Composer Andy Fisher reports on his recent trip to Mongolia

Southampton’s Head of Commercial Composition Andy Fisher reports on his September trip to Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia:

I’ve just returned from three weeks in Ulaan Bataar where I was working on recording my new children’s folk opera Mongolian Folktales with a studio cast of Mongolian singers and instrumentalists. It was a privilege to work with many professional musicians from a range of musical backgrounds (from traditional/folk instrumentalists to pop/jazz singers), whom I found to be impeccably professional, good humoured, and incredibly talented.

G. Nyamjanstan in the studio!

As I don’t speak Mongolian, I used what translation was available, but at times this was limited, and there were moments where music itself became our common language – I was able to show what I was after by playing on the piano or singing (to, say, demonstrate that I wanted more legato, or placing a breathe after a certain lyric) and the player/ singer could understand what I meant through our communication in music.

One of the highlights of my time away was being able to work with G. Nyamjanstan who is a singer of Khoomei (which is a Mongolian vocal technique where the singer can create vocal overtones on top of a sung pitch) and player of the Limbe and Tsuur (traditional woodwind instruments). It was an incredible experience to work with one of the finest musicians in Mongolia on this project and I’m excited to start editing together the recordings in the coming months.