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Many people discovered the strange Central Asian magic of throat singing via Huun-Huur Tu. It’s not confined to Tuva, but that’s the home of these guys, one they mix with traditional instruments. In their now-lengthy career, they’ve tried many things (their last album was mixed with ambient electronica) but this time they’re very much back to their roots, and it serves them well. Although best known for their throat singing, which does feature on several cuts here including the short but eerily beautiful “Prayer,” it’s only one weapon in their arsenal. They’re also very adept musicians on their respective instruments and good singers in every way, and they demonstrate all the facets of their talent. It’s music that can seem alien (especially the throat singing) but there’s a deep beauty to it all. For all that it sounds ancient, inspired by the rhythms of horse’s hooves on the steppes, this is modern music, inspired by the tradition. It’s a wonderful soundscape.
Incredible sounds from humans
I’ve never realized such singing existed until I came across this band. I drift off into another realm when I listen to them.
View in iTunes :https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ancestors-call/id586358851
A peculiar style of singing is found in the tiny Siberian country of Tuva. Called khoomei, or throat singing, the songs are typically performed by soloists who each specialize in a particular variant of khoomei. The amazing technique of Tuvan throat singing is still a mystery to Western science, but listen closely and you will hear the singers produce up to four notes at once, singing melody and accompaniment simultaneously.
In 1992, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, Alexander Bapa, his brother Sayan Bapa, and Albert Kuzevin founded the quartet as a means of concentrating on the presentation of traditional songs of their homeland. While they devoted themselves to the preservation of these songs, their concerts demonstrated the significance of combining tradition and innovation. The musicians later decided to rename the ensemble as “Huun-Huur-Tu”-a name that means “Separation of Light Rays on the Prairie.”
Huun-Huur-Tu presents its style of throat singing in the context of wonderfully tuneful songs, employing instruments reminiscent of the banjo and fiddle. The combination of earth-rumbling growling and whistle-like harmonics, along with the ethereal jaw harp and shaman’s drum make these songs both lively and deeply spiritual.
Huun-Huur-Tu has toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia, and has an international fan base. The group has also collaborated with Frank Zappa, Ry Cooder, The Chieftains, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, the Kronos Quartet, L. Shankar, and the Bulgarian Women’s Choir.