morten abildsnes

Special Journal on Tuvan music

Here is the latest issue of  the journal The New Research of Tuva, dedicated this time to the music of Tuva. Many articles are in English, some in Russian, by a wide range of authors including Valentina Suzukey/Валентина Сузукей, Robbie Beahrs, Malgorzata Stelmaszyk, Maxim Chaposhnikov, Morten Abildsnes, Tadagawa Leo, Hsu Shen-Mou, Sauli Heikkilä and myself. The chief editor is Chimiza Lamajaa and this edition’s guest editor is Valentina Suzukey. This is a wonderful and diverse issue of new research on throat singing, Jew’s harps, shamanism, popular music and much more from Tuva.

You van find the Table of Contents here , a pdf of the entire journal here, and you can start the download if you want to have the issue on your own device here.
My own article about Maksim Dakpai’s throat singing is available for download here, and for online viewing here.

These are all 15 contributions:

Issues of academic study and practical acquisition of Tuvan music (a case study of Tuvan instrumental music)
Suzukey, Valentina Yu.

What does Dakpai Maksim do when he sings sygyt? A preliminary investigation of one throat singer’s personal style
Van Tongeren, Mark

Nomads in the Global Soundscape: Negotiating Aesthetics in Post-Soviet Tuva’s Traditional Music Productions
Beahrs, Robert O.

From the sound of throat singing to the sounds of shamanic practice: Structural organisation of shamanic rituals in Tuva
Stelmaszyk, Malgorzata

Tuvan music and World Music
Chaposhnikov, Maxim V.

Tuvan music and its discography (principal names, titles, issues of description)
Abildsnes, Morten

“The khomus is my red deer on which I fly through the middle world” (Khomus in the shamanic practice of Tuva: Research issues)
Tadagawa, Leo

Social and cognitive functions of music based on the example of Tuvan throat singing
Hsu, Shen-Mou

Let me sing your songs: how Finns found xöömei
Heikkilä, Sauli

Tuvan music in schools in the United States
Quirk, Sean P.

The development of contemporary music culture of Tuva (a view from Japan)
Terada, Mao

The language of poetic texts in contemporary Tuvan pop songs
Saaya, Oyumaa M.

Psychological features of the professional activities of Tuvan musicians
Sandyi, Anna D.-B.

On the composition of modal structures of Tuvan traditional songs
Baranmaa, Ayasmaa D.-B.

The song folklore of Tozhu Tuvans: collection, publication, research
Tiron, Ekaterina L.


Now online: 2 radioshows about throat singing

Two programs have just been broadcast online with great recordings of Tuvan and Khakass throat singers. Both are produced by long-time throat singing afficionados who have traveled to Tuva/Khakassiya and deeply involved themselves with Southern Siberian music culture. A unique chance to hear many recordings you will not easily find, or even never find at all. Never mind the Dutch- and Norwegian-language presenters, most of the program is music.

Quick access: Tuvan throat singers and Siberian epic

Read more about it:


One show is by Norwegian Morten Abildsnes, and is devoted to throat singers who have passed away in the last 10 years. An important theme which asks our attention to the tragic and untimely fate of many great Tuvan musicians, and which honours them once more (“post-mortem”).  Don’t wait to listen to his one! Only a few weeks are left before it goes offline.

Morten Abildsnes

Morten Abildsnes

The artists presented are:
Ayas Danzyryn 1976–2005
Timur Kara-sal 1973–2005
Mönggün-ool Dambashtai 1956–2009
Aleksandr Sarzhat-ool 1957–2011
Aldyn-ool Sevek 1962–2011
Kongar-ool Ondar 1962–2013
Vladimir Oidupaa 1949–2013
Oktyabr Saaya 1968–2012

The internet-streaming can be heard here
To listen to the program find the black-and-grey player box with the title “Repriser” on the same page, and click the line with the text “Sort Kanal 02.02.2015”. On a narrow screen, you might need to scroll further down the page to find the “Repriser” player. On a broad screen, it might lie right under the black-red-black box.
On this page you can find the playlist.


The Dutch program is by Russian-Dutch producer, field-recordist, DJ Maxim Chapochnikov from Amsterdam, founder of Window to Europe. He first travelled to South-Siberia in the early 1990s. On one of his trips he met Slava Kuchenov, who had just received a calling from the spirit of khaidzhi, or epic story-tellers/reciters. Without any further experience or help, Kuchenov build himself an instrument and started reciting ancient stories about Khakass heroes. Kuchenov is and was a very clear case of a young man who does not set out to learn epic singing, but who receives a divine gift to tell epic stories. They just appeared to him, without first learning them by heart, like dreams appear to us. Maksim was there to capture this gift on mic right when it happened (of course Kuchenov still recites epics nowadays). Maksim presents a large part of the original recording in his radioshow. After a Dutch introduction you can hear almost one hour of Khakass epic throat singing. To listen, click on the link below, then click on the small loudspeaker to the right of the words “22:00 – 23:00 De Zwervende Microfoon”.Screen shot 2015-02-08 at 13.33.24


Maksim Chapochnikov (photo by Mediamatic)

Maksim Chapochnikov (photo by Mediamatic)

Thanks to Maxim and Morten for sharing these recordings from their collections! Enjoy listening!

Featured image: Slava Kuchenov at the rock formations of Salbyk, Khakassiya. Photo: Mark van Tongeren 2005