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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

Huun-Huur-Tu Returns to the Opera House

The remarkable Huun-Huur-Tu, the Throat Singers of Tuva, will perform at the Napa Valley Opera House Feb. 17. This will the a second visit to the valley by these performers, who have emerged as the foremost international representatives of Tuva's remarkable musical culture. The best known genre of Tuvan music, xmei (throat-singing), comprises what one might call a lexicon of musical onomatopoeia in which natural sounds are mimetically transformed into musical representations. Tuvan throat singing is not just an exotic novelty but part of a rich tradition. Bringing their fascinating vocal technique to the world, these Siberian masters have completed numerous North American tours and are veterans of concert and festival performances in nearly every country of Europe. Their beguiling style involves overtones that are heard in new music, applied to voices. The listener hears a deep humming groan, mixed with a high pitched whistling sound. Sometimes, three voices are heard in one person's singing. Usually, performed a capella by a single voice (but with its multi-voicing style, a singer may sound like a whole group).

For most audiences the result is like nothing else they've ever heard. The Tuvans not only transform the sounds of the natural world into music through imitation, they also make sonic "maps" of physical landscapes which may be expressed in texted songs, throat-singing, whistling or other types of vocal production. Even hearing the music on CD is nothing like witnessing it in person, seeing a group of seated men in native garb give forth with amazing sounds that dart and cut through the air. During their Opera House performance, Huun-Huur-Tu will accompany themselves on Jews harp, byzaanchi lute, fiddle and percussion.

The Napa Valley Register
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