Various Artists

Heart of Tuva

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Of all the discs of Tuvan throat singing, this book/CD combo is by far the most instructive, thanks to beautiful color photos and detailed liner notes that guide the listener through the difference between hoomei and kargyraa styles, or kargyraa with borbangnadyr and sygyt, and more. Even better, this is one of the best discs for sheer listening pleasure, too, presenting both the old timers preserving a precious art, pre-teens showing their stuff at a Tuvan contest, and surprisingly successful old/new fusions including a collaboration between the Bulgarian Women's Choir and Tuva's top export ensemble, Huun-Huur-Tu. Both dabblers and Tuvan music completists will find what they're looking for in this fun and beautiful-to-look-at package from the innovators at the Ellipsis Arts label.