Voice

Sainkho Namtchylak

Tuva/Austria

Sainkho Namtchylak is a world-famous and experimental singer originally from Tuva, an autonomous republic in the Russian Federation, just north of Mongolia.

She is known for her Tuvan throat singing or Khöömei and she is proficient in overtone singing. She has a voice range of seven octaves (with overtones and subtones).

Her music encompasses avant-jazz, electronica, modern composition and Tuvan influences.

Being the daughter of a pair of schoolteachers, she grew up in an isolated village on the Tuvan/Mongolian border, exposed to the local overtone singing, something that was generally reserved for the males.

Quietly she studied the overtone singing, as well as the shamanic traditions of the region, before leaving for study further in Moscow.

Her degree completed, she returned to Tuva where she became a member of Sayani, the Tuvan state folk ensemble, before abandoning it to return to Moscow and joining the experimental Tri-O, where her vocal talents and sense of melodic and harmonic adventure could wander freely. 

Once the Soviet Union had collapsed, she moved to Vienna, making it her base, although she traveled widely, working in any number of shifting groups and recording a number of discs that revolved around free improvisation as well as performing around the globe. 

Since 1987 her international concerts are moving in such musical directions such as: folk music, traditional music of the East and Siberia, improvised music, free jazz, etnodzhaz, academic avant-garde, throat singing, “world music”, a solo vocal with “e” treatment, “trans,” “techno” and others. She also participated in major festivals of jazz and world music.

Audiences are astounded by the diversity of sounds Namtchylak can produce with her voice, from operatic soprano to birdlike squawks, from childlike pleas to soulful crooning: “One Woman    Thousand Voices!”

She wrote two books and she shows her drawings and brash paintings in the galleries. 

She is also a producer of festivals and concerts. 

She has been honored Artist of the Republic of Tuva (Russia) in April 2011 and national heroine of Tuva, indeed she is one of those performers who have made Tuvan and Central Asian music more popular in the world.

Sainkho Namtchylak is a person who connects the past and future, unity with the universe, by creativity addressed to the human and the spirits in the nature around us.

<<Tuvan vocalist Sainkho Namtchylak is a singer among singers…This isn’t merely throat singing, this is vocal shamanism.>> (- Thom Jurek)

<< Of all the ex-Soviet musicians of the New Jazz Sainkho reaches its greatest prestige and recognition abroad.>> (- Sergey Letov)

<< No one would know Tuwa if it were not for Sainkho.>> (- Peter Gabriel)

<< From the Poem ‘Wording. Schriften-on line poetry’

(When I am gone...) 

When I am gone, please don’t cry

Mountains will be singing for you 

Lighten up with the jingling silence 

While you are, I am a life too

Sunrise will follow the sunset 

After cold spring comes again

There, fare beyond, I am with you

While you are, I am a life too

My song is a life, its created for you

There is nothing, complicated or simple 

To live for you, to go or remain

In every single thing and in your life

When I am gone, please don’t cry  

Mountains will be singing for you...>>

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