Urna Chahar-Tugchi, Ser Review
Mongolian artist URNA is gifted with an extraordinary instrument with her voice. The clarity, consistency and singularly unique character is matchless. Born into a family of nomadic herders in the Ordos grasslands of Inner Mongolia, URNA carries the spirit of her homeland in her music as she performs around the world. On her latest album Ser (Awakening), she is joined by the Polish band KROKE. The group KROKE has been established for 25 years. Initially associated solely with Klezmer music, in their current works Kroke draw inspiration from ethnic music using their own improvisations. Together URNA and KROKE create the most uplifting and thematic music I have heard in ages, Ser is a tour de force.
“Nonjiyaa” features a heavy leaning of Jerzy Bawoł’s accordian. Urna delicately graces the track with her supple and stirring voice, the track begins delicately as Urna is supported by the gentle elongated lines of double bassist, Tomasz Lato. As the song progresses Urna’s voice grows with immediacy her head voice shimmers with focused clarity. Together the group creates and stirring performance.
“Jigder Nana,” is a celebratory sound. Rhythmically an up-tempo song, filled with elated sounds you will find yourself dancing along with the melody. One can picture the beauty of URNA’s homeland in each note. A bridge section takes the song to a double time feel to the outro. On this tune percussionist Tomasz Kukurba is especially brilliant. URNA’s rhythm and quickly paced lyrics are clear her diction is impeccable, and one can feel the energy of the band grow as the song traverses through each uplifting section.
Ser is a wonderful journey of world music; its authenticity is stunning and URNA is a once in a lifetime vocalist. Her style is honest and authentic and draws you in with each song deeper and deeper into the journey of the album. If you are a world music fan like I am, this will be a must add to your collection. A highly recommended listen in the highest order.
November 11, 2018
Urna Chahar-Tugchi / Uct