Ludmila Dmitrieva asked me to write a few words about the solo artistry of Gennady Chamzyryn, called "Kamlaniye". This solo album has been recorded in February of this year in a small recording studio in one of the outskirts of Moscow. Kamlaniye is the Russian name of a shamanistic ritual, which is called in Tuvan Alganyr (i.e. to pray) or Algysh (i.e. prayer). Once, having come back home late at night, I lit up my last cigarette, while looking at the beautiful red roses in my garden and musing upon whatever I was to write for Gennady's new album. Nick Dmitriev informally called Gennady "Gen-Dos". So, I thought, what could one infer from this? Suddenly, it came to my mind that if he had such a nickname, then he must be a shaman, and he might very well have a guardian angel, which, most likely, knew him only by his nickname. So, I figured out that I should ask his spirit to help me write an annotation for Gennady's new album. Having come up with such a hope, I went to my bed to sleep. And so, morning has come: the singing of birds, the warmth of the bread from the bakery, the freshness of the body, enabling it to receive the new day as it comes; words are concise and descriptive, the thoughts are acute.
Faster, faster, faster!... Time, as always, is very limited!... Yes, it is true that there was never enough time. Time is the invention of human consciousness. A certain means of measuring everything that exists...
It is very old, not so old, new, very new, avant-garde...
Ancient traditions are preserved by human beings in new forms. For example, shamanism, which is one of the oldest forms of the art of healing. From the earliest times human beings have paid heed to the shamans. The art of the shamans is a syncretic type of art, in which one person performs in the roles of singer, dancer and healer simultaneously. The art of shamans is an oral tradition. The only way to pass down such form of knowledge is the oral one. This is why music is one of the most important elements of this rite. One of the most important components of the message.
I had met Gennady for the first time in 1983. at that time I had been a student at Moscow Conservatory. It happened in July. I had come back to Tuva for the summer holidays. Gennady had already been the well-known director of the Tuvan musical group called "Cheleesh" ( i.e. Rainbow). The song, which was the biggest hit of the group, was called "Suttug shai" (Tea with milk), which was hummed by almost every Tuvan. He came up to me, greeted me with his charming smile and spoke to me as if he knew me for a very long time. Having been surrounded by a large number of his fans, he looked as small king of his kingdom! I almost went into a trance from witnessing all that took place then.
Several years later I saw him for the second time. This happened in 1991, when I was organizing my first festival of improvised music in Kyzyl, to which, incidentally, I have invited the well-known German double bass player Peter Kowald. Gennady and a few other musicians came up to me after the concert and said to me that this festival has opened entirely new horizons of music to them. This is how the Tuvan trio of improvised music "BIOSINTES" was born, consisting of three musicians: Gennady Chamzyryn, Vresh Miloyan and Mergen Mongush, who began their career in the field of avant-garde jazz.
In 1994 I was able to organize a tour for them in Germany and Austria and to produce their first album "First take" as part of the Free Music Production (FMP). Jost Gebers, the director of FMP had made a live recording of the trio at the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING Festival in Berlin. We worked all together, in order to make an excellent recording of the best possible selection of music by an unknown group from Tuva. The album, titled "First Take", of the Biosintes group was published in 1996 by Free Music Production. The programme notes for this album were written by Nick Dmitriev. Now, looking back through all the past ten years, recollecting this record, I could say that the most impressive musician in this trio is Gennady Chamzyryn. Presently he directs a few of his own groups and projects, tours all over Russia and Europe (Germany, Italy, England, Poland, Norway et al), plays different styles of music, ranging from the most ancient type of traditional to the most extreme avant-garde. He is a person of exceptional gift, a natural, unprocessed diamond of Tuvan modern music.
Gennady Chamzyryn is a regular guest on the scene of the DOM Cultural Center in Moscow. We hope that this important venue for new music in Moscow will open many new Tuvan names to the public.
The CD, which you are now holding in your hands, presents the first album of Gennady Chamzyryn, published by the LONG ARMS RECORDS. I am confident that the entire catalogue of LONG ARMS RECORDS will have a lengthy life and a multitude of listeners all over the world. I dedicate it to the good memory of the wonderful person, Nick Dmitriev - the creator, founder and organizer of a huge quantity of amazing projects involving festivals, albums, articles and books, as well as the promoter of new names of many talented artists and musicians within the sphere of improvised music.
With love, respect and hope. Sainkho Namtchylak 30.08.2004 Kyzyl, Tuva, Russia - Dublin, Ireland.
Here he is starting his prayer with the words of the shaman caller.
Oh, Mother Earth! Father Sky! My everlasting mountains! Take pity on us! Preserve us! O, Bear! Ursa! The Evil must go away! The Good must come! My everlasting mountains! Take pity on us! Preserve us! O, Hayirakan! Bear! Ursa!