Anda Union @ Eden Court Theatre

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Wednesday May 16 2018

Anda Union return to Eden Court on Sunday 27 May with their haunting harmonies and vibrant strings that evoke the endless beauty of the Mongolian grasslands.

Combining throat singing and long song with horse head fiddles and two stringed lutes they bring this powerful ancient music to life as never heard before.

Anda Union’s thoroughly addictive combination of Mongolian musical styles is a reflection of their roots.

Hailing from differing ethnic nomadic cultures the ten strong band unite tribal and music traditions from all over Inner Mongolia in China.

Anda Union bring a wide range of musical instruments and vocal styles together in a fusion that Genghis Khan himself would have been proud of.

Keenly aware of the threat to the Grasslands and their age-old Mongolian culture, Anda Union are driven by their fight for the survival of this endangered way of life, by keeping the essence of the music alive.

Formed 12 years ago in 2000 they have influenced a generation of young Mongolians in Inner Mongolia as traditional music flourishes in the capital.

Nars says:

“Most of the band members have been playing together since childhood.

“As adults, we studied professional vocals and instruments together.

“We are like a family. ten years ago, Anda Union was forged and we haven’t looked back.”

Anda Union were all trained in traditional Mongolian music from a young age, many coming from musical families.

They are part of a musical movement that is finding inspiration in old and forgotten songs, drawing on a repertoire of magical music that had all but disappeared during China’s recent tumultuous past.

As a group they hold on to the essence of Mongolian music whilst creating a form of music that is new.

A soloist would traditionally perform many of the instruments Anda Union play, and Mongolian musicians have tended to concentrate on a particular musical technique.

Anda Union combine different traditions and styles of music from all over Inner and Outer Mongolia, developing an innovation previously unheard of.

The very existence of a music group like Anda Union is new to Inner Mongolia.

Mongols have a strong musical tradition that is passed from generation to generation.

The morin huur, or horse head fiddle, pays homage to the most important animal in the

Mongol culture; almost all houses have one hanging in the hallway.

The group describe themselves as music gatherers, digging deep into Mongol traditions

and unearthing forgotten music.

They are on a mission to stimulate their culture and reengage young Mongols, many of who no longer to speak their own language.

Saikhannakhaa is fighting to reverse this trend by opening a bar in the capital Hohhot, where she will promote music.

“I found an old golden wheel with half its spokes broken in an old dusty shop.

“It looks like a wheel that once turned the warrior carts of the great Mongol armies.

“I will hang this wheel in my bar as a warning to Mongolian people that our culture is broken and needs to be mended.” 

Hadanbaatar, the drummer adds:

“Young Mongolians like us now understand how important our culture is but maybe the next generation won’t care and we have to prevent this from happening”.

Anda means a blood brother or sister.

For Mongolians an Anda is more important than a birth brother as you choose a person to become an Anda, a lifelong blood brother.

Anda Union is a brotherhood of Andas.

 

 

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