Between Christmas and New Year’s, I had the opportunity to travel to Delgerkhaan—a small town, a short five-hour bus ride southwest of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. Despite the short, five-day length of my trip, I was able to capture close to thirty recordings. Additionally, the quality and range of styles I was able to capture was truly impressive. Here are a few of my favorite performances:
Tsendsuren is 79 years old. Initially laughing off my request in a loving manner that only older people can muster, she slowly warmed to the idea of me recording her.
Recording outside is always special. This video shows just how open the Mongolian steppe can be.
This performer, Enkhbat, had been given the nickname, Tagtaa, or Pidgeon, after winning a singing competition. Leaving his home, my host Davlaa said, “He will never get tired of singing. As long as his heart beats, he will sing”. Tagtaa was a performer as well as a singer.
Coming back to Ulaanbaatar, I had my work cut out for me editing these videos and updating the project’s website I have added a map and better categorization to help viewers understand the types of musical styles I am recording. It’s still a work in progress, but I am excited about the new direction.My next trip will take me to the far western corner of Mongolia where I will record several communities of Kazakh herders. I will be adding more recordings and will finish the website’s design when I return.
To see Dimitri’s full project visit mongolmusicarchive.com. To get in touch with Dimitri, feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his personal website itsdimitri.com. Get frequent updates about his project by following him on Instagram @dimitri.photo.
My friend and travel companion, Maagaa, took both the photos from this post. Check out his photography by following him on Instagram @maagaa.