There’s a kind of music that conjures up images of clear blue skies, horses roaming an emerald-colored horizon. It’s the traditional music of the Buryats, in Russia that practices Tibetan shamanism and lives a nomadic lifestyle similar to their cousins in Mongolia. This rich tradition of music is what Namgar (“white cloud” in Tibetan), a Moscow-based music group, has been working hard to preserve.
Led by prolific singer Namgar Lhasaranova, whose petite and girlish frame houses a powerful voice, the group plays traditional Buryat songs that tell ancient legends of epic heroes, legendary beauties, and the grassy landscapes of southern Siberia.
Namgar Lhasaranova comes from the east borderland where three countries, Russia, Mongolia, and China meet. She inherited a rich singing tradition of the Buryat people who reside in Russian regions of Buryatia and Agin Buryat Region. The group necessarily comprises singing of Namgar Lhasaranova and instrumentalists from Russia and US. Instruments of the group include yatga, chanza, traditional percussion, etc.
Namgar Lhasaranova performed solo or with modern groups at local and international venues since 1980 in a variety of genres including traditional songs, jazz and pop.
Namgar says that her distinct, soaring singing style owes much to her childhood as a sheep herder in the tiny village of Kunkur, on the border of Russia and Mongolia. “When I was a child, I was a herder. I would jump on my horse and herd the sheep — in order to hear myself in this vast, endless space, I have to sing very loudly, and that’s how all the Buryats sing.”
While much of the music that Namgar plays is shamanic music that is used to accompany private rituals, the group plays publicly around the world to let more people know about their culture. Thankfully, more youth have been interested in Namgar since they are heavily associated with world music, which has become increasingly trendy in recent years. With each concert in cities around the world, Namgar is bringing Buryat music to people around the world, taking with the hope that their culture will thrive in the increasingly globalized world.
January 11, 2013 marks the first date for Namgar group to start their tour. Barnes 376 9th Street Brooklyn, NY 11215 will be the first concert with 5 other dates following and ending on January 16, 2013 .
Find concert schedule below:
New York – Date: Friday, January 11, 2013 – Suggested donation is $10
Time: 8:00 p.m.
376 9th St. (corner of 6th Ave.) Park Slope, Brooklyn 11215 (347) 422-0248