Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Huun-Huur-Tu Comes to Seldovia in October

The Seldovia Arts Council welcomes
Throat Singers of Tuva


Tuesday October 30, 7:00 pm

Join us on a musical journey to Tuva to hear a group that practices the ancient technique of "xöömei" or throat-singing. Each vocalist simultaneously produces two distinct pitches: a lower drone and a high pitched flute-like sound. This is one of the world’s oldest forms of music making, and outside of the central Asian regions of Tuva, Mongolia and Tibet it is now practiced only by indigenous peoples in northern Canada and Russia, northern Japan and in South Africa.

Tuvans are a South Siberian Turkic people who live near the center of the Asian continent, just north of Mongolia. They were traditionally sheep and reindeer herders and used throat singing to imitate or represent sounds of nature… domestic animals, the physical environment of mountains and grasslands, and wind, water and light. They also make sonic "maps" of physical landscapes which may be expressed in texted songs, throat-singing, whistling, or other types of vocal production. Tuvan music is not abstract like most Western music, but representational.

Throat singing was traditionally performed by soloists, but in 1992 four Tuvans founded the quartet Kungurtuk, later renamed
Huun-Huur-Tu (meaning literally ‘sun propeller’, the rays of light often seen just after sunrise or just before sunset, representing the "refraction" of sound that produces articulated harmonics in Tuvan throat-singing). Their music also features instruments you have never heard or seen before… the igil (two-stringed fiddle), doshpuluur (two or three string banjo-like plucked instrument), khomus (mouth harp), dungur (large flat shaman drum or tambourine), and the chanzy (three string bowed instrument). But although the group is intent on preserving traditional Tuvan musical heritage, they also enjoy stretching themselves musically and have collaborated with the likes of Frank Zappa, the Chieftans, and the Kronos Quartet. Hunn-Huur-Tu has completed four North American tours and has played concerts and festivals in almost every country in Europe.

There is lots of information on Tuva and throat singing on the web. To get started, read the Seldovia Arts Council’s Director’s blog at Learn about Tuva and its music at Want to try your hand at throat singing? Check out The Huun-Huur-Tu website has links to the group performing at the 2006 Philadelphia Folk Festival on YouTube - click and listen!

Take a trip across the world, right here in Seldovia!!

Concert time is 7:00 pm, Tuesday October 30, 2007 at the Susan B. English School. Tickets will be available at the door. Prices are $15/adult, $8/child, or $35/family.

Call the Seldovia Arts Council for details… 234-7614
Or email:
More information at