Anda Union: The Wind Horse
This post is by Lisa Driscoll, a Junior Vocal Performance and Broadcast Journalism double major. You can read more of her writing on her blog.
Mongolian music group Anda Union shared a taste of their homeland in an evening filled with folk songs and nostalgic original compositions, all performed in traditional clothing, on September 20 at the Clarice Smith Center. The steady percussive drive mixed with the many string and wind instruments made for a lively and memorable musical performance.
By the end, the energy was so high that I was practically rocking out — certainly not a reaction I expected of myself.
Though I came wanting to experience the throat singing, I learned that it wasn’t the only treasure of Mongolian music. Performers played two stringed guitars called the top shur, a two-stringed cello called a morin huur, a flute called a moadin chor and a large Mongolian drum. Certain songs included throat singing, or hoomei, in which the performer sings two different pitches at the same time. Tsetsegmaa, a long-song singer, performed with beautiful legato lines and much feeling in a song that spoke of her home in Buriat (“Buriat Song”). Songs like “Galloping Horses” and “Jangar” livened up the entire Kay Theater, leading many of us in the audience to tap along with the beat. By the end, the energy was so high that I was practically rocking out — certainly not a reaction I expected of myself.
Anda Union has been together for 13 years, but the way they performed together made it seem like they had collaborated for a lifetime. The group’s sense of family and unity was evident, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with their beautiful culture by the end of the show. This familial element is very much rooted in the artists themselves. In fact, “Anda” means a lifelong blood brother or sister in Mongolian. Anda Union is united in family and in culture with one mission: to bring the beauty of their forgotten music to younger generations. Many of the band members teach music to students in Mongolia, and one member even owns a bar in which performers play traditional Mongolian music.
I left the performance feeling like I was one of their students and a part of their family. And in this sense, we, as an audience, all became a small part of the movement to bring back the age of forgotten music.