Dr T Levin - Narantsogt and timbre music
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
A description of the experience
Where Rivers and Mountains sing – Dr T Levin
Narantsogt, was born sometime between 1920-l922,… I met Narantsogt in his ger camp in a stunningly beautiful mountain pasturage during summer 2000, he could no longer summon the breath to make strong sounds on his instrument.
Narantsogt had spent his life as a herder and hunter, and he spoke to us about playing the tsuur, not so much as a means of representing nature but as a way of praising it and conversing with the spirit-masters.
"Playing the tsuur is like asking a question," he told us. "If I play for a long time, nature tells me what to do. I play for the mountains and the rivers, and the spirit-masters take pleasure from this."
Narantsogt started playing the tsuur as a ten-year-old. Later, during the years of socialism when the tsuur was forbidden because of its connections with spirits, Narantsogt hid his instrument in the mountains and went alone to play it, afraid to speak to anyone about his music and his contact with the spirit world. Narantsogt had started to speak about these things, and was speaking to us, he said, because a spirit-master told him that his time on earth was approaching an end.