Urna Chahar-Tugchi (a.k.a. Urna) was born into a family of livestock farmers in the grasslands of the northern chinese province of Inner mongolia. Urna developed her musical talent and instincts while learning the yangqin, the Chinese dulcimer. After studying with a visiting professor from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, at the age of eighteen she decided to leave Inner Mongolia to study at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. It was an bold decision - for at that time she did not speak a single word of Mandarin Chinese and her family knew very little of Shanghai, let alone its location.
After studying with a visiting professor from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, at the age of eighteen she decided to leave Inner Mongolia to study at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. It was an bold decision - for at that time she did not speak a single word of Mandarin Chinese and her family knew very little of Shanghai, let alone its location.
With this move, Urna's life and career took a dramatic turn. She decided to follow her voice, leaving the dulcimer and concentrating on the multitude of tone colours of her voice which has a range of four octaves. At the same time she tried to go further than the common methods of musical training.
Of her music she says: ? I interpret my songs in all my energies with the variety of life experiences; therefore, I feel rebirth after each performance.?
While being rooted in the traditional music of her Mongolian homeland, Urna continues to take her music in new directions. Her latest compositions emphasize free, brushstroke-like improvisations, which have been inspired by her recent experiences with other cultures and musicians and her life outside of Mongolia. With this constant yearning to take her music beyond convention, Urna has performed with many internationally-renown musicians, including the Hungarian violinist Zoltan Lantos, accordeon player Jerzy Bawol from the Polish band Kroke, Ramesh Shotham from India, Inner Mongolian Morin Huur player Burintegus (Zhang Quansheng), Chinese Sheng Solist Wu Wei, Muhammad Reza Mortazavi and Saam Schlamminger from Central Asia and many other World, Folk, Jazz musicians.
In the summer of 2003, Urna sealed her place as a contributor to world music in Europe when she was awarded the RUTH prize in Germany for Best International Artist.
Urna's 2004 recording, Amilal (Life), is a collaborative effort that features accompaniment from the highly acclaimed Zarb percussion masters from Iran, Djamchid Chemirani and Keyvan Chemirani.
In 2008 Urna worked with The Mongolian Morin Huur Ensemble for the Film ?Chinggisiin Hoyor Jagal? (The two Horses of Genghis Khan) directed by Byambasuren Davva.
Hodood, 1999 (re-issue 2002)
Tal Nutag, 1995