Tuvan trio of singers and multi-instrumentalists Bady-Dorzhu Ondar, Ayan-ool Sam, and Ayan Shirizhik. Founded in 2005, the group perform khoomei, also known as Tuvan throat singing, a traditional vocal style practiced in Tuva, Mongolia, and Siberia, in which singers manipulate their mouths and throats to layer overtones over a fundamental pitch, often combining buzzes, whistles, or low guttural sounds. Folk music built around throat-singing techniques has become popular in the West, not just for its uncanny vocal athletics but also for its wistful, evocative instrumental arrangements, which suggest the winds and landscapes of the Asian steppes and the rocking gaits of horses. Despite its ancient pastoral vibe, Tuvan throat singing pairs surprisingly well with modern forms of music, and fusing it with elements of much newer genres—including alt-rock (Yat-Kha), avant-garde jazz and electronica (Sainkho Namtchylak), and metal (the Hu)—has become a tradition in its own right.

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