TUVAN THROAT-SINGERS TO PERFORM VOCAL ACROBATICS AT HAMILTON COLLEGE
The members of the ensemble chose the name Huun-Huur-Tu to underscore theirattachment to the countryside from which they came. Both their name and theremusic is rooted in the relationship of humankind to the dramatic world of thesouth Siberian grasslands. Tuvans call their open countryside "huun-huur-tu"because they are awed by the beauty of its light.
The music for which Tuva is best known--throat-singing, or khöömei,is a vocal technique found in several Asian cultures. It allows the singer toproduce two or more separate notes simultaneously, and to integrate melody andharmony. The centuries-old style of singing incorporates guttural growls,high-pitched barks, multi-toned drones and polyphonic complexity similar to thechanting of Tibetan monks.
The group features two master musicians, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and AnatolyKuular. Khovalyg is from a remote part of western Tuva. His great-grandfatherwas a famous throat-singer, recorded by musicologists from Moscow in the 1930s.He taught himself the technique when he was 12. Kuular also heardthroat-singing as a child. He is a master of the khomus (Jew's harp). Theother members of the group are Sayan Bapa, Alexander Bapa and Mergen Mongushwho perform vocals and accompaniment on a variety of handmade stringedinstruments, a frame drum, bells and rattle. Huun-Huur-Tu has recorded twoalbums, The Orphan's Lament and 60 Horses in my Head.
The Huun-Huur-Tu concert is the fourth performance of the Hamilton PerformingArts Series. The final performance in the series will be the National Theatreof the Deaf's presentation of Curiouser and Curiouser, Sunday, March 9.