Tuvan throat singing describes the wild-sounding songs created by musicians in the southern Siberian and Mongolian Steppe region of Central Asia who, for want of a better explanation, use their throats as if they were a didgeridoo.
Not only does it sound cool — creating multiple notes at the same time using nothing but the human voice — but historically it was a way for humans to communicate over the vast plains in that part of the world, with different styles being created to represent different tribes.
Huun Huur Tu is a Tuvan throat singing string band, who hail from the Russian republic of Tuva near the Mongolian border. The group, which features Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, Sayan Bapa, Radik Tyulyush and Alexei Saryglar, plays authentic Tuvan stringed instruments and drums, which accompany their throat singing. However, they are also a band that is open to bringing modern influences into its sound, adding guitar and at times even electronics.
Huun Huur Tu got the attention of the West when American ethnomusicologist Ted Levin made the trek to Central Asia in the 1980s and brought the group to the U.S. The quartet has collaborated with Frank Zappa, Ry Cooder, the Chieftains, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Kronos Quartet and others over the years.
HUUN HUUR TU
plays atParrish Auditorium at Miami University Hamilton Saturday, Nov. 15. Find tickets/more info here .