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Nada in Mongolia tour dates diary

Ulaanbaatar 22/9‑ 30/9/94

 

NADA continued their series of concerts at the

Rainbow Club. The president Kang Heung Lee has

offered NADA to play there again anytime they are

back in Mongolia. They are also interested in inviting other British groups to play at their venue. Michael Ormiston arranged concerts for a U.S musician John Stewart at the club.

 

NADA played a special joint concert with the Tumen Ekh Music and Dance Company. It took place at the Tumen Ekh theatre. Tumen Ekh would play two pieces and then NADA two pieces and so on. The concert was a great success and Tseden‑ish Alatangerel the chief  and artistic director of Tumen Ekh expressed the wish for NADA to play again with his ensemble.

 

Richard Manning and Michael Ormiston played their structured improvisation "Dreamtime over the steppes" at an event at the DSNKA centre. The event was directed by one of Mongolia's leading popular musicians Ganananisrai. There was a ballet (based on the jungle book) followed by music performed by members of the Chingis Khahn group. They were playing covers of western pop songs! NADA's piece  utilises the didgeridoo, Mongolian khöömii, overtone singing and the Mongolian Khalsan khuur (Bamboo Jews harp). The reversal of roles was appreciated with applause each time the Mongolian sounds were introduced.

 

NADA's tour of Mongolia achieved its aim and much more. It made the Mongolian people aware of the many types of different and challenging music that exists in Britain in the form of concerts, a radio interview and also a forty-minute program about NADA its tour, instruments and music. The program was shown at peak time and made small TV personalities out of the members of NADA.

 

Michael Ormiston, Chris Johnston and Richard Manning stayed on after the tour to continue their own projects.

 

Michael Ormiston obtained permission from the venerable Choijampts the Abbot of Ganden Tegchinlen monastery in Ulaanbataar to make audio recordings of the monks chanting their prayers in the temples. He obtained about 11 hours of recording which include prayers for peace and well being, prayers for the recently dead and two Mani prayers(Mongolian Buddhist long song). He also recorded the nuns at Tugsbajasgalant Nunnery (a ger) in Ulaanbaatar as well as a Buryiat monk in Dadal sum, Hentii aimag. He has agreed to make this material available to anybody interested and to produce a tape/ CD. The profits from these will go to Choijampts to aid in the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia.

 

Chris Johnston was collecting recordings of Mongolian traditional music (as well as recording NADA's concerts) with the help of PAN records (they supplied the recording equipment). Michael Ormiston introduced all the khöömii singers he knew, Ganbold, Gereltsogt, Tsogbaatar, Tserendaava and Sengedorj and Chris recorded most of them. He also recorded Tserendorj a Domog, Magtaal and Tuul singer who also played the Morin Khuur, Khuuchir, Tobshuur and Tomur Khuur and his son. While NADA were touring Chris recorded musicians from Altai and had a wonderful time in Khovd recording the local musicians there. Finally he went to Dadal sum in Hentii aimag and made a unique recording of the Buryats who live there. Buyanhishig at Mongolian Radio provided Chris with the "complete" archive of khöömii recording that the station had made! Hopefully all those interested will be able to hear the cream of his recordings on PAN records soon. Most of them have since become available on the excellent Jargalant Altai” CD on PAN 2050CD.

 

Richard Manning our didgeridoo player who was also the official NADA photographer (Contact him through me if you are interested in viewing them) initiated a project with some horse‑breeder and racing trainers. He was invited to film the preparations of horses and jockeys for next years (1995) Nadaam. He has a vested interest in the race next year as the people who invited him gave him a young horse that would compete in next years race!.

 

NADA's tour of Mongolia was a great success. It achieved its fourfold plan of concerts, collaboration, education and research. Michael Ormiston led the tour and has gained a thorough knowledge of how Mongolia works from an administrative, cultural, transport and living point of view. The tour could not have happened without the support of the British Council, the Arts Council of England and the Tibet Foundation on the British side and the Ministry of Culture and the Mongolian people on the Mongolian side. NADA have finished their tour with the aim to spread the unique culture of Mongolia to Britain and other countries. They have had a unique insight to the Mongolian culture and have come away with an experience of the musical heritage, a collection of photographs, 29 hours of HI 8 video footage, audio recordings and have made contacts with the Ministry of Culture who wish them to continue this new beginning of cultural relationships with Britain and Mongolia. They hope to disseminate this material in the form of concerts, exhibitions, installations and a film of the tour. This is just the beginning. Anybody who is interested in contacting Michael about the tour, helping NADA with concerts (which will include footage of Mongolia) arranging photographic exhibitions or screenings, please email Michael at mailto:ormi_khoomii@yahoo.com

 

© Michael Ormiston NADA Director November 1994

 

 

 

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