Ay-Kherel, meaning “ray of moonlight”, was founded in 1994 by master throat-singer Vladimir Serenovich Soyan. Hailing from Tuva, Ay-Kherel performs five different throat-singing styles accompanied by a plethora of traditional instruments. Instruments used include kengirge (drum), limbi (flute), synyi (rattle), shyngyrash (bells), khomus (Jew’s harp), byzaanchy (violin), doshpulur (lute), chanzy (lute), duyug (horse hooves) and igil (violin).

"Perhaps the Tuvan craze in world music is dying down a bit now, more removed from the flurry stirred up by Genghis Blues. There's still a fair bit out there to be heard nonetheless, with groups beyond the well-known Huun Huur Tu and Kongar-ol Ondar. Case in point is this album from Ay-Kherel, a troupe headed by Vladimir Soyan. The album progresses through the obvious khoomei to instrumental pieces and various folk songs, both in solo and ensemble formats. Much of the music is similar to what would be heard on other Tuvan albums, with some exceptions in execution. No one in this troupe is up to the same standards in throat singing as ol-Ondar, but they aren't bad. They don't have the vocal range of some of the old long-song specialists, but they aren't bad (especially Vladimir's daughter Lilya Soyan). They aren't the most virtuosic on the igil or khomuz, but they aren't bad. They're a perfectly good troupe overall, very good generalists as opposed to virtuosic specialists. As such, it makes for a nice primer to the music of Tuva, and a good lead-in for further exploration in the rich music of the locale."

Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

01 - Morgul (Prayer)
02 - Baezhin
03 - Tool (The Story)
04 - Kadarchynyn Yry (Shepherd's Song)
05 - Dyngylday
06 - Eki Attar (The Best Steeds)
07 - Chylgychynyn Yry
08 - Tarlaashkyn
09 - Aldan Maadyr
10 - Igil Solo
11 - Kuda Yry
12 - Khoomei Solov
13 - Khomus Improvisation
14 - Ches-Bulun
15 - Hoyzhu Sugga Baryksaar Men
16 - AA-Shuu, Dekei-Oo
17 - Ezir-Kara
18 - Tyvam Hemneri (The Rivers of Tuva)
19 - Durgen Chugaa
20 - Ugbashkylar
21 - Dagyn Katap Darlatpas Bis
22 - Kozhamyktar

part 1.
part 2.


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