Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mongolia Brief February 5, 2015 Part IV

Singapore Cooperation Programme to Assist Ger-Districts Re-Structuring
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, February 5 (MONTSAME) A chairman of the Citizens’ Khural of Ulaanbaatar Mr D.Battulga received Thursday a delegation led by the Singapore Cooperation Programme manager for the Asia-Pacific Mr Kevin Chong.

The latter expressed a willingness to cooperate in a project of Ger (national dwelling) District Restructuring, which has been realized on 1,547.8 hectares including 77 blocks at 24 locations. The first shift housing apartments for the ger districts' residents were commissioned last October. At that time, the Singapore cooperation Programme signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State-run Housing Corporation on re-structuring 16.5 hectares of space in Khan-Uul district.
At the meeting, Mr Chong said the Programme will be cooperating in accordance with this MoU.
In response, Mr Battulga thanked him for the will to contribute to and cooperate in the project. “This project was a must in order to reduce air and soil pollution caused by the ger-district inhabitants, which account for 60 percent of the city’s population," he said.
The Programme manager Kevin Chong said it is his "pleasure to see that the project has given some returns and is being realized intensively". "Singapore practiced re-structuring in its suburban areas in 1960’s, and is now ready to share this experience with Mongolia," he said.

Deputy PM Meets German Ambassador
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, February 5 (MONTSAME) Deputy Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh received the Ambassador of Germany to Mongolia Mr Gerhard Thiedemann on February 5. The sides discussed further cooperation of the two countries.
The Deputy PM expressed condolences for the passing of Richard Karl, the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany. He said Germany is the key partner of Mongolia in Europe, and that the relations are given high significance, and expressed Mongolia’s aspiration to upgrade the ties from a “Comprehensive Partnership” to a “Strategic Partnership”.
The Ambassador said high level visits, dialogues and interactions are of great importance in deepening the bilateral relations and expressed a belief that the upcoming this March visits of the Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj and of the Speaker Z.Enkhbold to Germany will great impetus to the development of the bilateral cooperation. He also emphasized that the visits will be organized under excellent management.
Mr Khurelsukh presented certain proposals in frames of his duties and said Mongolia will pursue a policy to support foreign investments by all means.

Stock Exchange News for February 5
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, February 5 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 10 thousand and 990 units of 20 JSCs were traded costing MNT 17 million 494 thousand and 930.00.
"Genco tour bureau” /2,418 units/, “Remikon” /2,308 units/, “APU” /1,310 units/, “State Department Store” /1,046 units/ and "Baganuur” /789 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Gobi” (MNT four million 853 thousand and 100), "APU” (MNT four million 729 thousand and 110), “Baganuur” (MNT one million 972 thousand and 417), “Material impex” (MNT one million 441 thousand and 500) and "Tavantolgoi” (MNT one million 026 thousand and 750).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 372 billion 710 million 486 thousand and 893. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,153.62, decreasing 69.43 units or 0.49% against the previous day.

Bandy Team Takes 7th Place in World Championship
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, February 5 (MONTSAME) The national team of Mongolia took 7th place in the B division of the 35th Bandy World Championship which was concluded this Wednesday in Khabarovsk of Russia.
Seeded in the “B” group, the Mongolian team beat opponents of China and Somali, but was defeated by German team. In the last game of the preliminary round, Mongolia had a draw with the Netherlands. In the knockout phase, our team was beaten by Latvia with scores 11:5 on Wednesday.
In the match for 7th place, Mongolia defeated China (7:5). Mongolia was followed by the teams of China and Somali. Matches of the A division will start March 29 among the teams of Belarus, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA.

Judokas Keep Leadership at World Rankings
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, February 5 (MONTSAME) The International Judo Federation (IJF) issued the latest update of the world’s top judokas in all male and female weight categories on February 2.
Our World champions G.Boldbaatar (men 60kg) and M.Urantsetseg (women 48kg) kept their leadership, with 2,676 and 3,180 points, respectively. Scores of them did not change due to not participating in any international competitions.
Another Mongolian D.Amartuvshin held his fourth place with 1,826 points in the men 60 kg division.
In the second lightest category for men division (66 kg), an international master of sports D.Tomorkhuleg kept his fourth place with 1,710 points. This category is still led by a Russian M.Pulyaev with 1,961 points. Two Olympic medalists Mongolians Kh.Tsagaanbaatar and S.Nyam-Ochir also kept the sixth and eighth, respectively, in the men 73kg.
An international master of sports Mongolian A.Tsolmon was ranked 11th place in the women 52kg, having 1,120 points; D.Sumya (women 57kg) was the eighth with 1,444 points, and Ts.Naranjargal (women -70 kg)—the 15th with 940 points.
Apart from Mongolia, judokas from Russia, the Netherlands, Georgia, the Czech Republic, France, Kosovo and Cuba topped at least one weight category.

Farmers call for dismissal of the Government and Minister of Food and Agriculture
By Ch. Khaliun
February 5 (UB Post) On Wednesday, farmers protested at Chinggis Square, with over ten tractors, two combines, and over 20 tons of wheat, calling for the dismissal of the Government and the Minister of Food and Agriculture.
They said that they didn’t organize the protest because of the monetary bonus of 70,000 MNT, but with the aim to separate the sector, which has been intensively developing through the private sector rather than the government.
Farmers noted that they wanted to sell their wheat for 600 to 700 MNT per kg, but the government became involved in the issue, promising bonuses, and the price of wheat fell to 480 MNT per kg.
But the farmers say they haven’t received their money in cash. The agreement stated that the farmers would receive their money when the flour producers supply flour to the market, and then farmers would be paid from the income generated from sales.
The farmers say they haven’t received anything from the supply of 350 million tons of wheat, or any of the bonuses the government promised.
They denied the Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s claim that several billions of MNT have been distributed to farmers’ accounts.
The protesting farmers underlined that they protested to provide the public with accurate information, because the Government led by Saikhanbileg and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture led by Burmaa is lying and brainwashing citizens with false information.
MPs L.Tsog and G.Uyanga stepped on the protest stage to show support for the protestors.
The farmers emphasized that they harvested high-quality, high-gluten wheat, and delivered the flour to producers.

Made in Mongolia 2015 generates one billion MNT in sales
By Ch. Khaliun
February 5 (UB Post) Tsagaan Sar Exhibition – Made in Mongolia 2015 was held for one week at Misheel Expo, and ended on Wednesday. The organizers of the exhibition highlight that this year’s sales were good, and that participants traded one billion MNT in goods.
Last year over 700 entities participated in the exhibition, while this year the exhibition expanded its scope and over 800 entities participated.
Some of the entities participating in the exhibition were presented with awards. In particular, MTOT, Milko, Zuraas, Star Sky, and citizen N.Munkhtuvshin received special prizes. Erdeniin Goyol, Nom Khur, Gobi, and Erdenet Khivs were named as the exhibition’s best entities. Grand prix awards went to Hero Kids, Jivertiin Orgil, Mongol Nekhmel, Selenge Press, and Master Dodo.
Tsagaan Sar Exhibition – Made in Mongolia was organized for its eighth time under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Mongolia.
Made in Mongolia 2015 exhibitions are also being held at Dragon Center, Shuniin Zakh (Night Market), and in six districts of Ulaanbaatar. They will continue until the end of Tsagaan Sar.

T.Munkh-Orgil: Being a musician is all about hard work
By B. Khash-Erdene
February 5 (UB Post) Several Mongolian artists performed at the World Economic Forum, recently held in Davos, Switzerland, to give a taste of Mongolian culture to the over 2,500 international business elite and state heads that attended the event.
Guitarist and producer T.Munkh-Orgil was one of the performers representing Mongolia in Davos, and he spoke to the UB Post about his experience at the WEF and the evolution of his career.
T.Munkh-Orgil is a sound engineer and producer at one of Mongolia’s biggest recording facilities, White Arch Studios. Since joining the studio in 2012, he has worked with notable Mongolian artists and bands such as The Lemons, Sarantuya, Shar Airag, Ariunaa, Niciton, and many more.
The Mongolian native started his musical career at the age of 15, playing guitar for Mongolian rock bands Scream and Jackal, before moving to the U.S. Following the completion of a bachelor’s program in music at Radford University in Virginia (where he later returned for a master’s degree), T.Munkh-Orgil joined Clubhouse Recording Studios in New York as an audio engineer. There he had the opportunity to work with artists such as musician and composer Tony Levin of King Crimson, Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs, David Bowie’s guitarist Earl Slick, drummer Jerry Marotta, who has worked with Peter Gabriel and Paul McCartney. Munkh-Orgil’s music has been featured on U.S. programs airing on CBS and MTV.
In 2007, Munkh-Orgil moved to New York City to pursue his performing career, and after performing with many NYC artists and bands he landed a position as guitarist for Lauryn Hill of the Fugees, and joined her on a tour of the U.S.A. He has also toured with artists such as Brendan James and Matt White, and has performed in over 40 states in the USA.
You recently performed at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Tell us about who you performed with, what kind of music you played, and how it was received.
I performed at the 2015 Davos World Economic Forum with Mongolian traditional band Jonon, traditional dancers from the State Academic Ensemble, Sweetymotion, and Chimba and Batchuluun from Niciton. Every day, the countries attending the event had a night to introduce their culture, music, food, and traditions. So we performed traditional Mongolian numbers as well as modern Mongolian numbers. At the end of the party section, Sweetymotion performed their songs.
How was your performance in Davos different from other concert and stage experiences?
Personally, it was just an honor to play for Davos. It was different because I haven’t been performing in the traditional side of Mongolian music. I’ve been doing more of the pop and rock and roll music. I guess modernizing Mongolian music, and adapting drums, guitar, and electric bass was different.
How was the audience reaction?
It was good. We received a lot of good feedback. Actually, it went really well, and there’s planning for a tour to Berlin, France, Belgium, and the Czech Republic.
Did you get to meet artists from other countries performing at Davos?
We did not, actually. We met a lot of the attendees. Because the security and organization is so tight there. We got there, we enjoyed sightseeing and everything, and on the morning of the day of the performance, we went to the stage to do sound checks and perform.
How did you start out as a guitarist? Do you play any other instruments?
I play mostly guitar – electric, acoustic, and classical. I started when I was probably 15, maybe younger than that. I actually used to play in a Mongolian alternative rock band in the 1990s. I used to play with a band called Scream, who became The Night Train, and after that, I just decided that I would pursue music and went to the University of Radford in the States – in Virginia. I majored in music business and classical guitar. I graduated and went to New York City and worked for a recording studio there, and went back and did my masters in classical guitar.
I guess just having a background in rock music, playing in local bands, and jamming, besides classical guitar, I decided to pursue music.
After I got my master’s degree, I went back to New York and started playing guitar. I was working as a tour musician and session guitarist. I used to do studio sessions, live gigs, and go on U.S. tours.
You’ve obviously got a very good reputation in New York. You’ve worked with artists like Lauryn Hill. Not many Mongolian artists make it this far, can you tell us about how it happened?
Well, being a guitarist, or being in the music business is all about hard work – being somewhere at the right time, being in the right place, and actually being everywhere. You have to try to be everywhere. When I got the job, I was playing every possible gig I could find and just putting myself out there through my website and so on. So, word of mouth traveled, and one morning I got a call from Ms. Hill’s manager. He said that Ms. Hill was looking for a guitar player herself, through the internet and so forth.
She found you on the internet?
Yeah. She told her manager to contact me and that’s exactly how it happened.
Are there any other Mongolian musicians in New York doing gigs like you did?
In New York, I’m not sure. I wasn’t really in touch with the Mongolian community there. I had my own family and own life going on there, so I’m not sure.
What kind of music do you listen to and play now? Has it evolved since you started out as a guitarist?
Of course it did. It evolves every month and every week. Especially in my line of work as an engineer and producer here at White Arch Studios, I need to listen to everything that’s current to keep up. Actually, I set my roots in classical Motown. I listen to everything in every genre.
Is there anything that you favor now?
Right now, I’m focusing on my own band, Marquis On The Radio, that I set up not long ago. It’s  going to be just  straight up rock music with a hint of experimental rock.
Which guitarist has had the most influence on you?
Not one specific guitarist. I listen to everybody, and then I say I want to learn a certain part or a technique, or a certain melody. I learn from everybody.
I listen to Eric Clapton, Angus Young, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and of course, Hendrix. And of course, great classical artists like John Williams, Julian Bream, and so on.
So you get your inspiration from everyone and try to create your own style?
Yes. I think that is what musical style is. Nobody comes up with something completely brand new within themselves. I’m sure what you listen to is different from what I listen to, so those influences mold your style.
Can you tell us about your work here as a producer and projects you are working on right now?
White Arch Studios is one of the biggest facilities in Mongolia, which can fit in an orchestra. Lately, we’ve been working with the National State Philharmonic. A couple of days ago, we just recorded a CD by the Military Ensemble. The Opera Ensemble also recorded here recently. As a producer, my specialty is young live bands, like The Colors, which is a band that we work with.
Yeah, The Colors has been gaining popularity. When you see their music videos they are very fresh, and on top of the video and live music, there is a very rich and vibrant synthetic sound behind it. Was that your work?
It is definitely a collaboration. I always try to listen to the artist. It’s a 50/50 process. They have their own song and own sound. My job is to go in and give them advice, polish their music, and maybe give suggestions. It’s a symbiotic relationship.
How has being a guitarist helped you in your work as producer?
Tremendously. In order to play guitar, you have to learn to hear things and know harmony – music theory and everything. So I had to learn all that and have a good ear. So I would say it helps tremendously. I can relate to musicians, as opposed to just going on and saying, “that doesn’t sound good.” So, having this music knowledge is very helpful,  and I can be very specific with my suggestions. The old school producers were always classically educated. They were all classical musicians that went into popular music. Along the way, this art of producing was lost.
Being a producer requires you to know about audio engineering, and have the knowledge to tell the audio engineer about frequencies and compressions. On top of this, you need to know musical harmony, theory, and pitch.
It’s quite difficult to make it as a musician, let alone in Mongolia. What advice would you give to aspiring young musicians out there?
Overall, work hard. Talent will only get you so far. Work hard, and like I said, try to be at the right place at the right time.

Senior athletes win seven medals at Winter World Master Games 2015
By B. Tungalag
February 5 (UB Post) Mongolian senior athletes are competing in the Winter World Master Games 2015, which is taking place in Quebec, Canada from January 31 to February 8.
The Mongolian team includes International Sports Master D.Enkhee, Sports Master D.Erdenetuya, International Sports Master L.Altantsetseg, Sports Master D.Sanchirbileg and International Sports Master D.Ochirsukh. Mongolia is competing in short track speed skating, cross-country skiing and long track skating categories respectively.
On the first day of the tournament, International Master L.Altantsetseg won gold medals in the women’s 500 m and 1,500 m long track skating categories. Sports Master N.Erdenetuya captured bronze medals in the same categories.
Sports Master D.Sanchirbileg seized a gold medal in the men’s 500 m long track skating and silver medal in the men’s 1,500 m skating.
International Sports Master D.Enkhee won a silver medal in the 20 km cross-country skiing category. He arrived at the finishing line in a time of 00:51:15.
Approximately 1,500 athletes from 22 countries are competing in ten sports categories at the Winter World Master Games 2015.
The World Masters Games, an international multi-sport competition, is held every four years. Organized by the International Masters Games Association, a nonprofit organization based in Lausanne, the games are open to veteran athletes and former Olympians age 30 and over.

Child pianists win gold and silver medals at 11th Huesca Piano Competition
By B. Baatar
February 5 (UB Post) Mongolian child pianists took part in the 11th Huesca Piano Competition, which was held in Huesca, Spain from January 20 to 25.
Students of the Music and Dance College, State University of Arts and Culture, and pianist S.Sayantsetseg participated in the competition. Five-year-old little pianist O.Nandin won the competition for nine-year-olds and under, and Ts.Enkhtselmeg captured a silver medal in the same category for girls. Eleven-year-old G.Undram won a silver medal in the U13 category, while U.Naranzul won bronze. Pianist Ch.Ysunkhand won bronze medal in the U19. U.Zorig and G.Zundui won a special prize.
O.Nandin of Mongolia won the Audience Favorite award.
Link to article

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