On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Huun-Huur-Tu – Ching soortukchulerining yryzy (1993)
Huun-Huur-Tu ( Tuvan: Хүн Хүртү, romanized: Hün Hürtü, [ˌxyn xyrˈty]; Russian: Хуун-Хуур-Ту, Chinese: [ˌxuːn xuːr ˈtʊ]; 恒哈图; pinyin: ) are a music group from Tuva, a Russian federative republic situated on the Mongolia-Russia border. Their music includes throat singing, in which the singers sing both a note and its overtones, thus producing two or three notes simultaneously.
We bringing an end to our time in 1993, dear reader, and as a result we are leaving the US and New York today. We are heading somewhere completely new. Into Asia we go and to the Tuva Republic which can be located between Russia and Mongolia. Formed in 1992 Huun-Huur-Tu have kept things very traditional to their homeland, specialising in throat singing and Tuvan folk music. We join them in 1993 with the release of their debut album, 60 Horses in My Herdi, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with Ching soortukchulerining yryzy.
Ching soortukchulerining yryzy translates as Song of the Caravan Drivers and slots into the favoured subject matter of the group which is concerned with traditional folk tales and stories of the Tuvan steppes. Incidentally, the band’s name translates as “sunbeams” which opens up many possibilities in terms of meaning. I was unable to find an English translation of the song unfortunately but with the title can postulate it deals with the traditional nomadic life of the Tuva people on the Russian steppes, living in yurts, travelling with the changing weather and living through harsh conditions and environments.
Although I was not able to find a translation for Ching soortukchulerining yryzy I still found this to be a splendid folk piece. A similar rhythm runs throughout the track while the different members share out vocal duties, offering contrasting regalements of the Tuva people with varying interjections from the individual members. I had never heard of Tuva prior to this challenge but the likes of Huun-Huur-Tu offer us a window into the lives of these remote yet musically talented people.
Favourite songs so far: