Between the Sky & Prairie

The Grasslands Ensemble & Daniel Ho

About album

a re-imagined collection of Mongolian music from a millennium.

Created by six-time GRAMMY Award-winner Daniel Ho, Golden Melody Award-winning producer Judy Wu, and introducing The Grasslands Ensemble.

The Grasslands Ensemble comes from the Inner Mongolian prairies of Hulunbuir. They represent a diversity of ethnicities: Mongolian, Manchurian, Evenk, Daur, Russian, and Han Chinese. Their music is an organic and inimitably rich presentation of traditional, ethnic minority folk songs. Daniel Ho adds his signature sound on 'ukulele and instruments of his native Hawai'i. His thoughtful arrangements give prominence to each member of the Ensemble.

The Grasslands Ensemble is: Mongolian long-song master, Borjigin Hasibatu; lead female vocalist of the group Anda Union and preserver of traditional Evenk music, Qiqigema; female Manchurian vocalist, Bayinhehe; Chaoer and morin khuur virtuoso, Han Mou Ren; throat-singer and perpetuator of tsuur music legacy, Tamir Hargana; and the driving contemporary Mongolian sounds of the Hasar Band.

1. Between the Sky & Prairie

2. Daur Love Song

3. Gray Sparrow’s Heartache

4. Rock Blossoms

5. Singing Magpie

6. Jiang Mu Reverie

7. Manchurian Lullaby Medley

8. Golden Sunlight

9. Yaohur

10. The Tragedy at Uhert Mountain and Huiteng Lake

11. Praise for Galloping Horses

12. Mongolian Drinking Song

13. Genghis Khan Eulogy

About Video

About The Grasslands Ensemble


Borjigin Hasibatu was born in Ongniud Banner of Chifeng City in Inner Mongolia. He graduated from the vocal music department at Minzu University of China and is a highly- acclaimed performer at the national level. He is now a standing director of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Long Song Art Research Society as well as a member of the Inner Mongolian Musicians’ Association, Chinese Ethnic Minorities Vocal Music Society, Chinese Ethnic Minorities Music Society, and Chinese Musicians’ Association.

Between 1994 and 2004, Hasibatu won a number of folk music competitions. In his over 20 years as an ethnic minority performer, he has been invited to various large-scale performance venues and pudic benefit events at the national and local levels in China, and he has also participated frequently in performances held in rural villages. Outside of China, he has performed in the US, Canada, Russia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Mongolia. He is currently focusing on bringing traditional long songs to the international stage.

Besides his role as a performer, he is both a scholar and a teacher. He has released folk music albums, published related academic research, and been featured in numerous CDs and VCDs. For more than 30 years, he has helped to train other outstanding vocalists and has taught children from poor families for free. Hasibatu’s extensive contributions have greatly enriched Mongolian music.


Qiqigema is an Evenk vocalist with international influence. She is part of the well-reputed music group Anda Union, a superior national-level performer in China, and a member of the Chinese Ethnic Minorities Vocal Music Society. She is also a distinguished professor at Inner Mongolia Arts Univeristy, co-chair for the Inner Mongolian Musicians’ Association, standing director of the Inner Mongolian Institute for Long Tune Folk Song (Urtiin Duu) Communication and Study, a board director for the Inner Mongolia International Cultural Exchange Center, and a member of the Inner Mongolia Evenk Nationality Research Society. She has won top prizes and international recognition at a number of important competitions in China and abroad, such as the Outstanding Contribution to Culture and Art Award from the Republic of Buryatia and the Advanced Cultural Worker Prize from the Mongolian Ministry of Culture.

An important representative for the young generation of Buryatia- and Barga-style (forms of Mongolian folk singing) singers, Qiqigema also plays a significant role in passing on the legacy of Evenk singing. In her work, she intertwines the spiritual sense and simplicity of Evenk singing specific to the Buryatia short-song style with the bright, lofty feel of the Barga long-song style. Furthermore, she adds aspects of modern technique, forming a style full of the original qualities of these traditional forms combined with features unique to herself.

Qiqigema has become an iconic and established Mongolian performer, and as a member of Anda Union, brought Mongolian music to the world stage. They have opened up the market both in China and abroad and spearheaded an international commercial performance model for ethnic music. Sharing Chinese culture with the world, she and Anda Union are leaders for the development of music not only from the grasslands but from all minority groups of China.


From deep in the Changbai Mountains, Bayinhehe is a Manchurian whose faith lies in singing. Her voice, nurtured far from the noise of the city, intimately expresses the primal hues of life. She draws inspiration from a vanishing repertoire of Manchurian melodies that she hopes to preserve. The music she creates is full of elements of ethnicity, religion, nature, and humanity in a blend of ancient vocal techniques and modern musical concepts that reach deep into the soul.

With her bright, sunshiny presence, Bayinhehe has performed at celebrations, music festivals, and singing contests at a national and local scale. She has also worked as a model for ads and fashion shows. A multi-talented singer of varied gifts, her albums include No Boundaries, Gulu, and Songs of Joy.


Han Mou Ren, known as the “Prince of the Morin Khuur,” is a descendant of Khorchin Mongol nobility. He is devoted to passing on the knowledge of the revered instrument which he so proudly plays.

From a very young age, his technical skill and accomplishments won praise from master players. He has blended the essences of eastern and western Mongolian morin khuur styles, and is a standout instrumentalist among a new generation of players. Since his first experience in a professional recording studio at the age of 15, Han has provided morin khuur accompaniment on nearly 100 songs for famous Mongolian vocalists including Dedema, Audu, and Qiqigema.

Han also possesses a unique insight into classical European music. In Vienna, he captivated audiences with his morin khuur performances of the violin pieces “Csardas” and “Songs of the Wanderers”—known for their speed and difficulty, and coupled with his adept fingering technique and smooth tone. His pure style is enhanced with a perfect combination of gentility and strength. The French composer Alain Charron was deeply moved by Han’s playing during a collaboration between the two. Wu Lan, the creator of UE.Art.Republic, has described Han’s performance technique and stage presence as "thoroughly flawless.


Tamir Hargana studied traditional Mongolian music at Inner Mongolia Arts University. He is from the first class of graduates to have majored in throat singing.He is also proficient on many Mongolian stringed instruments including the morin khuur. In Mongolia, he has won a number of awards at international throat singing competitions. Tamir has received instruction from several masters, most noteably, under the direction of the late throat singing guru Kongar-ol Ondor from the Tyvu Republic.

Tamir has worked to promote traditional Mongolian music through educational opportunies and cultural events. Aside from performing and perpetuating music during his university years, he taught at the junior high school afiliated with his alma-mater.He has even demonstrated throat singing techniques on a television documentary. Tamir recently received a master’s degree in world music at Northern Illinois University. His focus has become oriented toward “musical fusion” as a result of his interactions and collaborations with musicians of all backgrounds from around the world.

The Hasar Band

The Hasar Band (named after the younger brother of Genghis Khan) was formed in 2010 by six members from the traditional music ensemble of Hulunbuir Ethnic Opera House. Instruments played in the band include the morin khuur, doshpuluur, tovshuur, sheepskin drums, jaw harp, and shagai. Other Mongolian features, such as throat singing, are also included in their talents. The band works to maintain tradition while interweaving elements of modern pop music. The powerful, dynamic tempo and contemporary feel of their music with distinctly Mongolian features allows their songs to resound with a feeling of vastness.

About Producer


Daniel Ho's credo: to see a note through from beginning to end. This philosophy encompasses six GRAMMY Awards, fourteen GRAMMY nominations, four Taiwanese Golden Melody Awards, multiple Hawaiian music accolades, a genre-crossing discography, and a host of proudly designed instruments.

A Honolulu native based in Los Angeles, Daniel is a musician, composer, arranger, audio engineer, producer, and independent record company owner. Daniel Ho Creations has released over 100 albums and published more than a dozen music books.

Daniel’s music has been used in film and television, and he performs original instrumentals and vocals in English and Hawaiian that feature his versatility on 'ukulele, slack key guitar, and piano. Most meaningful compositional works include his GRAMMY-nominated solo 'ukulele album, Pōlani (Pure); ; his GRAMMY-nominated piano album, E Kahe Mālie (Flowing Gently); and his all- original Hawaiian vocal and instrumental album, Aukahi (Flowing Harmony).

His collaborative contributions span Hawaiian, world, classical, and contemporary instrumental music, with a respectful approach to frame traditional music and uplift partnering artists in a compositionally compelling way. In world music, Daniel has bridged traditional Taiwanese aboriginal music with a Western sensibility, and he garnered his fourteenth GRAMMY nomination in the company of Wu Man and Luis Conte for Our World In Song. With a goal to expand the 'ukulele’s presence in classical music, his 2016 album Aloha España, features 'ukulele duets with famed classical guitarist, Pepe Romero. And in early-2017, he partnered with rock guitarist Tak Matsumoto (who has sold 80-million albums with his group B’z) in a finely crafted stadium-rock-meets- tropical-isle instrumental album, Electric Island, Acoustic Sea.

Daniel’s latest innovative passion is exploring the origins of sound in the form of instrument design. He is a YAMAHA Guitar artist, clinician and consultant. He has teamed up with classical guitar luthier, Pepe Romero Jr. to conceptualize the Tiny Tenor and XS Soprano 'ukuleles. He has also worked closely with Pepe and Ohana Ukuleles in creating percussion instruments: the Bongolele and Shakerlele.

With his sights set on what’s to come, Daniel’s follow through style from start to finish is sure to turn heads and capture hearts, one note at a time.


Wu Judy Chin-tai is a respected producer and composer with a keen gift for the development music.

Judy began creating nature music in 1994 and was a pioneer in the production art of carrying recording equipment on her back into the mountains and across streams to record the sounds of nature before mixing them with music. In 1999, she produced a popular album of nature sounds called The Forest Show. To date, she has released ten best-selling nature music albums.

Active in traditional and world music, Judy has produced and participated in the creation of albums that have won numerous awards. She won Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan for her albums My Ocean in 2001 and The Mongolian Folk Long-Song in 2009. Her 2010 album Drum Music Land was nominated for Best Traditional World Music Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards.On a Gentle Island Breeze, which she co-produced in 2012, was nominated for Best World Music Album at the 55th Grammy Awards.Legends of Passage, which she co- produced in 2015, won the Best Aboriginal Language Album Award at the 27th Golden Melody Awards and was named one of the top ten albums in 2015 by the Association of Music Workers in Taiwan.