Orgilsaikhan Chimeddorj, Ulziisaikhan Lkhagadorjv, and Otgonbaya Chunsraikhachin — members of the Mongolian traditional music ensemble Nutgiin Alyaguu — graduated from the Music Conservatory of Mongolia, the country’s most prestigious music school. Ulziisaikhan Lkhagvadorjv is a particularly well-known and respected performer; he is proficient in five Mongolian instruments and the rare art of Mongolian throat singing. This style of throat singing is unique to Mongolia and is believed to be the earliest form of throat singing. Ulziisaikhan Lkhagvadorjv is recognized as the last master of this particular art form.
For over ten yeas, Nutgiin Alyaguu has performed in the United States at Mongolian community events, fundraisers, and charities. Mongolian music is primarily passed on through oral tradition; therefore, many recent immigrants and their children have never been exposed to the music of their homeland. In April 2011, as a way to document their musical traditions and to preserve Mongolian culture in immigrant communities who face the danger of cultural erasure through assimilation, Nutgiin Ayalguu recorded their first album at Women’s Audio Mission in San Francisco, supported in part by ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program. The album features traditional compositions written for Mongolian instruments such as the morin khuur (the national instrument of Mongolia) and the yochin.
In 2012, a consultancy supported by ACTA’s Development Program allowed Nutgiin Alyaguu to work again with Women’s Audio Mission to complete the release of the album, including hiring a graphic designer to create album art and distribute the album via Discmakers and iTunes.