Russia / Ukraine, 2012, modern classical, Tuvan throat singing
I first stumbled across Martynov’s genius when I discovered Night in Galicia, so it was just a short jump to this, though Tuvan throat singing is new territory for me. I feel like this is a wonderful, rich, immersive blend of Russian experimentalism and the Asian big-sky vocal embrace of mystic folklore. In this case, it’s about Mother Otter, her role as mother of humanity explored ritualistically across ancient Siberian soundscapes. Martynov plays the piano on this one, and his wife, Tatjana, works double duty not only directing this live collaborative album but also adding her own violin work to the ensemble. A strong focus on droning vocals and strings that alternate between rustic quartet tones and soaring symphonic themes.