Undercurrents- Kiva and Wolfgang Saus

Undercurrents- Kiva and Wolfgang Saus

920 views•Sep 9, 2009 30ShareSaveOMN 871 subscribers Undercurrent – Song by Kiva Šímová (E-Piano) http://www.kivaweb.com and Wolfgang Saus (Overtone Singing) http://www.oberton.org – Live at the Overtone Festival Prague 2009 http://www.alikvotnifestival.cz/ Soundtrack recorded by Wolfgang Saus http://www.oberton.org – Video recorded and created by Jens Mügge http://www.jensmuegge.eu


The Biography

Kiva Simova is a seasoned musician from Manitoba (based in Toronto, ON, Canada). Best known for polyphonic overtone singing (2 pitches from one voice), she has enthralled audiences globally with her innovative ways of blending this art form with genres not commonly associated with it. Such as….jazzy pop/ experimental/ world, accompanying herself on keyboards. With 3 solo CDs to her credit (The Ladder ’98, Pulse ’05, and newest The Quality of Light ’14), her current re-invention finds her leaping off to tour solo, conduct overtone singing workshops and improvise with others at every opportunity. Speaking of….her solo career has been sprinkled with numerous vocal improvisations with other artists. Live, in recordings and soundtracks, she’s worked with the likes of Tanya Tagaq, Jennifer Berezan, Wimme, Vladiswar Nadishana, Olla Vogala Orchestra and many more. A wild improv done with world renowned didgeridoo player Ondrej Smeykal on the new CD is testament to this (Meeting in Dreamtime).
“ethereal, magical, guttural and entrancing all at once”- John Kendle, Winnipeg Free Press
“highly personal, yet global in scope and tone”- Penguin Eggs Magazine
“a force to be reckoned with”- Evolution of Media

Always the odd one out, a child boldly singing her own harmony in the otherwise all unison church choir, playing by ear was a natural. Pop, classical and jazz piano studies led to membership in all kinds of bands. This Winnipeg music veteran ultimately went on to carve out her own inimitable niche over the years since she started overtone singing in ’89. As a tour member (backup vocals and keyboards) of Crash Test Dummies for the ’94 world tour in support of ‘God Shuffled His Feet’, she demonstrated overtone singing during introductions at each concert. Expanding horizons in ’09, as one of a very few, she created a substantial body of work for overtone choir, debuting as a conductor in ’10 with her own such choir Auralia in Prague.

Past recordings feature world class musicians to contribute their magic, with an emphasis on many different cultures, especially by way of percussion. Kiva’s newest music has a strong leaning to intelligent lyrics, her piano playing skills, still with the ‘special spice’ of overtones appearing judiciously. Described as “alt singer songwriter” by George Koller (big emphasis on “alt”). In many ways, back to her roots and getting down to the essence of the songs. The timeless and biggest hit is ‘Regret‘ from the debut CD The Ladder. A moving and melancholy anthem with an overtone chorus, it addresses the repeated errors of humankind. This is one piece that continues to generate the most unusual opportunities for this artist.

Career highlights include:

-A Song for all Beings (Jennifer Berezan & Friends) mega production Nov ’13 & Feb ’17, San Rafael, CA (guest vocalist with Raz Kennedy)
-Musica Intima choral group, Vancouver ’16, as guest overtone vocalist
-Prague Overtone Festival, 4 consecutive years ’09- ’12
-Atlantykron Conference, Romania ’11
-Polyphonic Singing Festival, Albania ’08
-KEIKU Throat Singing Festival, Helsinki ’01
-Winnipeg Folk Festival main stage ’01
-International Symposium of Throat Singing, Tuva, Russia ’95 as only female foreigner to perform, judge the competition, and briefly appear in the Oscar nominated documentary ‘Genghis Blues’
-Side member of Crash Test Dummies world tour ’94 as backup vocalist and keyboardist (SNL, David Letterman, Tonight Show, Royal Albert Hall….)

As tour member of Crash Test Dummies 'God Shuffled His Feet' '94 world tour (standing second from left)
As tour member of Crash Test Dummies ‘God Shuffled His Feet’ ’94 world tour (standing second from left)

The following video is a full concert of Crash Test Dummies in Italy in ’94 in support of God Shuffled His Feet. Kiva sings backup vocals and keyboards. She was known as Kathy Brown back then. At the 54:30 point, Brad introduces her and she gives a short demonstration of overtone singing.
Influences: Jane Siberry, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Ferron, Yma Sumac, Jan Hammer, Todd Rundgren, Little Feat, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Mahavishnu (John McLaughlin) Orchestra, Claude Debussy, Bobby McFerrin, Kate Bush, Bjork, Sun Ra, Jonatha Brooke, Imogen Heap, Tanya Tagaq, Sheila Chandra, Lisa Gerrard, Arvo Part, Eric Whitacre, Bulgarian women’s choirs, East Indian classical, Tuvan singers.


Kiva Simova now is making herself available for touring almost anywhere, and sharing her skills with adventurous singers.

Overtone Singing Improvisation- Kiva Simova

Overtone Singing Improvisation- Kiva Simova

Published on May 8, 2011

Kiva Simova does a polyphonic overtone singing improvisation, splitting her voice into 2 distinct pitches with counter movement. Final version ‘Bitter my Sweet’ with piano, on CD- The Quality of Light (’14). Listen at http://www.kivasimova.com

KIva’s Auralia Overtone choir sings Pink Floyd’s Great Gig in the Sky

KIva’s Auralia Overtone choir sings Pink Floyd’s Great Gig in the Sky

Published on Sep 19, 2010

Excerpt of ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’ arranged & performed by Auralia choir using overtones. Includes explanation of single voices producing 2 pitches at once, how it works in an ‘overtone choir’ and special notation used. Please visit http://www.kivasimova.com for more information.

Kiva Simova: polyphonic overtone singing solo- Song for All Beings production

Kiva Simova: polyphonic overtone singing solo- Song for All Beings production

Published on Dec 14, 2017

Kiva Simova sings polyphonic overtone solo in production of Song for All Beings (Jennifer Berezan’s extravaganza) at Marin Civic Centre, San Rafael, CA, Feb 26, 2017. Video includes improv collaboration with Raz Kennedy. Backed by SFAB band and choir, led by don benedictson and Melanie DeMore.


KIVA overtone singer

kiva simova

  • Female
  • Prague
  • Czech Republic

Kiva simova’s Connections

  • Völven
  • Norbert Maria Brauer
  • Teddy Guilbaud
  • OCO
  • Thomas Meisenheimer
  • Billy Fox
  • bernard dubreuil
  • Alexander Glenfield
  • juri cainero
  • Johannes Lind
  • Skye Løfvander
  • Christa Kirchner
  • Deirdre Morgan
  • Justin Smith

kiva simova’s Groups


kiva simova’s Discussions

Gurdjieff- Meetings with Remarkable Men (overtone singing in film)
4 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Martin Philippe Jan 2, 2011.


Profile Information

About me:
overtone singer, solo artist, keyboardist, teacher of overtone singing workshops, online course
keyboards, voice
Bobby McFerrin, Jane Siberry, Lisa Gerrard, Huun-Huur-Tuu, Sheila Chandra, Yma Sumac, Tanya Tagaq, Kevin Breit, Imogen Heap, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Steely Dan, Bjork, Sun Ra, Bulgarian choirs, East Indian Classical, Cuban …


Kiva Simova is a Canadian overtone singing teacher, composer, conductor, keyboardist (based in Toronto as of April 2017) with international recognition as a western pioneer, combining overtone singing with world beat/ jazz/ pop/ experimental/ new classical music. She is frequently called upon for live and recorded vocal improvisation with other artists. These include Tanya Tagaq (Inuit throat singer), Lisa Walker (improvisation with whale song), The Yellow Sisters, New Millennium Orchestra, Olla Vogala Orchestra, The Ormidales, Live Ullmann, Ring Cycle Orchestra, Strange Angels, Vladiswar Nadishana, Jennifer Berezan, Wimme and for film soundtracks (i.e. Beit Sha’ar, honorable mention at Dubai Int’l Film Festival, Dec ’10). She was a tenor member of the European Overtone Choir, Spektrum overtone choir and the International Choir of Prague. She also composes music for overtone choirs, having directed her own, AURALIA, in Prague.

Her diversified career, starting around 1978, began with a solid basis of classical and jazz piano training. The early professional years included stints in several rock, pop and R & B bands. Later on, she performed extensively as a solo act, including a jazz circuit in Japan.

Ongoing attention for her innovations in harmonic overtone singing has led to some unusual performance situations. International appearances have included: guest vocalist with orchestra »Olla Vogala« in Brugge, Belgium (2002), main stage artist at KIEKU throat singing festival in Helsinki, Finland and Nordic House in Reykjavik, Iceland (’01), and only foreign female artist at the International Symposium of Throat Singing in the Republic of Tuva, Russia (1995). In May /08 she performed at the International Polyphonic Festival of Albania (in ancient ruins with her laptop). She was also world tour member with the Crash Test Dummies at the height of their fame, in support of »God Shuffled His Feet« in 1994-1995, where she demonstrated overtoning at each concert. Venues included the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London, and appearances on Saturday Night Live and David Letterman in New York City.

Her debut »The Ladder« (1998) has dreamy, metaphorically rich offerings and elements of jazz, pop, impressionism and worldbeat. Cultural influences such as Tuvan, East Indian, Celtic, Balinese and Japanese are apparent. Roughly half the tracks on »The Ladder« contain some form of this technique. Lyrically, it’s an expression of her personal, theoretical and global ponderings, full of lush imagery and wordplay.

This all comes together with hair raising harmonies and highly melodic vocals that are simultaneously sweet, powerful, innocent and exotic.;

Kiva continues to stretch musical boundaries with the release of »Pulse«. It falls into the category of ‘otherworldly worldbeat’. She creates layers of textural vocals with mostly imaginary language (»vocables«), sometimes imitating instruments, combining this with rhythms from several different cultures. Latin, African, East Indian, Caribbean, and even a little Klezmer, are influences that appear in »Pulse«.

The uplifting results are unique hybrids that meld East and »new« West. From »The Ladder«, »Pulse« and beyond, all her work documents an unorthodox history of study, performance, world travel and experimentation.

Kiva’s third CD- The Quality of Light, released in 2014

The Quality of Light features more overtone singing (on 7 out of 10 tracks) with a strong emphasis on jazzy pop with lyrics, and piano. The last track is totally improvised with world renowned didgeridoo player Ondrej Smeykal.