Sunday 4 February 2007

Kargyraa Moan, Paul 'Earthquake' Pena, Kongar Ool Ondar

Blind all his life, the late Paul Pena was playing music by the age of five. He moved, as an adult to San Francisco and immersed himself in the blues, playing with T Bone Walker, Jerry Garcia,
writing, performing... Most people have heard the Steve Miller Band song 'Jet Airliner', Paul wrote it.
Listening one night to the static crackle distorting Moscow Radio, from the Soviet Union, he first heard the strange sound of throat-singers from the Soviet Republic of Tuva. He was hooked, had to know more...

He taught himself throatsinging... Went, after the collapse of the soviets, to Tuva, to hear the national singing competitions. As a musician, he was invited in, met some of the great singers, And sang! They were stunned that a westerner could sing Kargyraa, he went on stage, a blind, nervous american, and left to thunderous applause. His voice, his passion had earned him the nickname 'Earthquake' in Tuva. Paul lost his battle against diabetes and pancreatitis, on October 1st, 2005.
There's a film of his journey to Tuva, and a cd, both are called Genghis Blues.


Allman Brothers Band