“Horse of Colors” is an adventure. Are you ready to ride into the sunset of foreign lands?
Let Hanggai take you to unexpected places with their brand new album, this audacious musicians coalesce their traditional folk music with rock, punk and avant-garde. Thrilling and adventurous from the very start, these horsemen transport you to their inner homeland. One of the highlights of the album is “Samsara”, these warriors are always on the move, you find yourself surrounded in an intrepid range of voices, there is no one quite like them, they keep their tradition alive because they engage in dialogue with it, they transform it. What they do is inspiring, they’re just all over the place, loud and clear. Their voices unite in an army, it’s contagious and one gets carried away into the mountains of Mongolia through their sound. “Haria, haria”, an endearing moment of the album, a song that may draw golden landscapes before your eyes; this time a nostalgic voice walks along with you, slowly, she sings about love; it would seem that the sun is setting on the horizon. Many landscapes and stories unfold during the record, memories to be fond of, battles to be fought... “The Rising Sun” starts right after “Haria, haria” and it sweeps you off your feet, there is no use in resisting the urge to sing along, we must sing along. With bold turns and tender stops throughout this journey, one looks back to discover it was an adventure worth having and those battles were worth fighting for. Don’t let this album get away, many things are happening for this guys, let’s join them, Hanggai will go very far.
• Could you tell us about the story behind “Horse of Colors”?
"Horse of Colors" is a new beginning for our band, we tried many different music styles; we are currently working with a new producer; we still play rock and traditional folk but we are also exploring avant-garde. In Mongolia "Horse of Colors" is an old story about every horse being born with it’s own brand.
• There is a delicious strength and vitality to your music, would you tell us how Hanggai started? How did you start developing your own sound?
We met in different years. At first we had a different kind of band and we made different music (such as punk/traditional, etc.) in Beijing. Then, when we got together, we decided to make our own music--Hanggai’s music. It is different from any kind of music, this kind of music is both Traditional Mongol and Rock.
• Could you tell us more about the traditional instruments you play?
We use all kinds of traditional instruments such as Tobshur (a traditional Mongolian instrument that comes from Xinjiang Province), Morin Khuur (a traditional Mongolian instrument, it looks like the head of a horse), Khomuz (you place it between your lips and use your finger to play, it’s a Mongolian mouthharp), also banjo, etc.
• ”The rising sun” is mind blowing, please tell us more about your new single.
This song has a very powerful sound, but it is also very gentle. It's about a father that will leave his family and child to become a soldier.
• Would you tell us more about your approach on Mongolian music tradition? How has it influenced your music and your lyrics?
We often head back to our hometown: Inner Mongolia, living there is an easy way to approach the Mongolian music tradition, it has influenced our music more, the lyrics express the way we felt while we were being influenced by it.
• There are many voices in Hanggai, each voice gives a very special dimension to your sound, please tell us a little bit more about the techniques you use.
It is a very old singing technique named "Hoomei", it's a Tuvan throat-technique in which you use your throat to sing 2, 3 or more voices at the same time.
• How does it feel like when an important part of your audience is thrilled and moved by your music, even though they don’t know the language?
People all around the world are moved by our music, they feel our Mongol power, we are very proud of it. This is also what we’ve been looking forward to see.
• What is your favorite music to listen to?
We are always listening to all kinds of music, mostly nature music, not on purpose.
• Could you tell us more about “Haria Haria”?
It’s a song that I wrote more than 10 years ago, a song about love.
• You have an amazing chemistry! How has it been to work with each other? How has Hanggai evolved over the years?
Is not easy to keep working together after several years. We need to change; it takes responsibility, patience and persistence.
• Tell us about your experience on touring abroad? Has it influenced your sound?
Touring abroad has been a learning and growing experience for us, it’s also been a way to get to know each other more, to get to know ourselves better.
• What does the future hold for Hanggai? Will “Horse of Colors” visit new places?
Right now we're recording a new album for 2017 in America. We are working with Bob Ezrin, who also produced "Horse of Colors". This year we have toured with "Horse of Colors" in China and America, we will visit more places in the future. Hope to see you in our show!
Answered by Ilchi (the founder/band leader）
Translated by Jazzine (the band manager in China)
Ride along with them!