The word Chirgilchin has two translations: “dance of the air in the heat of the day” and “miracle”. Established in 1996, Chirgilchin is a group of musicians from Tuva, a small Russian province north of Western Mongolia. Throat singing is an extraordinary vocal form in which one singer produces two or more voices simultaneously, the low sounds in the throat harmonizing with middle and high flute-like overtones, to create richly layered melodies that evoke Central Asian steppes and nomadic life. Atmospheric and mesmeric, this music is almost too difficult to describe in words and must be heard to be believed.
Ashkenaz in Berkeley hosts Chirgilchin for a throat singing workshop at 3:30PM and later the same evening at 8PM for a full performance.