Namtchylak Sainkho


General Information

Year of Birth:  1957
Date of Birth:  11. March 1957
Country of Birth: 

Born in the Autonomous Republic of Tuva (then USSR).
During the course of her singing career, which began in 1986 with folk songs from Siberia, she interpreted nearly all singing techniques from traditional music to avant garde and improvised music.
Due to her enormous vocal versatility and the magic expressivity of her overtone singing she became a renowned international soloist of experimental jazz and world music, who is Having trespassed so many regional, stylistic, and traditional boundaries, Sainkho doesn't like to be limited to a clear-cut area: "I realize ever more that my vision of freedom is only an illusion. As a folk singer, I wanted freedom and turned to avant garde and improvised music. After a few years, I realized that that was not freedom, either - it is a kind of freedom cliche. And now I can say that freedom is in my mind, in my imagination - but it has nothing to do with the musical form. It can be traditional music, improvised music, or avantgarde, or free jazz."
Off-stage she is a very introvert personality.


PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation

Gnesin Institute: studies (traditional Siberian music and singing and music theory)

Moscow conservatory: studies (singing and music theory)

intensive private studies of ritual Lamaist music and Siberian shamanism



began her singing career


release of the book "Karmaland"


release of the book "Chelo-Vek"

poet (writes in her native tongue, English and Russian)


member of the Tuvinian National Ensemble and gained international attention in the late 80s with her Moscow avant garde formation "Tri-O"

improvising musicians like Evan Parker, Ned Rothenberg, Butch Morris, Peter Kowald, Peter Brötzmann, and Werner Lüdi frequently cooperate with Sainkho

participates in cross culture projects together with DJs and musicians of experimental rock


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

nomination by BBC3 for "album of the year" (for "Who stole the sky?")

Press Reviews

What can be heard from Sainkho in terms of vocal art, seems to be unique. First of all: This is not about traditional music, but rather about avant-garde - with the involvement of "Höömij" (Tuvan form of throat singing) ... What we get to hear is a variety of forms of singing, integrated into western music, partly into electronic music and studio technology, without forgoing the traditional instruments. Sainkho's four and a half octaves of vocal range   conjure a truly mystical mood.



To her ethnic roots, being of Tuvan tradition, she adds improvisation and thus creates such music that is best described as "experimental world music". In eleven original compositions ... she combines different vocal styles with various percussion instruments to small but impressive tonal images.



Tuvan shaman chants and texts ... who should be better in this than the exceptional vocalist Sainkho Namtchylak, who - based on this - developed her project "Virtual Reality New Dance Music". 


Discography, Projects


  • 2008: In Trance (Leo Records)
  • 2007: Nomad (Leo Records)
  • 2005: Who stole the sky?
  • 1998: Naked Spirit

Contact, Links