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About Huun-Huur-Tu

Huun-Huur-Tu will make a highly anticipated return to Ireland after sell-out tours in 2018 and 2019. The Tuvan throat singing quartet will perform in Galway, Dublin’s The Sugar Club, Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair, Live at St. Luke’s in Cork.

Huun-Huur-Tu’s style could be best described as profoundly mysterious – a consequence of their traditional, ritual laryngeal chants descending from the Central Asian land of Tuva.

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Steeped in Tuvan folklore, the ensemble wears traditional garb and accompanies themselves on string and percussion instruments, playing galloping rhythms that evoke the vast south Siberian steppe. Their tightly structured pieces often imitate natural sounds, so that a song can be a literal representation of a Tuvan landscape.

Huun-Huur-Tu group member Radik Tyulyush says “The band is extremely excited about the forthcoming tour of Ireland especially after our sell-out tours in 2018 & 2019 and we are particularly looking forward to performing for the Irish people who have always shown us a friendly reception”.

Founded in Sasha Bapa, his brother, Sayan, and two other musicians, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and Albert Kuvezin Huun-Huur-Tu focus on the performance of “old and forgotten songs.” Sasha, Sayan, and Kaigal-ool were refugees of one of the large state-managed song and dance ensembles that became fixed institutions of the public cultural life during the Soviet era. For decades these ensembles with their glitzy performances of folk music or pseudo folk music offered the only possibility for young musicians to play indigenous music for a living. Throughout the privatization of the music business in the former Soviet Union, many musicians decided to abandon these state ensembles and form their own groups. The musical results have decidedly been mixed.

However rooted in Tuvan traditions, it would be a mistake to attribute Huun-Huur-Tu to a folk ensemble. For the first time, Huun-Huur-Tu laced in the pop charts with a remix of the title “Eki Attar”. It became Greece’s No.1 hit in the summer of 2002. The ensemble then went on to release a studio project entitled ‘Spirits of Tuva’ with Djs of various nationalities. They have performed with Ry Cooder, Frank Zappa, The Chieftains, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Kronos Quartet and L. Shankar among the others. The ensemble’s collaborations do also include other members of JARO: Hazmat Modine, The Bulgarian Voices– Angelite, and Moscow Art Trio.

Huun-Huur-Tu are a music group from Tuva, a republic of Russia situated on the Mongolia-Russia border. The most distinctive characteristic of Huun-Huur-Tu’s music is throat singing, in which the singers sing both the note (drone) and the drone’s overtone(s), thus producing two or three notes simultaneously. The overtone may sound like a flute, whistle or bird, but is solely a product of the human voice. The group primarily use native Tuvan instruments such as the igil khomus (Tuvan jaw harp), doshpuluur, and dünggür (shaman drum).

However, in recent years, the group have begun to selectively incorporate Western instruments, such as the guitar. While the thrust of Huun-Huur-Tu’s music is fundamentally indigenous Tuvan folk music, they also experiment with incorporating not only Western instruments, but electronic music as well. Since the group’s inception, Huun Huur Tu has collaborated with musicians from many genres, such as Frank Zappa, The Chieftains, Johnny Guitar Watson, the Kodo Drummers, The Moscow Art Trio, The Kronos Quartet and Bulgarian women’s singing group, Angelite. Their recording “Eternal” is a collaborative effort with underground electronic musician, Carmen Rizzo. Huun Huur Tu appeared on three songs on Bahamut, the debut album of New York-based blues group Hazmut Modine. Their song “Osku Urug” is featured in the American television series Fargo episode, “The Law of Vacant Places”.

Huun-Huur-Tu’s Style

Huun-Huur-Tu’s style could be best described as profoundly mysterious – a consequence of their traditional, ritual laryngeal chants descending from Central Asian land of Tuva. This unique song technique reside on developing an enthralling sound cosmos rich in undertones and overtones.

The members of Huun-Huur-Tu have devoted themselves to learning oId songs and tunes, but at the same time their performances reflect the values of globalization. The whistling of the high-mountain wind forms eerie overtones and postmodern statement. The repeated thrum of a string against wood and hide turns into a meditative, evocative figure straight from the avant-garde. The descendants of isolated Siberian herdsmen make serious, strangely universal music out of some of the planets quirkiest acoustics.

The Tuvan acoustic quartet Huun Huur Tu prove that Tuvan music can take plenty of intelligent innovation. Using traditional instruments and drawing subtly on 20th-century composers, Huun Huur Tu transform ancient songs into complex acoustic compositions.

Huun-Huur-Tu’s Performance

As they began touring in the West, Huun Huur Tu almost single-handedly introduced the outside world to the boundless wealth of Tuvan traditions, thanks in great part to their superior musicianship. Hailing from the high pastures of the Altai Mountains in south central Siberia, the musicians have spent decades honing the overtone singing, instrumental approaches, and vibrant songs of their home.

Steeped in Tuvan folklore, the ensemble wears traditional garb and accompanies themselves on string and percussion instruments, playing galloping rhythms that evoke the vast south Siberian steppe. Their tightly structured pieces often imitate natural sounds, so that a song can be a literal representation of a Tuvan landscape.

Jon Sobel of the Blogcritics Magazine characterized the ensemble’s live performance as: “[…] the music is as warmly human as any folk style, and it’s not all khoomei. The four men have six or seven very distinct singing voices among them. Accompanying themselves on plucked and bowed stringed instruments, percussion, and jaw harps, they emulate biological rhythms in song: heartbeats, breathing, a brain drifting in dreamland, and not least (for a nomadic people), a horse’s trot. The songs are about romantic love, love of place, and (not least) horses, with moods that range from lyrical and thoughtful to joyful, humorous and danceable.” In this sense, the San Francisco Bay Guardian concluded that the Tuvan show: “will ride into your brain and leave hoof-prints up and down your spine.”

Book Tickets

Tuesday 22nd / Wednesday 23rd March 2022
7.30pm – 10.30pm

€25.00 + Booking Fee

Book Tickets 22nd MarchBook Tickets 23rd March