There are some copies left of the second edition and we are now selling them out at half price, even though the 2004 edition is already a Collector’s Item!
In Overtone Singing, ethnomusicologist and singer Mark van Tongeren provides a fascinating insight into the timeless and universal aspects of sound and vibration. Grounded in a decade-long study of Asian music, he draws upon various fieldwork experiences, interviews with eastern and western musicians, in addition to the work of numerous scholars. He presents a multidisciplinary vision on sound that runs from World and contemporary music to the science of acoustics and perception, to music philosophy and the spiritual dimensions of music. Written in a non-technical style, this book and accompanying audio CD are indispensable guides to musicians, listeners and music specialists seeking a deeper understanding of the nature of the human voice, sound and overtones.
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Below: the special hardcover edition (pictured with the CD in the back). Both paperback and hardcover are printed with high quality print (paper/binding) that will last another century.
Today I tried out something I do a few times a year: take a deep breath and see how long I can sing. Well, this time I just tried to sing for one minute, not as long as possible. The best technique to use for this is either khöömei or sygyt as it automatically constricts the throat and inhibits the airflow.
It is trivial, I know, but it is a good exercise for the lungs, diaphragm and the entire respiratory system. The other challenge is to make some musical sense. The throat singing is far from perfect (some of the overtones should not be there) but I decided to share it anyway as an example of some of the things I practise.
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:
Ethnomusicology 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
Tuvan music and World Music
Chaposhnikov, Maxim V.
Tuvan music and its discography (principal names, titles, issues of description)
“The khomus is my red deer on which I fly through the middle world” (Khomus in the shamanic practice of Tuva: Research issues)
Social and cognitive functions of music based on the example of Tuvan throat singing
Let me sing your songs: how Finns found xöömei
Tuvan music in schools in the United States
Quirk, Sean P.
The development of contemporary music culture of Tuva (a view from Japan)
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.
Immerse yourself in Tuvan culture by joining four events in three days: 1) a lecture on Friday morning 2) a concert on Friday evening 3) an introduction to Tuva on Saturday 4) a throat singing workshop on Sunday
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THE PROGRAM DAY BY DAY
FRIDAY APRIL 7, 10:00 – 12:00 Soul and technique of Tuvan khöömei culture
Lecture by Mrs. Choduraa Tumat
National Chengchi University
Register and details on https://goo.gl/9wpgU7
Special guests: Pisui Ciyo (Tayal, voice), Sauniaw 少妮瑤 (Paiwan, double nose flute), Ivan Alberto (Mexico, percussion), Mark van Tongeren (Netherlands, voice and more)
Location: Red Room TAF, 2F LIBRARY, Daan District
No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd (Intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd.)
Tickets: 600 NT$ at the door, 500 NT$ pre-sale. Includes free drink, snack. Discounts
– Student group discount: 5 tickets for 2200 NT$ (12 %)
– Students with ID: 500 NT$
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES Choduraa Tumat hails from the steppe grasslands of Western Tuva, a republic in South Siberia that is part of the Russian Federation. As a child, she was fond of listening to khoomei and sygyt throat singing performed by her brothers.
In 1998 she founded and became the artistic leader of the all-female throat-singing folk ensemble Tyva Kyzy (‘Daughters of Tuva’). She is now an accomplished performer of many Tuvan throat-singing styles: khoomei, sygyt, kargyraa, ezenggileer and chylandyk. Tumat has been performing professionally since 1998.
Besides throat-singing, she sings traditional folk songs, plays chanzy (three-stringed lute), igil (two-stringed horse-head fiddle), shoor (recorder), khomus (Jew’s harp), all to be heard in today’s concert. She also plays byzaanchy (four-stringed horse-head fiddle), doshpuluur (three-stringed lute) and chadagan (zither). She received several prizes and honourary titles in her native Republic of Tuva, as well as invitations to Moscow, other Russian cities and many countries around the world.
A graduate from the East-Siberian State Academy in Buryatia, she carries out postgraduate research on female throat singing at the Tuva State University and teaches there and at other schools in Tuva’s capitol Kyzyl. Tumat is the highest-ranking teacher with experience in training foreign students the skills of throat singing and traditional music. She founded the first group of female throat singers, Tyva Kyzy and led their tours to Japan, China, Taiwan, the USA and many European countries. She recorded several CDs and a DVD, both solo and with Tyva Kyzy.
Pisui Ciyo is a performing artist, choreographer, educator and scholar who began her professional carreer as the lead performer of the Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe, 1994-1997, an early project to raise public awareness and give a stronger voice to Taiwan’s indigenous people. Besides taking inspiration from her Tayal background, she traveled widely and worked with native American tribes and flamenco artists, among others. Her performances range from traditional songs to contemporary dance, and from musical poetry to socially engaged text theatre. She is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, and currently prepares a PhD at Taipei National University of the Arts.
Sauniaw Tjuveljevelj is the youngest inheritor in Paiwan flute and nose flute (lalingedan), and she is the only one female inheritor in Paiwan culture. Recently, she is devoted to transmitting Paiwan music culture to younger generations. In addition to release three CD albums, nominated by the Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan, she did fieldwork to collect endangered traditional tunes for teaching material and conducted numerous workshops to promote Paiwan music. She interprets traditional tunes in a creative way to express traditional and modern Paiwan music for the contemporary world. Sauniaw performed in Australia, America, Japan, Morocco, Singapore, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, Estonia, Philippines, and Hong Kong with many famous musicians.
Ivan Alberto was born in Mexico city. Ivan started his studies on contemporary percussion but one of his main influences has been traditional music specially Indonesian and Mexican. He went to study traditional gamelan, puppetry as well as instruments construction on Bali and Java and currently lives in Taiwan, where he works with theatre.
Mark van Tongeren is a vocalist/sound explorer who received a PhD in Creative and Performing Arts from Leiden University. In his artistic work he emphasises performance/theatrical aspects of music and collaborates with visual artists, composers and dancers. Essentially an improviser, he also duetted with cellist Yo-Yo Ma on a Bach partita, took part in the world premiere of a film score by Russian composer Dmitri Shoshtakovich, and collaborated on dance projects in Taiwan with Horse, Ming-Hwa Yeh and Taipei Dance Circle.
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SATURDAY APRIL 8, 14:00 – 18:00
A TOUCH OF TUVA. SOUNDS SIGHTS AROMAS AND FLAVORS OF SIBERIA
Entrance:free, donations welcome
Location: Red Room TAF, 2F LIBRARY, Daan District
No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd (Intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd.) Language: English with Chinese translation
Come and learn all about Tuva’s secrets! Once an independent country of its own right, Tannu Tuva is a hidden gem of natural, cultural and religious synthesis, tucked away between dramatic mountains and forests, north of Mongolia. Very few people know it. Today we offer films, talks, the best CDs from Tuva, some live music, drinks and dishes from the taiga and grasslands — even its special aromas! Your hosts:
* Tuvan musician Choduraa Tumat, who bravely broke taboos as a female throat singer (khöömeizhi) and knows Tuvan culture inside-out
* Tuvan PhD-student Chechena Kuular from NCCU, talking about Tuva in Chinese historic documents
* Mark van Tongeren, an ethnomusicologist who writes and teaches about the music and culture of Siberia
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SUNDAY APRIL 9, 10.00-17.00.
ART OF TUVAN THROAT SINGING / KHÖÖMEI WITH CHODURAA TUMAT
Beginners workshop 10:00-13:00 Advanced students 14:00 – 17:00 English spoken with Chinese translation. Location: Canjune Training Center, Fu Xing South Road Sec. 2, Lane 151, No. 3, 4th Floor. For map and route, check here, scroll down.
Throat singing is one of Tuva’s most iconic cultural expressions. Children in Tuva grow up listening to subtle shades of timbre and to overtones that are rare or unheard of in many cultures. It takes years to really master Tuvan overtone singing, moving forward step by step. Today you can join a beginner’s workshop and learn about the three basic techniques (in the morning) or continue your practise of them (in the afternoon). Choduraa Tumat is an experienced guide for males and females, and will be assisted by Mark van Tongeren, an expert in the theory and practise of throat singing living in Taiwan.
While learning a Tuvan song, we will get to know and practise these three well-defined techniques of Tuvan throat singing: Khöömei
The Tuvan khöömei refers to all types of Tuvan throat singing in general and to one particular technique. According to the Tuvans it is with this technique that throat singing began. Khöömei comes closer to the articulation of everyday vowel sounds than the other techniques.
This is the principal style in Tuva. Like all Tuvan throat singing, a guttural voice is necessary to produce sygyt. The name refers to ‘whistling’ and indeed, this technique sounds more like whistling or a flute than the other tow basic techniques. Sygyt resounds powerfully in the surrounding space, making it hard to tell where the sound comes from.
Tuvan kargyraa is most easily recognised by its unusually deep bass register, which gives the voice a very rough quality. In kargyraa the harmonics of the melody are usually paired with vowels. Listeners have to learn to hear the overtones ‘through’ the vowels. Kargyraa is probably the most difficult technique to learn and to explain.
Price: 2500 NT$ (for each half day, that is, morning or afternoon) Discounts
– Students with ID: 20% / 500 nt$ (bring your ID)
– Combine with Friday’s concert: 10 % / 250 NT$ (show your Accupass registration)
– Combine with NCCU lecture or Touch of Tuva: 5 % / 125 NT$
– Only the highest discount counts. To register please pay the workshop fee to Mark van Tongeren and send an email to email@example.com with your name and the last digits of your bank account.
Find out why Mark van Tongeren thinks anyone can learn something from listening to Tuvan music at his talk for TedX Taipei.
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A TOUCH OF TUVA / 3 Days of Khöömei Soul is organised by Fusica in collaboration with Red Room, Canjune and the Russian Center of NCCU, with the help of many volunteers.
Ivan Alberto 出生在墨西哥市，Ivan學習當代打擊樂，但他的主要影響是在傳統音樂方面，特別是印尼以及墨西哥音樂。他也在峇里島以及爪哇學習傳統甘美朗(gamelan，印尼的打擊樂器)，偶戲(puppetry)以及樂器製作，目前在台灣居住，並在劇院工作。
馬克．范．湯可鄰Mark van Tongeren
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ 4月8日(星期六) 14:00 – 18:00 觸動圖瓦 來自西伯利亞的色聲香味 A Touch of Tuva. Sounds Sights Aromas and Flavors of Siberia.
喉唱是圖瓦最具代表性的文化資產表現之一。圖瓦的兒童從小就生長在聆聽音色裡細微的弦外之音，並聆聽在許多文化裡罕見甚至從未聽過的泛音(overtones)。要專精於圖瓦的喉唱，必須要花很多年，一步一步的精進。現在你可以參加這個為初學者舉辦的工作坊，並學習到三種基本的技巧(上午時段班)，或是繼續你的練習(下午時段班)。楚德拉．圖瑪特(Choduraa Tumat)是一位男性及女性喉唱資深的導師，並由居住在台灣的喉唱理論及實務專家馬克‧范‧湯可鄰(Mark van Tongeren)擔任助教。
This Saturday evening (September 5, 19:30, at Yuppy Cafe/Bookstore) I’ll be doing a concert of songs I have learned from oral traditions of various places around the globe. Tea (Tina Ma) is going to help create some links between them in her own magical way. After that, I will sing together with the audience and give an idea what we do in the R e s o n a n c e course.
For me this is a real first, to sing ‘plain’ traditional songs: I have never quite thought of myself as a ‘traditional singer’ of any kind and only reluctantly began to sing Tuvan khöömei (throat singing or overtone singing) when I was asked to. I developed an interest in singing Dutch songs at the time my son and daughter were born. Since then (and maybe because of that) I have changed my attitude towards traditional music. I slowly started to learn more songs in traditional ways, instead of ‘appropriating’ other music for my own musical language. I am now learning and singing songs from Tuva, Corsica, The Netherlands and other places for some years, and feel ready to present them onstage.
I began travelling to collect and learn music in 1990, when I visited Bulgaria. Then to Corsica in 1991. Then Russia in 1992, which was the upbeat for Siberia in 1993, where I went back several times. In the 2000s I visited New Zealand, Dharamsala, Jerusalem and Sardinia, amongst other places, and began moving to Taiwan. All the while I also met many travelling and migrant musicians, learning from or with them from time to time.
This Summer I visited Turkey and had an opportunity to learn a song from a well-known Turkish folk singer, Aysegül Aral. I was curious to learn more about singing with the quartertones you can find in Turkish and Arabic music, and I was happy to find I was doing alright, according to my instructor Aysegül. The song we sang (and which I will perform Saturday) is called Havada bulut yok, a well-known folk song.
Aysegul Aral, the interpreter and me
Another special meeting several years ago was with Firaz Ghazzaz, a muslim reciter for the Palestine community of Eastern Jeruzalem. We collaborated in a project by two Dutch composers, Merlijn Twaalfhoven and Paul Oomen, helping to give voice to the suppressed communities of Palestines in Jerusalem. Firaz is the descendent of a long line of reciters for the Al Aqsa Mosque (going back for as much as 422 years when I visited). Al Aqsa is one of the most important mosques in the Arab world, situated on holy, historic territory in Jerusalem. I was struck by the humanity and the willingness to improvise, leaving his religious tradition behind to look for common ground in my improvised, coloristic, harmonic language and his own modal chanting. There is tremendous power and refinement in his singing, as you can hear in Firaz’ collaboration with another musician from Europe here.
With Firaz Ghazzaz, 2009
In Corsica, the French isle, you can hear echoes of this kind of intonation, though very distant ones. In this case they stem from the need for voices to harmonise according to pure, Pythagorean intonation, and not because of a modal tuning system as developed by the Arabs. In recent years, when I re-visited Corsica, I had many opportunities to immerse myself in polyphonic singing, and take part in it. Now I feel ready to sing some Corsican songs, but of course there will be no polyphony this Saturday (though I am considering to teach the audience a simple line so we get two parts). This year I joined the concert of musicians from Pigna: Nando Aquaviva and his daughter Battista, and Cecce Pesce, the guitarist. When we first met, Battista was beginning to be famous in Corsica. This Summer, she suddenly was famous all over France due to her appearance in the popular TV show The Voice.
In 2013 I sang some ‘alle-male’ polyphony with Claude Bellagamba, a middle-aged singer with an exceptional, powerful and natural voice, and Nando, who is past his prime years (he is 70+) but still getting along well and very active musically.
Claude Bellagamba, Nando Aquaviva and me singing polyphonic songs, Corsica 2013
Of course there will be music from Tuva, Siberia. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay, who came over from Tuva to perform in Taiwan this spring, helped me with the lyrics of a well-known song by the folk singer/composer Maksim Dakpai. In their concerts we did not sing this song, but contemporary and shamanic improvisations with voice and Jew’s harp. I did not quite feel up to singing traditional songs with them onstage: to be honest, I think for singing traditional music you need to know the lyrics by heart, and I am still struggling with that. In that sense my concert this Saturday is not so traditional: I will need the help of written lyrics on a sheet for sight-reading for most of the songs. The ‘shamanic’ improvisation is one possible way out of that problem, but not just second choice. Besides singing Dakpai’s song Saturday, I will also do a shaman-styled improvisation.
Otkun Dostay, Choduraa Tumat & me at Wistaria Teahouse, 2015 (photo by Ewan Kuo)
I visited Hungarian shaman and sound practitioner Joska Soos several times in Belgium.
I have spent much time learning a Hakka song, Hakka being one of the Chinese minorities in Taiwan (and China) with a distinct culture and music. I have always liked Hakka music when I heard it on the radio here, but it is not easy to sing it. My kids learnt some Hakka songs at school and I had great difficulty to get the melody right when I asked them to teach me (and how lucky I am with children who have such critical ears at such an early age!). This year I am working on a dance piece with Taipei Dance Circle, founded by Hakka choreographer Liou Shaw-lu. In order to pay tribute to Shaw-lu, who passed away a year ago, we decided to sing a Hakka song for him. The dance performance will première next week in Taipei’s National Theatre (Experimental Theatre), so I take the chance to do a try-out of Lao shan ge at Yuppy Bookstore.
Then there will be an indigenous Taiwanese song and things from Mongolia, India and of course the Netherlands.
Talking about oral traditions, there is Tina ‘Tea’ Ma, or … is she? It is still a little bit of a mystery what she will do, or even that she makes it, immersed as she is in Taiwan’s East Coast indigenous Amis communities. She seems to be forgetting the time in Hualien (we all do when we go there!). I am not even sure she will manage to get out of the spell of the songs and rituals she is learning there. If she makes it, she may turn out to be the most ‘traditional’ or ‘authentic’ of the voices you will hear this Saturday. Let’s hear!
In April two excellent musicians and friends from Tuva are coming to Taiwan, so that people here can get better acquainted with this fascinating musical culture from the North. Get to know Tuvan music and culture and learn throat singing directly from established, original masters!
be amazed by Tuva’s signature sounds of throat singing
hear the beats of the shaman drum and Jew’s harp
resonate with the buzzing strings of horse-head fiddles and lute
At Wistaria, an atmospheric original Japanese building, you will be seated on tatami mats. The concert is purely acoustic, so you can enjoy the sounds directly with your own ears. An excellent way to get to know the amazing acoustic world that Tuvans have developed over the centuries. Tuva’s auditory culture has become an icon in the last two decades for its remarkable throat singing techniques, which they share with Mongolia. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay both perform seveal throat singing techniques, which you will be able to hear at close range: the soft, light technique called khöömei, the whistle-like sygyt and the thundering low kargyraa. In Tuva we also find the horse-head fiddle (igil) and erhu-like fiddle (byzaanchy), lutes (doshpuluur, chanzy) and flute (shoor), the Jew’s harp (khomus) and the shaman’s drum (dunggur), among others. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay master many of these and will play tunes and pieces from different regions and times in Tuva. Songs and pieces will be alternated with stories about and from Tuva and its rich musical folklore. The only public Tuvan concert in a very special intimate setting!
As a donation we suggest 500 NT$ for the perfomance, tea and a snack. Call Wistaria and leave your name and number for a seat: (02)2363-7375 or register here.
Sunday April 12, 10-17 1-day workshop Tuvan throat singing and culture, at Canjune Training Center
Learn to sing khöömei,sygyt and/or kargyraa with Otkun Dostay and Choduraa Tumat. The one-day Throat Singing workshop will have not just one, but two expert throat singers, including a female throat singer. A rare opportunity to learn the three basic Tuvan styles of throat singing: khöömei, sygyt and kargyraa, which tend to be a little softer and therefore easier than the Mongolian counterpart. During the day you will learn about Tuvan music and culture and get plenty of chance to hear throat singing and try it for yourself. With a maximum of 15 students (plus perhaps a few listeners), there is a chance to get personal feedback from Choduraa or Otkun for everyone. About half the time will be devoted to throat singing, the other half to other music and culture of Tuva.
Otkun Dostay teaching khöömei in Venice
We aim at a 50/50 divide of male/female voices. The workshop is held in English/Russian with Chinese translation. Mark will be there to help translate Russian-English, if needed.
This presentation features introductions, videos about the beautiful, unknown land of Tuva, a display of many styles of throat singing and different musical instruments. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay both perform seveal throat singing techniques: the soft, light technique called khöömei, the whistle-like sygyt and the thundering low kargyraa and other substyles. They will also present a selection of pieces and instruments found in Tuva, such as the horse-head fiddle (igil) and erhu-like fiddle (byzaanchy), lutes (doshpuluur, chanzy) and flute (shoor), the Jew’s harp (khomus) and the shaman’s drum (dunggur). Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay master many of these. Songs and pieces will be alternated with stories about and from Tuva and its rich musical folklore. Afterwards there is a chance to talk to the musicians during the Q&A.
The concert at NCCU is free and open for everyone. Just register here. Without reservation there may still be places when you come, there is no guarantee but there are 300+ seats.
In the late 1980s Dostay was the youngest member of the internationally acclaimed Tuva Ensemble. During the late Soviet era he enrolled a theatre school in Leningrad (now Sint-Petersburg), and was engaged in acting, dancing and storytelling. With fellow students Stanislav Iril and Olaak Ondar he took part in Buddhist ceremonies in Leningrad and founded the group Özüm (‘sprouts’). They recorded their first CD in 1991, published by Window to Europe/Orpheus. Dostay has continued to direct Özüm with changing group members over time. He plays horse-head fiddle, all the Tuvan varieties of Jew’s harp and the shaman’s drum. He organised festivals to commemorate the great throat-singer Gennadi Tumat in his native village Khandagayti. He is currently active as the founder-director of the Tuvan-Japanese friendship Center and works as a correspondent for Tuvan State Radio, under the State TV & Radio Company. He regularly performs in solo, duo and ensemble projects, which he toured in Germany, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Morroco, Japan and China. He has been involved in recording, producing and playing on several CDs of Tuvan music published in Russia, Japan and Europe. In 2013 he published his first solo CD, an exciting mix of traditional songs and melodies with 21st-century sounds.
Born in Western Tuva, as a girl Tumat was fond of listening to khoomei and sygyt throat singing performed by her brothers. She studied traditional music in music college in Tuva and went on to become one of the world’s most active female overtone/throat singers, as well as the founder and artistic leader of the all-female throat-singing folk ensemble Tyva Kyzy (‘Daughters of Tuva’, www.tyvakyzy.com). She is an accomplished performer of all basic throat-singing styles, sings traditional folk songs, and plays various Tuvan string instruments, Jew’s harps and zither. As a performer, she received many titles in Tuva. She is a teacher of traditional music and khöömei throat-singing at the Pedagogical College of Tuvan State University in Tuva’s capitol Kyzyl. With Tyva Kyzy and with solo projects she toured extensivly in the USA, Poland, Russia, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Japan. She recorded and released several CDs and DVDs, among which her outstanding solo CD Belek/ The Gift.
1970年生於圖瓦Khandagaity小鎮，為知名喉音演唱與馬頭琴表演者，亦是著名圖瓦民族音樂團體《圖瓦樂團》Tuva Ensemble的一員，於音樂上有卓越的成就，不斷受邀至日本、土耳其及荷蘭等地演出。歐特昆一直以來致力於圖瓦傳統音樂的傳承與創新，舉辦圖瓦喉音國際音樂節《Övur之地—西奇與呼麥》（Sygyt and khoomei in the land of Övur)。他不僅擔任全女子喉音團體《圖瓦的女兒》的經紀人，同時也在電視台製作音樂節目，極力推廣傳統音樂。目前於圖瓦的聯合國教科文組織UNESCO部門擔任主席。