The Tuvan acoustic quartet Huun Huur Tu prove that Tuvan music can take plenty of intelligent innovation. Using traditional instruments and drawing subtly on 20th-century composers, funky rhythms, and the decades they spent honing their overtone singing, Huun Huur Tu transform ancient songs into complex acoustic compositions. Beginning over seventeen years ago, Huun Huur Tu has almost single-handedly introduced the outside world to the boundless wealth of Tuvan traditions, thanks in great part to their superior musicianship.
The whistling of the high-mountain wind forms eerie overtones and postmodern statement. The repeated thrum of a string against wood and hide turns into a meditative, evocative figure straight from the avant garde. The descendents of isolated Siberian herdsmen make serious, strangely universal music out of some of the planets quirkiest acoustics