Mesmerizing Inner Mongolian band Anda Union returns to Penn State Sept. 24

Posted by John Mark Rafacz on September 23, 2013 

Anda Union, a band from Inner Mongolia that plays traditional instruments from the steppes of Asia, performs Sept. 24 at Penn State's Eisenhower Auditorium.


Anda Union, a nine-member band from Inner Mongolia, amazed an Eisenhower Auditorium audience at its Penn state debut two years ago. The engaging group returns to the Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a concert titled The Wind Horse, which features instrumental and vocal music plus film clips depicting life in its home autonomous region of the People's Republic of China.


Tickets for the Sept. 24 concert are available.


The uptempo band's instruments include Mongolian versions of the lute and mouth harp, the morin khuur (horse head fiddle), the moadun chaoer (three-holed flute) and percussion.


"Their opening number alone could have supplanted an entire old-fashioned BBC sound effects department, as they evoked wind-swept steppes, bird calls, ringing bells and, of course, the approaching thunder of hooves," wrote a critic for Edinburgh's The Scotsman. "Exotic stuff, you might think, but what is perhaps surprising is that much of this music is tunefully accessible."


Watch a video of the band performing its signature work, "Galloping Horses."


The band, which includes ethnically diverse musicians who draw their sound from the Mongol tribes unified by Genghis Khan, also features several vocalists and throat singers.


"Anda Union confirmed by this performance that they are not just a niche interest, but essential viewing for anyone who is a fan of live music of any genre," wrote a reviewer for "Their prodigious talent and infectious enthusiasm point to future stardom."


Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Anda Union documentary filmmaker Tim Pearce, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the concert and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints often fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

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