"the music was simply phenomenal"
Northern Lights – Altai Khangai is a unique fusion blending some of the freshest Canadian jazz with the ancient sounds of the Mongolian steppe. Northern Lights performs spacious and interactive music reflecting the openness of the Canadian prairies. Altai Khangai performs traditional music from the vast steppes of Mongolia. The morin khuur (horse head fiddle), khuchir (two stringed violin), tuuvshuur (swan fiddle) and khoomii (throat singing) evoke images of the grasslands, deserts, mountains, horses and nomadic people of Mongolia, the land that knows no fences. Together, Northern Lights – Altai Khangai play music that springs from the expansive landscape shared by western Canada and Mongolia.
Northern Lights: Keith Smith (guitar), Simon Fisk (bass), Robin Tufts (percussion), Deb Rasmussen (vocal)
Altai Khangai: Odontungalag (khuchir), Ganbolt (morin khuur, khuumii), Ganzorig (khuumii, morin khuur, tovshuur)
Northern Lights – Altai Khangai came together to commemorate the thirty-fifth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Mongolia. It began with a concert hosted by the new Embassy of Canada in Ulaanbaatar in October 2008, continued with a tour through Western Canada in August 2009 and ended with a concert for the Embassy of Mongolia in Ottawa in September 2009.
The music selected for this collaboration introduces these separate traditions and moves forward together, blending jazz into traditional Mongolian music and the sounds of Mongolian music into jazz. In the collaborative pieces the musical traditions both echo and complement each other, and as Mongolian musicians add improvisation, a new sound emerges that is a celebration of both traditions and a symbol of evolving together in a partnership of co-creation.
A unique fusion blending the freshest Canadian jazz with the ancient sounds of the Mongolian steppe.