some Tuvan throat singers.
May 18, 2007 5:38 AM   Subscribe

Throat singing from Tuva's Huun Huur Tu and Kongar-ol Ondar. [all youtube]
posted by flapjax at midnite (26 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Fantastic! I went to a concert of Tibetan throat-singing once... it was really odd-sounding.

I'm not sure what is going on inside their throats, but I understand that it's not something you can learn easily.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:50 AM on May 18, 2007

oh jesus, what a strange and coincidental opportunity!
Huun-Huur-Tu - The Orphan's Lament
Huun-Huur-Tu - Where Young Grass Grows
posted by p3on at 6:18 AM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

For those who like their throat singing mixed with some blues, Kongar-ol Ondar appears in Gehghis Blues, a documentary about Paul Pena, a blind bluesman who taught himself how to throat sing and traveled to Tuva. (Soundtrack is also available.)

As for Huun Huur Tu, they sing backup on some of Hazmat Modine's cd, Bahamut on tracks 2, 8, and 14 (though I recommend the whole album).
posted by fings at 6:19 AM on May 18, 2007

If you like this sort of thing, you really must check out Yat Kha and their live soundtrack to the 1928 silent (and Soviet propaganda) film Storm over Asia. I saw a live performance of it and it was jaw-droppingly awesome. There's a rumor floating about that they'll be releasing a DVD of it soon.
posted by xthlc at 6:21 AM on May 18, 2007

Oh, yeah, Yat Kha covering Love Will Tear Us Apart [mp3], Tuvan style.
posted by xthlc at 6:30 AM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]

Very cool -- can't wait to sit and watch these. I recently got my first Lama Tashi CD and it's nice to be able to expand my knowledge of this stuff. Thanks, flapjax et al.
posted by hifiparasol at 6:40 AM on May 18, 2007

Thanks for the link to Hazmat Modine. I'm enjoying what I'm hearing here and will pick up Bahamut!
posted by onhazier at 7:02 AM on May 18, 2007

Another recommendation for "Genghis Blues", a great documentary. I was incredibly impressed by both the Tuvan efforts to maintain their culture and Paul Pena's effort to learn their music via an old recording and set of English-Russian and Russian-Tuvan dictionaries.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:04 AM on May 18, 2007

Genghis Blues and Tuvan throat singing previously on MeFi.
posted by languagehat at 7:05 AM on May 18, 2007

Oh yeah xthlc, Yat-Kah's Re-Covers record has some really fantastic covers. My personal fave is their cover is "Ramblin' Man".
posted by shanevsevil at 7:18 AM on May 18, 2007

This is mad, mad and fantastic stuff, flapjax. Before now I hadn't even heard about Tuva.

You deserve a category of your own, the music that you've been FPPing is astonishing.
posted by micayetoca at 7:26 AM on May 18, 2007

Kongar-ol Ondar also appears with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones on the album Outbound and (more prominently) on the DVD Live at the Quick.
posted by danb at 7:35 AM on May 18, 2007

huun-huur throatsingers
posted by DU at 7:40 AM on May 18, 2007

Love these guys- caught 'em twice at the Philly Folk Fest and was totally knocked out. I went home and worked for hours to produce only feeble overtones.
posted by The White Hat at 7:47 AM on May 18, 2007

Yet another recommendation for Genghis Blues. Whether you're a fan of the music, of the story of Paul Pena, or good documentary filmmaking - this one delivers.
posted by NationalKato at 8:57 AM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]

I will never forget sitting on reindeer hides around a fire in a teepee in northern Norway with Alash, a young Tuvan throatsinging group, singing some of these songs.

Yay overtone singing! Great post!
posted by KathyK at 8:59 AM on May 18, 2007

I also had the pleasure of seeing Huun Huur Tu some years ago. Two days later I bumped into one of them in a chip shop having taken some refreshments (both of us, by the looks of things), and I asked him to teach me how to do throat singing. You should have seen the (thoroughly deserved) look of disdain I got.

Sygyt I particularly enjoy.
posted by imperium at 10:12 AM on May 18, 2007

Are these the people who can create two resonating chambers and can therefore make two notes at once, singing in harmony with themselves?
posted by algreer at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2007

Huun-huur-tu is great! People should check out Chirgilchin and Tyva Kyzy (couldn't find a video, sorry).
posted by pamccf at 11:23 AM on May 18, 2007

This is a great post, thanks.

I'm surprised it hasn't been here more before: I first heard about these cats through a documentary about Richard Feynman (a pretty bright guy who had a few ok ideas) I think called Tuva or Bust!. This was at least fifteen years ago.

I came away from it not sure which was more impressive. The singing, or Feynman.

Then - years pass and damndest thing, I found out the Inuit do it too! (those are Youtube links)

It's awesome.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:25 PM on May 18, 2007

Oh - (wow, this turned into something else) I was gonna don the pedant's cap and mention that the Tuvan's are Mongolian, not Tibetan, though there are chanted Tibetan Bhuddist prayers that incorporate throat singing as well as cymbals and a lot of not "musical" sounds.

But I wasn't sure, and I ended up at the Wikipedia entry.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:30 PM on May 18, 2007

Saw Amazing Grace throatsinging (throatsung?) while youtube surfing. Is nice
posted by pantsrobot at 2:27 PM on May 18, 2007

From p3on's link, here's my fav HHT. I've seen them in concert... great show, powerful presence.
posted by moonbird at 8:29 PM on May 18, 2007

Thanks for this.
posted by homunculus at 10:48 PM on May 18, 2007

Why, you're very welcome, homunculus. And thanks to all for the various links.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:35 AM on May 19, 2007

How did I miss this? Great post, flapjax.
I get to hear Mongolian throat-singing live at my local pub sometimes, I would like to boast here.
posted by Abiezer at 2:33 AM on May 20, 2007

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