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Monday, October 8, 2012

Black Sky, White Sky: A Shamanic Novel

Black Sky, White Sky is a novel by Ken Hyder, a Scottish percussionist and member of the British-Siberian experimental music ensemble K-Space. After making a series of trips to Siberia to perform and study with Tuvan shamans, Hyder has published a semi-fictional account of his shamanic experiences. In his ethnographic novel, Hyder recounts an American artist’s apprenticeship into Tuvan Shamanism as it rises from decades of Soviet repression. After years of working in secret, the shamans form group-practice clinics, but rivalry among “black” and “white” sects leads to in-fighting – with deadly consequences. The author is a fine storyteller, rendering all of his characters in order to provide his readers with the possibility of communing, as he has, with these contemporary shamans. 

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