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Biography

Oidupaa Vladimir Oiun (Russian: Владимир Ойдупаа Оюн; 1948–2013) was a from Tuva (a southern Russian republic) who sang in the kargyraa style, a deep undertone technique. In the late 1960s, he was seen as a threat by the Russian authorities as a kind of Charles Manson character. Convicted three times on charges of murder and the corruption of minors, he spent 33 years in the work camps. Some maintain his innocence, claiming that the charges were trumped up for purely political reasons. He became a practising Christian and recorded his first album Divine Music from a Jail (released 1999) while in prison. In 2011 the album Singing with Echoes Through the Universe was released.

He developed his own unique style of throat singing which is named after him, the Оidupaa kаrgyrаа. What makes his music furthermore unique is that he accompanies himself on the accordion rather than a string instrument like the topshur or chanzy. It is said that his accordion is a Russian prison version (button only).

Throat singing is by its very nature a sonic reflection or prayer in praise of the natural world and it's by virtue of his undying faith that Oiun retained his sanity during those dark years. These are moving, unconventional, self-styled throat psalms with wheezing accordion accompaniment. An active performer until his death, Oiun described throat singing as the sound of the spirit.

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