Segments in this Video

Passion for Harmonic Singing (02:32)


Paul Pena recalls his discovery of Tuvan throatsinging. (Graphic language throughout film)

Pena's Early Career (03:03)

Paul Pena recalls his first performances and working with T-Bone Walker. He discusses creating an unreleased album and his wife's death.

Americans Connect with Tuva (02:28)

Paul Pena shares his family heritage. Ralph Leighton discusses his connection with Tuva. Richard Feynman challenged Leighton to find a town in Tuva, Kyzyl.

Friends of Tuva Project (04:33)

Paul Pena and Kongar-ol Ondar recall their first meeting in 1993. Pena made plans to travel to Tuva with Lemon DeGeorge and Tony DeCicco. Ralph Leighton played Pena's record for Mario Casetta.

Paul Pena's Documentary: Getting Started (03:17)

Lemon DeGeorge, Adrian Belic, Roko Belic, Tony DeCicco, and Paul Pena traveled two days to Tuva.

Tuva Statistics (02:10)

Nomadic tribes inhabited Tuva for centuries. After 1944, Tuva became part of the Soviet Union. Learn about Tuvan climate, geography, and demographics.

Kongar-ol Ondar, Celebrity Status (03:26)

Paul Pena visits the monument that marks the center of China with Kongar-ol Ondar. Kongar-ol discusses teaching Tuvan throatsinging traditions to children.

Making Music in Tuva (02:47)

Antaloi Kuular admires the harmonic frequencies of human voice. Paul Pena sings with Kaigal-ol Khovakyg. Tony DeCicco introduces the didgeridoo and nose flutes.

Tuvan Culture & Mongol History (04:35)

Paul Pena plays the blues for a crowd on the street that includes two of Tuva's most revered throatsinging masters. Pena and his group attend a sheep slaughtering ceremony. (Graphic images)

1995 Throatsinging Competition and Symposium (02:32)

Paul Pena and his group attend the opening day parade. Pena struggles to practice the song he wants to perform at the symposium. A thousand arrive hoping to perform, only around 100 are selected.

Reclaiming Tuvan Culture (02:08)

Tuvans reflect on the loss of their culture under Soviet rule. Lemon DeGeorge discusses the idea of freedom. Zoya Kirghiz discusses creating the throatsinging symposium.

1st Day of the Symposium (03:21)

Paul Pena and his group discuss the day's confusion. Mario Casetta recalls judging. Hear different styles of throat singing. Pena learns he cannot sing Oidupaa.

Pena Performs at the Tuvan Festival (04:29)

Paul Pena is introduced to the crowd as "Earthquake." He performs "Arte Sayir," sings a message to the crowd in the Kargyraa style, and plays the blues.

Pena's Improvisational Performance (03:34)

Paul Pena breaks a string during his performance at the symposium. He plays a traditional Tuvan instrument and sings a traditional song in Tuvan. Backstage, Pena meets Ondar Daruma.

Kongar-ol Ondar Acts as Tour Guide (04:21)

Paul Pena and his group explore the Tuvan countryside, attend a local sporting event, and visit a monument to the Dalai Lama. Pena sings in Kargyraa for a few locals.

Tuvan Vodka (01:30)

Paul Pena and Mario Casetta try araka for the first time.

Chadaana, Tuva (04:05)

Paul Pena and his group meet Kongar-ol Ondar's mother. They visit the Chadaana River, sing, bathe, and make an offering.

Tuvan Desert (02:01)

Kongar-ol Ondar takes Paul Pena and the group to the desert sand dunes; they meet Kongar-ol's grandfather.

Internal Struggles (03:38)

Paul Pena shares his feelings of disorientation and alienation. See images of the Tuvan countryside and the symposium. Tuvans admire Pena's performance.

Pena's Second Performance (03:55)

Tumat Kara-ol performs before Paul Pena at the symposium. Pena sings his Kargyraa message to the crowd and performs an encore; the crowd loves him.

Paul Pena Wins (02:54)

Pena wins the Kargyraa category and audience favorite award at the 1995 Tuvan Throatsinging Competition and Symposium.

Falling Apart in Tuva (01:58)

Paul Pena loses some of his medication and fears he will have to cut his trip short. Kongar-ol breaks his hand in a street fight. Mario Casetta has a heart attack.

Paul's Medication is Running Out (03:47)

Paul Pena is upset about leaving Tuva; hear him sing about it. The group struggles to purchase return tickets. Pena learned Tuvan through several steps of translation.

Pena's Luck Improves (02:09)

A shaman inspects a drum that Paul Pena's group purchased for a "tail" that may be causing ill fortune. Pena finds medication, Kongar-ol is able to play, and Mario Casetta recovers.

Pena and Shamanism (02:33)

Paul Pena plays the drum to summon the spirit of Richard Feynman. Kongar-ol discusses Pena's shamanic powers.

Paul's Last Day in Tuva (04:36)

Paul Pena learns to ride a Tuvan horse on a day he feels ill. Kongar-ol takes Pena and the group to Ime. By the river Hemchik, Kongar-ol sings to help Paul understand the beauty of their surroundings.

Extras and Credits: Genghis Blues (03:57)

Paul Pena sings a song about the future. Credits: Genghis Blues

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Genghis Blues

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Paul Pena played blues with the greats T-Bone Walker, B. B. King, and Bonnie Raitt. Pena discovered Tuvan throatsinging on a shortwave program of Radio Moscow and in 1995, the blind bluesman became the first American to compete in a multi-harmonic throatsinging contest; he won using the kargyraa style.This film is about exploration and friendship. It is the story of a man whose struggle in life is not defined by conformity and rules but by an unquenchable curiosity, and love of music. Pena's story is truly an inspiration to all. (98 minutes)

Length: 88 minutes

Item#: BVL55429

ISBN: 978-0-81609-100-3

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.