Kaichi is a story-teller who tells epic legends and a nation’s heroic epos. The story teller uses a special way of singing. It is called throat singing or Kai. Kaichi are able to sing their stories from the beginning to the end by throat singing. They use a two-string plucked instrument Topshur to make the music. You will find the topshur in our logo. The stories or legends can exist of thousands of lines which means the performance can take several days. It is said that Kaichi are not common people. How to become a Kaichi? Well, training begins at a very young age. But being able to throat-sing will not give you the right to call yourself a Kaichi. Kaichi are unique people who have integrity, adulthood and have a special attitude in their world view.
Kai is not a music as it is. It is not a melody with words. It is something more, something spiritual like a breath of Mother-Nature.
Before starting their story or legend the Kaichi say: «Topshur, my brother, you need to help me”. The Kaichi try to become one with his instrument. Only when a Kaichi gets in a state of trance, Kaichi can sing a story or legend. Kaichi are closely connected to nature. That is why Kaichi is a man who connects the Sky to the Earth. There is a nice saying: when a Kaichi sings, Altaian spirit comes to listen to him in the appearance of a little girl.
Throat singing is not Kaichi, Altay kai (‘Kaichi music’) stands out among other throat singing. It stands out by its integrity and depth. Alex Kalkin – one of the famous Altaian Kaichi – used to say: “Visible Altai is not real, real Altai is the one which is in your mind”.
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