Monday, February 7, 2011
In memory of Zulsar, a great Mongolian musician.
Zulsar Serkhin was one of Mongolia’s most gifted and powerful Khoomi singers of his generation. As a young boy growing up in Mongolia Zulsar became fascinated with the sound of Khoomi music when he heard his uncle perform some Khoomi songs. This pivotal experience led Zulsar to teach himself the technique of Khoomi singing by recreating the Khoomi sounds he had heard and he developed other Khoomi tones while walking in the Mongolian countryside listening to the sounds of nature.
Zulsar joined the Mongolian State Folk and Dance Ensemble as a young dancer where he met established Khoomi singers from whom he learned more Khoomi techniques and developed some of his own. Eventually Zulsar taught himself almost three hundred songs and became a popular singer whose natural abilities helped enliven the ancient Khoomi song tradition in Mongolia.
Over the years Zulsar traveled with the Mongolian State Folk and Dance Ensemble to Japan and Europe and in 2001 he performed in the U.S. for the first time for the Festival of Mongolia’s celebration of Mongolian traditional culture in New York.
Zulsar was a very charismatic and exciting performer with the gift for engaging audience members in ways that needed no translation. He was a warm presence, with an adventurous independent spirit who set a course all his own.
Rest in peace, my friend.