Music is an universal language, and as far as magical music from Mongolian nomads is concerned, I would like you to see for yourself.
Traditional Mongolian opera
The lyrics and the melody of a Mongolian long song (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity), traditional form of singing, join together to mesmerize listeners, taking them to Mongolia’s famous vast grassland. Requiring a great amount of singing skills and voice capacity, long song can be perceived as traditional Mongolian opera. The incomparable cultural heritage was first brought to the globe’s ear in the 20th century by legendary long song singer N.Norovbanzad. The 21st century world was graced by her disciple Khongorzul Ganbaatar who performed Mongolian long song for a Nobel Prize Concert, at the opening ceremony of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and other famous venues.
For your Youtube playlist: ‘Norovbanzad – Under the Sun of Placid World’
Imitation of the sound of nature
Among the many folk art forms in Mongolia, is an exclusive type of singing called khoomei or 'throat' singing (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity). One of the many excellent khoomei singers is Khosbayar Dangaa who has made a huge contribution to promoting khoomei to western audiences. Khosbayar is known by his stage name Hosoo and usually plays with his Hosoo TransMongolia band. Although he has rarely performed in Mongolia, the artist is well-known in Mongolia for having made the nation proud more than once by receiving ‘The Prince of World Music’ award, named after the Queen of Spain, and when he was shortlisted among the 10 finalists on Germany’s Got Talent in 2009.
For your Youtube playlist: ‘Hosoo Transmongolia – The Leader of 10000 Horses’
Rise of ethnic music
The contemporary Mongolian music scene witnesses a steady growth of modern music and its ever expanding genres; yet there’s been a visible upsurge in the popularity of ethnic music too. Recent years have seen the emergence of various ethnic musical groups including prominent ones like Altan Urag, Husugtun, Altai Band, Jonon and Domog. Ethnic group Husugtun certainly raised awareness on the marvel of traditional Mongolian music by claiming the second place in the 2015 Asia’s Got Talent and delivering a jaw-dropping performance at BBC Proms 2011 Human Planet. The unique and exquisite sound shared by all traditional Mongolian songs is made by Morin Khuur (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) a two-stringed traditional instrument that has been played by the Mongols for as long as they’ve lived and thrived.
For your Youtube playlist: Altan Urag – Mother Mongolia (Marco Polo OST) and Jonon – Ariun Dashin (The Sacred)
Talent of Mongolia: performing and fine arts
Do you know Ulaanbaatar was the first city in Asia to establish an opera theater? The Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet has produced a number of classic artists, helping them manifest Mongolian talent on the international stage.
Ballet and Mongolian biyelgee
It was a historic new era opening for the Mongolian performing art scene when a young Mongolian ballet dancer was chosen to dance the main role at the US Boston Ballet in 2007. He was Altankhuyag Huyagaa, one of the many excellent ballet dancers Mongolia has produced. Native of Khovd Aimag where traditional Mongolian dance form bii biyelgee is famous, Altankhuyag expresses Mongolian folk dance moves through classical ballet, thus drawing audiences to his spectacular performances. He often performs by invitation at Italian La Scala, Harvard University, and Boston University.
Opera and the golden baritone
With a heart as soft as a woman’s, and as passionate as a patriot’s, Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar charms his audience with powerful renditions of world opera classics. Hailing from Mount Zorgol which is situated in Bayan-Onjuul Soum of Tuv Aimag, Ariunbaatar is Grand Prix and Gold Medal Winner of the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition and Joint Winner of the Song Prize of the 2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. His debut on the global opera scene opened a new page in Mongolian classic music. In 2016, Ariunbaatar became the youngest recipient of the Order of Chinggis Khaan, the most prestigious award in Mongolia.
Fine arts unbound by frame
Mongolians’ only defense against the flood of globalized societies is Mongolian style and painter Zayasaikhan Sambuu knows it very well. When the US based ‘Goff Books’ published ‘Mona Lisa Reimagined’ an anthology of hundreds of art pieces, the Mongolian version of the world’s most famous painting was included. It was created by Zayasaikhan who is not only well-known for his extraordinary and colorful paintings in Mongolia, but also in the international fine arts community. He has exhibited his works in the US, Japan, Australia, the ROK, France and Canada. The regular collectors of the strangely appealing art of Zayasaikhan include prominent figures and art experts from Japan where the painter currently lives as well as China and France.