Friday, April 13, 2007

Albina Degtyareva & Ayarkhaan

Albina Degtyareva is based in Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia. Lives in the biggest Siberian region. Born in the little village of Kyrgyday.

Regalia: The honored culture worker of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).


Currently works as a khomus music teacher at Yakutsk Music College and as the artist of Yakutia’s State Variety Art Theater.

Used to work as a khomus music tutor at Yakutsk Children High Music School for more than 10 years. Had research work experience at International Khomus Center (known also as Yakutsk Khomus Museum).


Graduated from Yakutsk State University with major in the Sakha language and literature.


Started activity in culture and arts in 1983 as a Jew’s-harp (khomus) performer at the Yakutsk State University. As a member of the university-based khomus players group “Algys”, Albina Degtyareva deservedly became a laureate of the XII World Students & Youth Festival in Moscow in 1985. In 1987 she participated in tours to promote the USSR in West Europe.

Since 1991 she performs on stage as a professional artist. Well-known outside of the Sakha Republic and Russia. Considered as the promoter of khomus music. Her Jew’s-harp playing is notable for gifted creativity, individual style, subtle technique, and strong improvisation. Her well-known compositions are At a Tethering Post, Lullaby, The World of Nature, Home Tunes, etc. She recreates the old ways of folk singing – nasal, throat, palatal singing. Those techniques are effectively used in author's music and theatrical performance.

Being a khomus master, Albina Degtyareva deserved the right to be the honored representative of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). She participates in many official events arranged by Yakutia’s Government within Russia and abroad. She took part in Days of the Republic in Moscow, St Petersburg, Khabarovsk, China, Japan (EXPO 2005), and other places.

Albina Degtyareva supported documentalists and moviemakers. For instance, she participated in making movies “The Echo of Centuries” (1984), “The Yakut Ballad” (2000), “Congeners” (2001). Published author’s CDs in Austria and Japan. She is also known as a skillful modeler. Her costumes done in traditional style earned the Grand-Prix of Yakutia models competition “Saharha” in 1997. She is a poetess as well. Her literature works have been published in printed media.

Albina Degtyareva makes an important contribution to the preservation of music, arts, and culture traditions, to the promotion of khomus and world music.


To promote the Yakut khomus, live ethno music, and folk singing, Albina Degtyareva established the ethno group “Ayarkhaan” in 2002. For the short time being, she with group members managed to revive lost manners of singing – khabarha yryata, tanalai yryata, etc.

Ayarkhaan deserved a lot of awards at various Russian and international live ethno/folk music festivals. Among earned trophies, for instance, there are:

the Grand-Prix of
  • the Russian Festival “The Lights of the North” (Syktyvkar, 2003),
  • the 2nd World Ethno Music Festival “Sayanring” (Krasnoyarsk, 2004),
the laureate of

  • the International Khomus Festival “Il Khomus” (Yakutsk, 2004),
  • the International Live Music Festival “The Magic of the Voice” (Brozlav / Poland, 2005),
  • the International Verbal Folk Traditions Festival (Warsaw / Poland, 2005),
  • the International Khomus Festival (Kyzyl / Russia, 2005).

In 2006 Ayarkhaan was a headliner of the following events:

  • the International Live Music Festival in Chadan (Tyva / Russia),
  • the International Ethno Music Festival in Moscow (Russia),
  • the International Live Music Festival “Riddu, Riddu” in Minland (Norway),
  • the International Turks Music Festival “The Music of the Great Steppe” in Kyzyl Orda (Kazakhstan).
Recognized as the best group at the V International Jew’s-harp Music Congress in Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

Albina Degtyareva and Ayarkhaan’s performance always creates a furore and accepts warm welcomes. Degtyareva’s disciples – more than 50 pupils – became prize winners of various republic, national, international competitions.

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