Ayanga Ensemble – Erkhuu Khoto: Songs of Buryats from Irkutsk

Antonovka Records produced one of my favorite records of 2022, covering music from the region of Buryatia in Russia.  From the label’s Bandcamp page:

“”Erkhuu Khoto” is the Buryat name of the Irkutsk city, where “Khoto” means “City”. Buryats are the indigenous people of this area.

The ensemble “Ayanga” (“Melody” in Buryat) was founded in 1998, the leader is Tsybigmit Damdinzhapova.

The band performs mainly songs of the Irkutsk Buryats, some of which were directly inherited from their ancestors. For example, Evgenia Baldynova learned song 4 from her grandfather. And song 5 was passed on to Petr Saganov from his grandmother Lilia Zhebadaeva, who, in turn, learned it from her grandfather Danchi Nikolaev, born in 1875. And Evgenia and Peter are the oldest (86 years old) and the youngest (27 years old) members of Ayanga respectively.

Some of the ensemble participants moved to Irkutsk from Buryatia and Transbaikal, so particular songs come from there. For example, Onon is a river in Transbaikal territory.”

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