"Khomus Kuo" competition 2009
Perhaps every jew's harp player should at least once visit Yakutsk and personally face impressive and I think the most developed jew's harp culture in the world. It happened that this year I managed to visit the most Northern republic of our country, to communicate with a lot of people, to visit very interesting arrangements and to feel Yakut welcome. We should mention especially the last one, because such hospitality and genuine interest to guests are occurred not often nowadays.
The "Khomus Kuo" competition took place during celebrating holiday "Yisaah", in the country, in beauty spot "Us Khatyin". Opening the holiday was different and beautiful, but I personally remember four hundred of khomus players, who played national folk tune simultaneously.
Eighteen young participants, aged from 16 till 25 years, from different villages and towns of the republic demonstrated their abilities in five kinds of competitions:
o signature piece;
o free improvisation;
o product of arts and crafts on the topic of "khomus";
o khomus improvisation on a concrete theme;
o national costume demonstration;
The jury consisted of authoritative representatives of different kinds of activity which are connected with the khomus:
1. Dyagtereva Albina - chairlady, world expert of culture.
2. Struchkova Vasilina - journalist, "Kyiyim" newspaper correspondent
3. Illarionova Nyurguyana - art criticism master, associate professor of YSU, State Assembly specialist RS(Y);
4. Vasilieva Nyurguna - academic secretary of International center of khomus music.
5. Dijachkovskiy Aisien- khomus craftsman, excellent player of this instrument.
The girls introduced themselves to the spectators. They told about themselves and their achievements. Some girls did it by songs, and the first participant Platonova Svetlana appeared at the stage with a band of six khomusists. The most interesting and, perhaps, the most essential act is free improvisation. All the participants manage the instrument professionally, and they all planned their performance differently. Generally participants used one or two khomuses, creating with their help integral compositions. Some participants visa versa used a lot of instruments, because they wanted to demonstrate their abilities better. A teacher of music college Stepanova Varvara (Yakutsk) used a whole arsenal of khomuses. Fedorova Natasha from Oktem village, nomad camp Khangalasskiy, demonstrated methods of playing the khomus: plangent playing, improvisatory playing, simulation playing. She used ordinary khomuses and electro-khomuses of Khristoforov I.I. virtuosicly, ànd also instruments of Gotovtsev I.N., Ìàltsev Ì.N., having finished her performance by improvisation, in Vietnamese Dan Moi.
The fourth level of competition stuck in memory - improvisation on a concrete topic "Yisaah Tuimaadyi". Participants performed their playing by turns, showing technique and their own seeing a concrete topic. All the competition made only good impressions, charming playing the khomus, beautiful national costumes, captivating girls. It should be mentioned that during the competition, I also tried to estimate participants and my estimation coincided with the opinion of the jury absolutely.
"Khomus Kuo" title was given to Êulichkina Maria, a student of the third course of Yakutsk State University (Yakutsk); The winners in nominations are:
"Khomus player of charming sounds": Fedorova Natasha, a student of the second course of Yakutsk State University (nomad camp Khangalasskiy)
"Talented khomusist": Fedorova Romina, a graduate from Yakutsk musical college (nomad camp Amginskiy)
"Established khomus player": Stepanova Varvara, a teacher of Yakutsk musical college (Yakutsk)
People's Choice Award: Savina Ànna, a student of the fourth course of Moscow Technical University civilian aviation (Yakutsk).
© Vladimir Markov 2009, this article translated by Natalia Ivanitsa