MICHAEL ORMISTON : biography, activities, UK


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Michael Ormiston has been composing, performing, teaching and writing about music for many years. He is a multi-instrumentalist and is currently involved as a solo performer, in a duo with Candida Valentino and a member of Hyperyak, Intervolution, Harmonic Voicings, Mysterious Tremendum, Praying for the Rain, The Suns of Arqa , VAMP, music groups and part of Jem Finer’s Longplayer. His original compositions have been used on TV (BBC and Channel 4), Theatre (Theatre de Complicite), Dance, Anusha Subramanyam , Fabrice Mazliah (Ballet Frankfurt/Forsyth Company), Spiral Arts Dance and performance (London Jazz Festival). His throat singing has been used on Hollywood Films (The Golden Compass, We Were Soldiers), and TV (BBC’s acclaimed series Planet Earth, Last of the Medicine Men). He has performed globally including for His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, The Venerable Choijampts, Head Abbot of Ganden Monastery, Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. Michael is also a radio programme researcher, writer and presenter, a traditional music reviewer (Songlines magazine), a workshop leader, teacher and researcher in Mongolian music. He is one of the principal workshop leaders and performers for Eye-Music’s Colourscape. And was awarded the colourscape Rawlinson commission for “Boundless Transformations” in cooperation with Candida and Eddy Sayer.   He it a Tutorfor, The British Academy of Sound Therapy and a member of the International Sound Healers Association

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Michael specializes in Mongolian Khöömii (overtone) singing, being one of the only non-Mongolians able to sing Khöömii. He has been studying Khöömii since 1988, attending lectures by Dr Carole Pegg (Cambridge University), Tran Quang Hai (Muse de l’homme, Paris) and Dr Alan Dejaques (Lille University). He has travelled to Mongolia six times (1993/94/97/2000/05/6) where he studied Khöömii with Tserendavaa, Gereltsogt, Ganbold, Sengedorj, Tsogtbaatar, the “Cream” of Mongolia’s Khöömii singers. In 1994 Michael was given the blessing by Gereltsogt to teach the basic practices of Khöömii Singing. Since then he has given workshops, lectures and individual lessons worldwide and in the summer of 2002 Candida and Michael toured Europe with Tserendavaa who gave both of them his blessing to teach the basics of Mongolian Khöömii. In 2006 Michael was invited to perform in Mongolia with Mongolian throat singers as part of the 800th anniversary of the declaration of the Mongolian Empire.

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Michael has facilitated Khöömii and Overtone singing workshops in the U.S and Europe including at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, Greenwich University, London, The Giving Voice Festival (Wales & Poland), Gaunts House, Dorset, The New Life Centre, New York, Ballet Frankfurt, Germany, The Centre of Intercultural Harmony, Ascona, Switzerland, Trinity College Dublin with the Temenos Project, Alternatives, St James Church, London, The Eden Project, Cornwall, England

For the past fifteen years Michael has led workshops, evenings and therapy sessions in Relaxation, Meditation and Deep Listening using Tibetan Singing Bowls, ever since Khamba Lam Choijampts, the head Abbot of Ganden Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia heard Michael playing them.

Michael has recorded many acclaimed CD’s please click for more information Or visit myspace pages




To see some videos please click on the titles below

Michael with Tserendavaa and Harmonic Voicings Live in Turin

Interview with Michael, performance at Alternatives, London UK

The Money King, Windsor Castle, UK,

The Hindu dance of Creation, Windsor, UK

Goat Picnic, Chandman Sum, Khovd, Mongolia 1994

Colourscape, London, UK

Info about sacred music series where Michael’ Tibetan Bowls playing is featured

Extract of the programme with Michael playing the Bowls

Info about Michael’s Appearance on BBC Radio 3, The Choir, Buddhist Chant

“Child Sex Trade That Michael Composed the music for. Youtube of The harrowing Channel 4 Cutting Edge Programme

Images of Michael working in Colourscape with special needs children

Michael has a rare collection of Mongolian instruments including the Morin Khuur, Tobshuur, Tömör Khuur, Khulsan Khuur, Limbe, Yatag, Tsuur. Among the other instruments he plays are, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Symphonic Gongs, Saz (Turkish long necked lute), Flat backed Bouzouki, Ney (Turkish end blown flute), Jew’s harps, Live electronics……

Michael wrote, researched and presented, “Echoes from Blue Heaven”, a series of 4 programmes about Mongolian Traditional music for BBC Radio3 and “The Whispering of the Stars”, the first major series (6 part) of radio programmes about Siberian Music for BBC Radio3.

In the field of Dance, Michael has worked in collaboration with the Fabrice Mazliah from Ballet Frankfurt, Anusha Subramanyam of Beeja dance Company, Spiral Art Dance Theatre, Strata performance group.

Michael and Candida Valentino have created hands on tailor made educational days for all ages exploring the culture of Mongolia.

He jointly composed the theme tune and original music for Benedict Allen’s six part series on BBC 2 about Mongolia, “Edge of Blue Heaven” and his series about Shamanism and traditional healing, “The last of the Medicine Men”. He composed the original music for the award winning Channel 4 Cutting edge programme “The Child sex Trade” and “Women in Islam” Channels Dispatches programme, Forbidden Iran and Iraq, the Road to Kirkuk.

He organised & performed his musical group, Nada a tour of Mongolia in 1994. This was the first British group to tour the provinces of Mongolia.

Michael has performed with his rare collection of Mongolian instruments, Tibetan Singing Bowls, gongs, flutes and electronics around the world including at the Montreux Jazz festival (Switzerland), The National Theatre (London), The Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), with members of Ballet Frankfurt (Germany), The Eden Project (Cornwall) and Glastonbury International Dance Festival with Spiral Arts Dance Theatre, Belfast (Northern Ireland) for H.H. The Dalai Lama, and in New York, Sri Lanka, Spain and Algeria,

For more information about Mongolian overtone singing workshops, individual lessons, performances, Tibetan Singing bowl workshops, soundtransformations workshops, concert booking, education days please contact Michael at mailto:ormi_khoomii@yahoo.com


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