Khosbayar (Hosoo)


I have not met Khosbayar, but I did see him perfrom in Ulaanbaatar . However here are a few of his words regarding Khöömii. More to follow..


Hosoo was born in 1971 into a family of Khoomii-singers in the province Tschandman-Sum in Chovd, which is in the Altai mountain range of western Mongolia. This is the only area  in Mongolia where Khoomii is being sung and only here the Khoomii technique is passed on to the next generation. There is no official school for Khoomii. Hosoo has been practicing throat singing since he was seven years old. After school he started his career as a singer in Ulaan Baatar (capital city of Mongolia). Until 1993 he worked in a Mongolian song and dance ensemble. After 1993 he toured as a member of the ensembles Manduchai, Uyanga and Egschiglen through China, Russia and Europe. In this time the CDs “Uyanga-1” with Uyanga and “Gobi” with Egschiglen were released. In 1995 he was honoured as “Best Mongolian Singer” after participating in a national contest. In October 2000 his first Solo-Album “Altai” was published. On this record Hosoo mixed traditional throat singing with modern arrangements.  His current CD “The Khoomii Legend” was published in January 2001 and is purely traditional. In addition he can be heard as a guest musician on the CD “Istanbuul-Casablanca - Tour `98” by the Jazzgroup embryo (on “Mongolenblues”).


Khoomii (Höömij)
Most of the Mongolian people are still living as nomads. As nomads they have to cope with the elemental and natural forces every day. They are closely connected to them. The Mongols are paying great respect to the nature. The animals (especially the horse), the mountains and rivers are considered to be holy. The technique of Khoomii is the result of this close connection to nature. A Khoomii-Singer imitates nature: the animals (camels and horses), the floating river, the echo of the mountains and the wind. A Khoomii-Singer can produce two sounds simultaneously: a long deep one as a basic sound and a high tuned melody. A good Khoomii-singer sings without moving his lips.


The Concert
Hosoo accompanies himself with the horsehead violin. In between the songs his life companion Suvdaa explains the history and techniques of khoomii and tells people about the meaning of the songs.  The songs are mostly about nature. “Altai” tells us about the mountains where he grew up, “Buyant” is a song about a river where he used to practice singing in his childhood and “Dschingis Khan” is an epic piece of music which tells the story of one of the greatest conquerors of all times. The last song is an improvisation, where HOSOO sings all the different techniques of Khoomii in fast sequence.


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