With roots in the vast Mongolian grasslands, Ajinai’s combination of youth and experience lends a unique and contemporary twist to the traditional music they play. Their sound is fueled by two important Mongolian elements: the morin khuur, or horse-head fiddle, a symbol of the Mongolian people, and khoomei, throat-singing, the simultaneous sounds of several pitches emanating from one voice.
Both khoomei and the morin khuur arose out of a desire to mimic the sounds of nature. Ajinai’s music transport listeners to the wide-open plains of Mongolia, and to a time long before the electric guitar. But the band members’ experience in the rock scene of China’s bustling capital of Beijing lends a modern element to their 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 guitar.
In Ajinai, finding common ground between the traditions of the ancient past and the sounds of contemporary music produces something at once both ancient and modern, timeless and forward-looking.