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Ajinai, formed in Beijing in 2009 and comprised of members culled from across China, is dedicated to bringing traditional Mongolian music into the 21st Century.
The band’s roots are planted firmly in the Mongolian grasslands, but their youth and experience lends a unique and contemporary twist to the traditional music. The group’s music is fueled by two important Mongolian elements: the morin khuur, or horse-head fiddle, a symbol of the Mongolian people, and khoomei, also known as throat-singing, which features the simultaneous sound of several pitches emanating from one voice.
Both khoomei and the morin khuur developed out of a desire to mimic the sounds of nature. Thus does Ajinai’s music transport listeners to the wide-open plains of the grasslands, and to a time long before the electric guitar. But the band members’ experience in the rock scene of China’s bustling capital, Beijing, lends a modern element to the music ; the rhythm is propelled by equal parts horse-charging and rock and roll’s four-on-the-floor ; the melodies punctuated by the fiddle’s mournful bowing and the power chords of the electric guitar.
Finding common ground between the traditions of the ancient past and the sounds of contemporary music produces a something at once ancient and modern ; timeless yet forward-looking. It is a sound that has seen the band rise through the ranks of China’s music scene, performing at major venues, events and festivals across the country, as well as to opportunities across Asia, Europe and North America.
In their short history Ajinai had criss-crossed Asia and Europe. In 2014, the band released its second full-length album ‘Synthesis’ and in its wake will tour across China and internationally.