Nomadic Voices of the Steppes and the Mountains - Sardinia - Mongolia


Cuncordu E Tenore de Orosei and singers Ts. Tsogtgerel et N. Ganzorig of Mongolia

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The songs of Sardinian tenors meet the diphonic Mongolian chant khöömii
 
Only the sky sees the sparrowhawk’s back 
Mongolian proverb

In the heart of countryside still considered sacred, the harsh beauty of the Sardinian mountains meets the vast Mongolian steppes through the polyphony of the Tenores and khöömii overtone chant.

Within the confines of the sacred and the profane, somewhere between liturgy and peasant celebrations, these voices resonate in the heights of the Sardinian mountains. It is here that the beauty of a pastoral culture is still to be found.

Since prehistoric times across the Mediterranean basin and the mountains and deserts at its edges, the ancient hunter, now pastoralist, has always taken the good and evil powers within his environment and the creatures in it in order to dominate and assert himself.

The Sardinian polyphonies date back to the Nuragic age when these nuraghi or round towers were built, in the form of truncated cones. These megalithic edifices remain the symbol of this age between 1900 and 730 years BCE (between the bronze and the iron ages).

Beyond these seas towards other mountains equally sacred since prehistoric times, those of the Gobi-Altaï steppes, where the Altaï mountains meet the immense Gobi desert, legend has it that overtone chant was born. Here it is known as khöömii, meaning larynx.
It is accompanied by the morin-khuur or khiil-khuur, the horsehead fiddle of the poet and soothsayer. Overtone chant is a musical metaphor for this land: the hilltops and the valleys, the vastness of the steppes, the herds, the tumult of nature, its rumbles and its murmurs, the galloping horses and the rustling of its wild grasses.

Surprisingly, in the heart of these two traditions, we find the instrument known as the guimbarde or Jew's harp, an instrument familiar to nomadic shepherds all over the world.

This original work highlights the richness of these vocal techniques of people who belong to the same history of mankind and who are the last witnesses of ancient times when man knew how to be one with nature.

 



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8 June 2013 : 16H

Musée batha