255

Sainkho Namchylak & Roy Carroll: Tuva-Irish Project

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
If the collaboration between a Tuvan throat singer and an Irish laptop-ist sounds an unlikely combination, the end results fully justify the experiment; remarkably, the pairing works perfectly. The music here was developed over two years as Sainkho Namchylak and Roy Carroll explored ways to blend their music together in an improvised context.

On the opener—"Hill Tara —Namchylak's voice, as so often, initially grabs the attention as she displays the lilting, lyrical aspects of her singing, rather than its harsher, more spectacular side. The piece also includes a recitation in Russian which, even if you don't understand a word of it, is beautifully mellifluous. It leads seamlessly into the next track—"Sligo —via some typical hard-edged vocal drones that are at once both soothingly mesmeric and somewhat discomforting.

Throughout these tracks, Carroll's contribution is all but unnoticed, as he provides the merest suggestion of background noises—just enough to prevent the voice being a cappella. Only on the third track does he come to the fore, laying down a throbbing low frequency pulse reminiscent of (if not actually played on) a bodhrán (Irish Frame drum). In truth, this is the first real sign of Irish elements in the music; thus far, the Tuvan has been more in evidence. But from here on, the album title is justified; Carroll produces a variety of instrumental sounds that conjure up the mood and feel of traditional Irish music, even though he employs decidedly non-traditional means including loops and laptop. His contribution is decidedly more understated than Namchylak's and takes longer to appreciate, but the two are definitely equal partners in the project.

Anyone who mainly associates Namchylak with guttural throat singing would do well to listen to the sheer pure beauty of her soaring voice on "Weariness has a name —and be prepared to be amazed. Yes, there are also examples here of her more extreme vocal styles, but they are largely integrated into a highly listenable whole. The most extreme vocals are on the aptly-titled "Anger, on which Namchylak wordlessly conveys the emotion of the title, to great effect; rising to the challenge, Carroll's accompanying sounds amply match the vocals.

The meeting of these two seemingly diverse musical cultures works well. One can only hope this album is not a one-off project, as its development promises to make fascinating listening.

Track Listing: From the Heart of Central Asia: (Part 1) Hill Tara; (Part 2) Sligo; (Part 3) Ceremony; (Part 4) Populat Poetry; (Part 5) Weariness has a name; All Will Come to an End; Fononmania; Madness of Night: (Part 1) Anger; (Part 2) Salty Hands); (Part 3) Sonata for a Typewriter.

Personnel: Sainkho Namchylak: voice; Roy Carroll: electronics.

Title: Tuva-Irish Project | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Leo Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

Not Quite Songs

Leo Records
2010

buy
 

Tea Opera

Leo Records
2010

buy
Tea Opera

Tea Opera

Leo Records
2009

buy
In Trance

In Trance

Leo Records
2008

buy
Tuva-Irish Project

Tuva-Irish Project

Leo Records
2007

buy
Nomad

Nomad

Leo Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Blume Album Reviews
Blume
By Chris May
July 15, 2019
Read About The Moment Album Reviews
About The Moment
By Geno Thackara
July 15, 2019
Read Källtorp Sessions, Volume One Album Reviews
Källtorp Sessions, Volume One
By Mark Corroto
July 15, 2019
Read Book of Hours Album Reviews
Book of Hours
By Friedrich Kunzmann
July 15, 2019
Read Anatomy of Angels Album Reviews
Anatomy of Angels
By Chris May
July 14, 2019
Read The Wroclaw Sessions Album Reviews
The Wroclaw Sessions
By Don Phipps
July 14, 2019
Read Why Don't You Listen? - Live at LACMA, 1998 Album Reviews
Why Don't You Listen? - Live at LACMA, 1998
By Mark Corroto
July 14, 2019