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Sound Mountain (SMP 001)

 

In the summer of 1997 Khöömii (overtone) singer Michael Ormiston  and environmental artist and musician Jeff Higley set out on a search for the semi-mythical “Sound Mountain” (Duut Uul) in the Altai Mountain range of West Mongolia. The nine diverse pieces reflect the extraordinary nature of their encounters with the Mongolian Nomads and their vast and endless landscape.

 

1.Sound Mountain - A mythical mountain, the search for which was the subject of our trip to Mongolia. It came to   

   represent an “Inward” &“Outward” journey in which we encountered the Mongolian people & their landscape.

  Jeff Higley – Didgeridoo, Simon  Higley - Djembe/Cymbal,

  Michael Ormiston - Morin Khuur/Throat singing, Cathy Richards - Bassoon.

2.Reflections in Black Water Lake - Sitting on a cliff by Black Water Lake in west Mongolia, reflecting.

  An  improvisation based on one of the traditional melodies about this huge lake.

  Jeff Higley - Ocarina, Michael Ormiston - Esraj, Cathy Richards - Voice.

3.Enkh Mendyn Bayar - An arrangement of a traditional Mongolian long song (Urtyn Duu) melody,

   which is usually sung at the end of festivals. It is about peace and well being and

    is dedicated to Nathalie and Amina Anna.  Jeff Higley - Didgerido, 

   Michael Ormiston - Morin Khuur, Alain Presencer - Voice/Tibetan Thigh Bone trumpet

4.Enkhe - Enkhe was our driver for the first 2,000km of out trip. He hurtled along playing Mongolian songs on a cheap  

  keyboard. Once stopped there were moments of great stillness. Then he would hurry along again. Featuring Steve    

  Teers’ versions of Mongolian & “Human Cabbages” melodies plusCathy’s rendition of a well known steam engine.

  Jeff Higley - Gongs/Ranasringa, Simon Higley - Djembe/Bean Bell Alain Presencer - Tibetan thigh bone trumpet,

  Michael Ormiston - Pi saw, Cathy Richards - Bassoon, Steve Teers - Trombone.

5.Hi Mori/Önchin Tsaagan Botgo/Dörvön Nastai Khaluin

   A Medley of Mongolian tunes, “Wind Horse”, “The white Orphaned First Year Camel” and “The four year old  

   Chestnut Horse”.Dedicated to Tserendaava, Michael’s khöömii (Overtone singing) teacher. 

   Michael Ormiston - khöömii singing/Morin Khuur/Limbe/Yatag.

6.Snowy Night - A memory of a snowy night in the Khangai Mountains.

   Jeff Higley - Aromatic Flute, Michael Ormiston - Breath.

7.Lament - Memories of old sadness evoked by a Tibetan singing bowl, Kobyz (A central Asian Shamanic/kam

   instrument) and voice.

   Jeff Higley - Tibetan Singing Bowl, Michael Ormiston - Kobyz, Kate Pyper - Voice.

8.Hearing the Tears - Dedicated to the Bodhisattva, “Chenrezig” and the memory of the Lams (Monks) who died  

   during the political persecutions in the 1930’s.

   Jeff Higley, Michael Ormiston, Kate Pyper - Tibetan Singing Bowls and Voices.

9. 5 Down, 7 Across ? - A cryptic clue to some of the time signatures in this modal piece exploring improvisation and

   composition.

 Simon Higley - Djembe/Brazilian Clay Pot/Shaker/Gongs/Bell Tree/Ektar,

 Michael Ormiston  - Esraj/Bass, Cathy Richards - Bassoon.

 

Some of the instruments used on this album are familiar, some not so.

A brief description of the more obscure ones follows:

 

Khöömii – A style of singing where one person sings two or more distinct pitches

                 at the same time (Mongolian, Tuvan and others)

Morin Khuur - Two string Mongolian Horse Head Fiddle.

Esraj - Bengali fretted vertical fiddle with sympathetic strings

Pi - Saw Reed flute from Laos (thanks Clive Bell)

Limbe - Mongolian transverse mirliton flute.

Yatag - Mongolian long boxed plucked zither.

 

Recorded spring & summer 1998 at Chamber 26 studios, Produced and mixed by Simon and Michael. All titles © 1998 Sound Mountain Music

 

Please email ormi_khoomii@yahoo.com  to buy