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Lost Rivers


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    (FMP CD 042)
    This extraordinary vocal album by Sainkho Namtchylak - a collaborator of Peter Kowald and Butch Morris - creates its own unique soundworld. See the ecstatic reviews for more details.
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Night Birds 07:05
Early Steps 06:20
Cschai-Su 05:26
Tovarishi 06:55
Houma 05:29
White Food 06:29
Memory I 04:05
Lost Rivers 07:18
Memory II 03:22


All music by Sainkho Namtchylak.


released June 1, 1991


All Music Guide: 4 ½ Stars

"Tuvan vocalist Sainkho Namtchylak is a singer among singers. In her sound world, the human voice is the container for all the sounds in the universe and also their interpreter. This collection of 13 pieces is an attempt by Namtchylak to let the listener in to witness how she organizes that world. From growling, bleating, gurgling, screaming, whispering, cooing, singing, clucking, roaring, and whooping, patterns emerge of interactions of the animate with the inanimate world, all of it in the context of the spiritual. This is singing as it probably was at the beginning of human existence, and yet, it is obvious that it has never been anywhere but in Namtchylak's present. As her entire body moves into the heat of "song," the listener realizes that, on Namtchylak's part, there is no attempt to imitate anything, but instead to integrate, prioritize, and then deconstruct sounds, thus imbuing them with meanings that they might not otherwise be assigned. This isn't merely throat singing, this is vocal shamanism."
- All Music Guide

"Anyone who has fallen under the spell of the vocal style made famous by the Bulgarian Women’s Choir will be elated to discover the music of Sainkho Namtchylak, a Tuvan born singer who draws on the traditions of Central Asia to form a sometimes frightening personal sound. Namtchylak’s singing is a rare thing, reflective of her roots in the expansive region of Southern Siberia, on the northern border of Mongolia. This highly unusual culture, formed in a region of intense isolation, makes for a musical expression that is other-worldly. The voice lulls, provokes, bewilders and soothes. There is remarkable variety in Namtchylak’s approach, a blend of murmurs, ghost voices and the distinctive “khomel” singing, a Mongolian word for throat or larynx."
- CODA Magazine

"Namtchylak is, on the basis of this recital and an earlier impressive trio/quartet album featuring Peter Kowald, Butch Morris and Werner Lüdi (FMP CD 38), carving out a unique imposing niche in creative music. However, contrary to producer Kowald’s understandably glowing liners, there are points of reference to her work. The split-toned yodeling/trilling passages bring to mind Yoko Ono at her infrequent best; the throaty gurgling whispers – Jeanne Lee; the full throttle glissandi cries – early Linda Sharrock. But these are signposts for the experienced listeners and certainly not source materials for Namtchylak, who projects an assured aura of artistic self-reliance. She moves gracefully from one idea or technique to another, thus indicating fecund possibilities in the ongoing development of her already puissant expression."
- Cadence

"Sainkho has become a force, endowed with an extraordinary octave range, able to produce three distinct tones simultaneously, and exuding a hint of shamanism. The solo project, Lost Rivers, displays Sainkho’s vocal range: bird-like screaming, breath-taking piping and that peculiar, other-worldly warbling."
- The Wire

"For a complete immersion in the solo Sainkho try Lost Rivers. At 74 minutes it’s best absorbed in manageable doses. This is extreme, uninhibited vocal work which deserves your attention."
- Rubberneck

Sainkho Namtchylak: voice

Recorded by Jost Gebers on July 9th to 11th, 1991, at the FMP-Studio in Berlin.

Mastered by Jonas Bergler.
Produced by Peter Kowald.

Booklet design/layout: Peter Kowald.
Photos: Dagmar Gebers.


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