Mongolia

Nomadic culture

I remember, being a child, when I first heard about nomadic lifestyle I couldn’t understand at all why somebody would keep moving around. One of the biggest achievements for children and teenagers in our western society, it seemed to me at that time, was to have their own room!! In a nice house! This lack of understanding always went along with fascination and later, the fascination remained.

As a teenager I dreamt of travelling the world and admired people for moving around in a desert, staying together as a group, finding food for themselves and their livestock. Later I got in touch with people from Mongolia, a country with a nomadic tradition going way back in time. I felt attracted and chose it as a destination.

 

And there I was, in the steppe and the desert, limitless space, my gaze meeting with boundaries only in a distance I could´t even reckon how distant. It opened up my heart immediately. And more than ever I was fascinated how many details, how vital a surrounding, how many colours I found in a space where I had expected to find almost nothing.

“Dundgovi Fatamorgana” consists of two recordings only. In a Gher camp in the East Gobi Desert we asked the cook to sing for us, since she had impressed us with her unique voice at a birthday party. Like in other places in Mongolia, we sang her a song “in return”, and played along on the guitar.

When we came back to our yurd from the dining hall after the recording session, we heard the guitar strings vibrate in the desert wind. The atmospheric sound in “Dundgovi Fatamorgana” is a recording of this very sound, it´s not altered, nothing digital, just the desert wind playing guitar. The lady sings a song about motherly love, the mother being reborn in her children. I tried to make it sound like a voice travelling with the wind from a far, like a vision of an oasis can travel a long distance in the vibrant, hot desert air.

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