continued Just as the western cowboy plays a guitar or banjo, the Tuvan cowboy often accompanies himself with a three-stringed doshpuluur or chanzy (plucked or strummed like a banjo) or a two-stringed igil (bowed like a cello). The instruments are traditionally decorated with carved horses’ heads.
The members of Alash have trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood, but have also paid close attention to Western music and trends and have borrowed new ideas that mesh well with the sound and feel of traditional Tuvan music. This blending of Eastern musical traditions with modern Western influences is what distinguishes the trio from earlier generations of Tuvan throat singers.
“One can find complex harmonies, western instruments and contemporary song forms in Alash’s music, but its overall sound and spirit is decidedly Tuvan,” according to their website.
Alash first toured the U.S in 2006 sponsored by the Open World Leadership program of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts, and since then have returned numerous times and consistently received rave reviews. Alash has collaborated with musicians across the spectrum, from country to classical, and records and tours with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones on a semi-regular basis.
Alash has released three CDs of its own: Alash Live at the Enchanted Garden (2006), Alash (2007) and Buura (2011).
“This is a very rare opportunity,” Schoenfeld wrote on the Nelson Odeon website promoting the Alash concert. “Alash utilizes a branch of musical skill the West is generally unfamiliar with, and these are some of the finest proprietors of it. Be you a musician looking for some new creative input or a lover of music pure and simple, join us.”
The Nelson Odeon is located at 4035 Nelson Road. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the concert to start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $22 at the door.
For more information, visit alashensemble.com and nelsonodeon.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.