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The Winds of Heaven (Amina 2003)

Michael Ormiston


The Winds of Heaven is Michael Ormiston's first CD dedicated to overtone singing.

Hear traditional Mongolian & Tuvan melodies sung in khöömii, accompanied by Michael's rare collection of Mongolian instruments and new compositions and improvisations using overtone singing, Tibetan singing bowls, “simultaneous overtone singing with ney flute” and gongs.


Khöömii is a remarkable style of singing where one person sings two or more distinct pitches at the same time. Khöömii originates from the central Asian plateau, particularly the Altai & Sayan mountain regions of Mongolia and Tuva. The nomads of these parts have listened to the natural sounds of their environment & have discovered the nature of sound in the overtone or harmonic series, a universal series from which all sounds are born.



1. Altai Magtaal 6’32’

    Arrangement of a magtaal (praise song) to the Altai mountains, for voice (khöömii & khailakh), Tobshuur (Mongol

    2 String fretless lute), Morin khuur (Mongolian horse-head fiddle), Tömör khuur (metal mouth harp) & drum.

2. Uriangkhai Arshaan/River Eev 7’43’

    Simultaneous overtone singing & Embilta (Ethiopian end-blown flute) inspired by the Tsuur instrument of the  

    Uriangkhai people of west Mongolia, followed by a journey down the river Eev with overtone singing,

    Khalsun Khuur (bamboo mouth harp), percussion & Embilta.

3. Buyant Gol/Khümüün Torlokhton/Arty-Sayir 4’38’’

    Two Mongolian melodies & one Tuvan for khöömii & morin khuur.

    Dedicated to Tserendavaa my khöömii teacher.

4. Batterjoe 4’57’’ Dedicated to Batterjoe, a Mongolian man who could imitate any sound.

    For Tömör khuur & overtone singing.

5. Lus 2’59’’ A call to the water spirits of Black Water Lake. Solo overtone singing.

6. Tegsh 6’28’’ Tegsh is a Mongolian shamanistic concept of living one’s life in balance.

    Candida Valentino - high overtone singing, toning with high Tibetan singing bowl.

    Michael - low overtone & undertone singing & low Tibetan singing bowl.

7. Oirat Messenger 7’19’’

    Dedicated to Nicholas Roerich and the Oirat Mongolians of the Altai that he met in his travels in the 1920's.

    For overtone singing, didgeridoo, bowed & struck Tibetan cymbal.

8. The Winds of Heaven - (Tengri-yin Salkhin) 21’54’’

   Inspired by a Jalait Mongolian poem.

       The Winds of Heaven shift and change, your body will not live forever;

       your mortal body has but its brief span of life.

       May we, fast friends that have met, all live long and happily together!

   Arranged for gongs, overtone singing choir, khöömii, morin khuur, bowed& plucked Yatag (Mongolian long zither).

9. Tannu Ola Watershed 7’23’’

   A call of thanks to the Mongolians, Tuvans and their ancestors across the endless landscape of the Tannu Ola 

   mountain range that now divides these two peoples. Sung in my khargiraa accompanied by a morin khuur.


All instruments & pieces played, arranged and composed by Michael Ormiston © 2001


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