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Alash, masters of Tuvan throat singing

IMPACT Presents Alash: Master Tuvan Throat Singers

Traditional technique infused with modern influence.

Alash are masters of Tuvan throat singing, a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. What distinguishes this gifted trio from earlier generations of Tuvan throat singers is the subtle infusion of modern influences into their traditional music. 

One can find complex harmonies, Western instruments, and contemporary song forms in Alash’s music, but its overall sound and spirit is decidedly Tuvan. Alash first toured the U.S. under the sponsorship of the Open World Leadership program of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts. Since then they have returned many times, to the delight of American audiences. 

The Washington Post described their music as “utterly stunning,” quipping that after the performance “audience members picked their jaws up off the floor.” 

The tiny Republic of Tuva is a giant when it comes to mastery of the human voice.

The ancient tradition of throat singing (xöömei in Tuvan) developed among the nomadic herdsmen of Central Asia, people who lived in yurts, rode horses, raised yaks, sheep and camels, and had a close spiritual relationship with nature. More complex throat singing styles create rhythms or quickly changing harmonics to imitate the sounds of bubbling water or a trotting horse. 

Passed down through the generations but largely unheard by the outside world, xöömei is now the subject of international fascination and has become Tuva’s best known export.


Mark Your Calendars

Saturday, October 17 | 8 p.m.
Highland High School Auditorium

Tuesday, October 20 | 7:30 p.m.
Washington State Community College's Graham Auditorium

Thursday, October 22 | 7:30 p.m.
Vern Riffe Center for the Arts

Sunday, October 25 | 4 p.m.
The Gloria Theatre

The Ohio Arts Council is pleased to present its 17th statewide International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour (IMPACT) in partnership with the Ohio Arts Presenters Network and four Ohio arts organizations. The purpose of these free concerts is to introduce audiences to art forms from around the world and create new audiences for the performing arts. 

In addition to the public performances, IMPACT also features educational outreach in community libraries, schools, and senior centers. As globalization of the arts becomes more important in an ever-expanding world culture, the OAC looks forward to this year's tour of Alash.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Video by WYCC PBS Chicago
Photo courtesy of Alash

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