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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

EGSCHIGLEN

By Brian Grosjean
Published February 17, 2006

Zazal
Felmay

This sheer beauty of this music takes hold on first contact. Egschiglen ("Beautiful Melody") was founded in 1991 by master students of the conservatory of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, where the nomadic life is still very common. Sweeping instrumental sections suggesting the freedom and power of that simple life ride alongside rough Khomii throat singing, in which the overtones are modulated while the base melody is sung. The music is reminiscent of some of the best Chinese orchestration, but Chinese deliberateness is replaced by freedom and movement. The music is played on traditional instruments, like the horse-head violin and the morin khuur, an instrument with two strings made of horsehair, played like a cello.