Sainkho Namtchylak

Lost Rivers

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Tuvan vocalist Sainkho Namtchylak is a singer among singers. In her sound world, the human voice is the container for all the sounds in the universe and also their interpreter. This collection of 13 pieces, many of them improvisations, is an attempt by Namtchylak to let the listener in to witness how she organizes that world. From growling, bleating, gurgling, screaming, whispering, cooing, singing, clucking, roaring, and whooping, patterns emerge of interactions of the animate with the inanimate world, all of it in the context of the spiritual. This is singing as it probably was at the beginning of human existence, and yet, it is obvious that it has never been anywhere but in Namtchylak's present. As her entire body moves into the heat of "song," the listener realizes that, on Namtchylak's part, there is no attempt to imitate anything, but instead to integrate, prioritize, and then deconstruct sounds, thus imbuing them with meanings that they might not otherwise be assigned. This isn't merely throat singing, this is vocal shamanism.

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