Sengedorj Nanjid
vocals, khöömii, lute tovshuur, flute tsuur
Odsuren Baatar
vocals, khöömii, lute tovshuur
Tserendavaa Dashdorj
vocals, khöömii, lute tovshuur, fiddle ekel
Ganzorig Nergui
vocals, khöömii, lute tovshuur, horse head fiddle morin khuur

In Mongolian, Dörvön Berkh, “Four Challenges” means the four faces of ankle bone and a specific divination game. Representing luck and predicting an auspicious future, this launch is quite rare.  In a figurative sense, it symbolizes the ascent of four persons to a top of the social status. Four sides of ankle bone game; it’s also four aspects of the Mongolian overtone singing as no one has ever heard. This is an unprecedented meeting of four of the greatest masters of overtone singing of Mongolia.

Genesis of the project

The project Dörvön Berkh was conceived in April 2007 in Mongolia. Johanni Curtet (ethnomusicologist) and Otgonbaatar Tsend-Ochir (manager) have united four of the most renowned representatives of Mongolian overtone singing on stage for the first time. The premiere took place in the Auditorium of the Modern Art Gallery in Ulaanbaatar with the support of the Alliance Française of Mongolia, Administration of Khovd Province, Khovd Dramatic Theatre, City Hall of Chandmani and Global Design Company. Following the success of the concert, two tours were held in France in spring and summer 2009. The musical creation continued at La Fonderie in Le Mans, with light creation residency with lighting engineer Jacky Jarry. Eventually, the overtone singers showed great motivation for cooperating again. Thus, Routes Nomades wanted to extend the project by editing a disc with the Dutch label Pan Records, which was released in February 2010 in the collection Ethnic Series. The story of these round trips between France and Mongolia, human relations between the ethnomusicologist-apprentice, and the Mongolian overtone singers, as well as the project Dörvön Berkh is told by Jean-François Castell in the documentary film “Masters of Overtone Singing” (2010).

Creation: 7 & 8 april 2007, Auditorium of the Modern Art Gallery, Ulaanbaatar

Production: Routes Nomades
Artistic Direction: Johanni Curtet & Otgonbaatar Tsend-Ochir
Light creation: Jacky Jarry, 2009

With the support of La Fonderie, Le Mans

CD available at the concert and in trade:
Dörvön Berkh, Four Shagai Bones, Masters of Mongolian Overtone Singing  
(Routes Nomades, Pan Records, Pan, Leiden: Ethnic Series, 2010)

Amphi-Opéra (Opéra de Lyon), Théâtre Claude Lévi-Strauss (Musée du quai Branly), Opéra de Lille, Musée des arts asiatiques de Nice, Salle Guy Ropartz (Rennes), festival Le Rêve de l’Aborigène, festival Musiques d’Ici et d’Ailleurs, Les Saulnières (Le Mans)…


Texts : Johanni Curtet