The ancient sound of Tuva

oorzhakLast month we saw Huun Huur Tu bring its take on rocked-up Tuvan throat singing to Dom – now it’s the turn of Nikolai Oorzhak.

This time it’s a solo show – Oorzhak, who is a recognized shaman and faith-healer as well as a musician, is the undoubted star of the show rather than part of a band. And the music perhaps runs closer to the traditions of Central Asia, with less emphasis on creating a kind of fusion between ancient world music and contemporary rock, although at times he performs with swirling, ambient backing tracks.

Once again, though, the timeless, ritualistic qualities of the music come to the fore – everything from the sumptuous robes to the eerie resonance of overtonal, or throat singing, evokes a sound world which is utterly alien to European ears. Beguiling and baffling by turns, and blessed with a great deal of individual charm, Oorzhak is the perfect guide through this strange old world.

Sunday’s show is also the end of the current season at Dom. The delightfully independent-minded venue will be back in action come September.

Nikolai Oorzhak plays Dom on Sunday, June 30 at 8pm. Cover is 400r.

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