Boris Salchak

Boris Salchak'Shaman'(BW2112) comprises of two very different but equally weighted halves of musical talent and expertise. Christy Doran is an Irish-born Swiss resident guitarist and Boris Salchak is an overtone throatsinger from the southern Siberian republic of Tuva in Asia. Boris Salchak was a part of well-known Tuvan group Shu-De. Their performances in 1992 at the Eisteddfodd in Wales and at WOMAD in Reading led to a series of successful recordings on the Real World label. His music is very firmly rooted in the Tuvan tradition but he relishes the idea of performing in places all over the globe. His extraordinary technique of overtone throatsinging is rarely found across the globe. It is only practised in a few developed countries: in Mongolia, Tibet and especially, in Boris's region in the southern Siberian republic of Tuva. 


  1. Christy Doran and Boris Salchak - Shaman

It is a technique of singing sung in this area, towards Mongolia, where it is used during the day while people work and as meditation after the days work and exertions. It is also a phenomenon that cannot be totally explained and its origins are largely unknown. It is largely attributed to the fact that men are "born with the gift" and must practice in early infancy. It has also been said that it can be a healing force and help ease the pains of sickness and childbirth, although women are discouraged from using the techniques themselves as is it is said to cause infertility and can strain the muscles of the face. The technique involves is generated by holding the bass tone while simultaneously singing a melody consisting of overtones achieved by distorting the oral cavity. The nose, throat, chest and abdomen are used to vocalise different octaves and tones. The result of this kind of singing, is a new dimension of sound. As Boris himself says, " music is space, timeless space." These two artists were drawn together when they both attended a workshop in Jazz improvisation led by Christy Doran in Boswil, Switzerland in 1994. Using parts of his own improvisations, Christy started each workshop by asking each participant to demonstrate their improvisational ability. When Boris came to do his he stunned everyone. No-one, Christy included, had ever experienced anything quite like this expression of overtone singing in this kind of a jazz context. This astonishing talent culminated in a concert, the highlight being a performance by Christy, Swiss percussionist Mani Meumeier and Boris, dressed in full shamanic regalia. It was such an overwhelming, rich collaboration that they continued to perform together, just Christy and Boris this time playing concerts in Switzerland and Germany. Robert Trunz, founder of M.E.L.T. 2000 got to hear a DAT recording of these concerts and suggested that Airto Moreira might join the two as a guest. He believed that Boris and Airto would share an empathy through their shamanic backgrounds, enabling them both to get closer to the heart and soul of the music. He was right. The ultimate result is a rich musical experience. The album 'Shaman' is a spectacle of sound based on traditional Tuvan songs, composed by both artists. Much of the music is improvised, with Christy playing electric guitars and Boris throatsinging and playing traditional Tuvan instruments. These two musicians together create a spectacular imaginary dimension of sound. Christy uses the crystal sounds from his guitar, volume pedal and a lot of 'delay' to produce an endless space and fill it with ambience. He plays his complex lines with such ease that it seems that everything sounds natural and yet it provides the intensity needed for Boris to display his astonishing artistry. Furthermore the music is crowned with the magical touch of Airto Moreira and his classical percussion which gives it a powerful sense of beauty and gratifying simplicity.