I offer individual lessons and prefer real contact to people,
especially for learning singing. If you can manage to come to Upper
Austria and want to learn, let me know & be welcome, or also let me
know where you live, if there are enough people from one region it’s
possible to organize a workshop there, or probably I am travelling to
your town and we can meet when I’m there some time.
SOME PAST DATES:
Supersonus @InnTöne Festival 2019. Soloconcert with Anna-Maria
Hefele @ Black Forest Voices, 30.06.2019. Lecture & Workshop @
Fonetic conference Stockholm (SE). Contemporary Short Opera performances
(Taschenopernfestival Salbzurg) in Solingen together with Musikfabrik
Köln 2018. Supersonus @ Teatro Comunale, Modena (IT), 04.05.2018.
Anna-Maria Hefele & Thomas Radlwimmer @ Festival Mixtour Lemgo (DE),
22.09.2018. Ars Choralis 2018. With Kammerchor I Vocalisti: concerts at
Stiftskirche Stuttgart, Ulmer Münster,
Hamburg/Quickborn/Lübeck/Lütjensee 2018. February 17th 2018 concert in
St. Petersburg, Russia, Mariinsky Theatre with Kammerchor I Vocalisti. Singer and teacher (2018) @ London Acapella Festival and A CAPE’LLA- Festival Aoutour de la Voix. Singer @ Festival Angelica, Bologna,
working with Heiner Goebbels & Tiziano Popoli on contemporary music
involving overtones. Singer and performer (opera composed by Birke
Bertelsmeier) @ Taschenopernfestival Salzburg
with Thierry Bruehl, Hans-Peter Jahn, OENM and more. Organisation,
performing & teaching at the 1st austrian overtone festival @ Pankratium Gmünd, August 2017. Workshop, Vortrag & concert
@ chor.com Dortmund, also with Kammerchor I Vocalisti (2017). Speaker @
symposium for micrtotonal music, Salzburg (2017), singer & teacher
@ Aarhus Vocal Festival (2017), speaking @ International Congress of
Voice Teachers, Stockholm 2017. Concert @ Europäisches
Kirchenmusikfestival Schwäbisch Gmünd with Supersonus (2017), concert @ Bach-Festival Arnstadt with Kammerchor I Vocalisti (2017),Gent Festival
van Vlaanderen Belgium (2016), Konzerthaus Blaibach (Sept. 2016), Bozar
Belgium (2015), Barbican London (2015), Klangfestival Naturstimmen
Toggenburg CH (2016), Ossola Guitar Festival IT (2016), Franz K.
Reutlingen (2016), Alte Oper Frankfurt (2015), Scala Ludwigsburg (2015),
Theaterhaus Stuttgart (with Orchester der Kulturen), Lisboa Todos
Festival (2015), Workshop @ Labyrinth,
Crete, Workshops @ Musikhochschule Hannover and Musikhochschule Hamburg
& Mozarteum Salzburg, speaking and presenting @ Ars Choralis Zagreb
& International Voice Symposion Salzburg….
affascinante scandagliare le possibilità dello strumento voce nelle sue
possibili divagazioni timbriche a creare un linguaggio dove è il corpo
dentro che suona e danza.
Ripropongo il canto armonico, il kargiraa, il xoomij, i sovracuti e
altri timbri e tecniche come veicoli possibili per liberare la voce
dalle convenzioni in cui siamo stati abituati e il linguaggio da regole
compositive lessicali e metriche.
Attraverso esercizi, collettivi e individuali, di concentrazione,
riscaldamento, ascolto e imitazione, si cercherà di investigare il
proprio strumento corpo/voce alla ricerca di varianti timbriche,
melodiche e ritmiche a creare un linguaggio/suono che permetta una
comunicazione trasversale più diretta al sensibile umano.
Grande importanza verrà data all’ascolto, non solo a quello relativo
all’udito, ma, in senso esteso l’ascolto a tutto se stessi, laddove è il
corpo che si fa sensibile diventando un grande orecchio teso alle parti
più nascoste di noi alla ricerca delle nostre profondità più
It is fascinating to fathom the possibilities of the voice instrument in its possible tonal digressions to create a language where the body inside that plays and dances.
I propose harmonic singing, kargiraa, xoomij, overtones and other timbres and techniques as possible vehicles to free the voice from the conventions in which we have been accustomed and the language of lexical and metric compositional rules.
Through exercises, collective and individual, of concentration, warming up, listening and imitation, we will try to investigate our body / voice instrument in search of tonal, melodic and rhythmic variants to create a language / sound that allows a more direct transversal communication to the sensitive human.
Great importance will be given to listening, not only to that relating to hearing, but, in an extended sense, listening to one's whole self, where it is the body that becomes sensitive, becoming a great ear stretched out to the most hidden parts of us at search for our most unknown depths.
article by Eleonora La Rocca on VORREI
Ore 13:30 – 18:30 “Overtune singing e canto difonico”
Laboratorio con Tran Quang Hai
workshop with Tran Quang Hai which isfull
il laboratorio con
Tran Quang Hai che è alcompleto
“Longing” Anna-Maria Hefele in concerto.
Voce e arpa
Torna a Gubbio dal 3 al 10 novembre il
festival Umbria in Voce, “festa della voce” unica nel suo genere
che quest’anno giunge alla sua V edizione con un cartellone
artistico di altissimo livello, grazie alla presenza di artisti
internazionali e molteplici eventi aperti a tutti, tra cui concerti,
conferenze, seminari, laboratori e presentazioni. Organizzato dall’Associazione Archè con il sostegno
del Comune di Gubbio e in collaborazione con un gruppo di
cittadini volontari, il Festival è stato ideato dalla cantante e
performer Claudia Fofi che ne cura la direzione artistica, e
ha ospitato negli anni grandi artisti della voce e della parola come John
De Leo, Franco Arminio, Albert Hera, Mauro Tiberi, Keba Sech e Marta Raviglia.
Unica nel suo genere, la manifestazione apre al pubblico e ai suoi partecipanti
la possibilità di sperimentare nuovi linguaggi e di creare
un luogo di incontro fisico e di gioia genuina tra le persone:
funzione che un tempo era svolta dal canto popolare o di tradizione
orale e chevuole essere attualizzata creando delle “comunità
cantanti” in cui le persone si incontrano per vivere delle occasioni
formative di altissimo livello, sempre aperte a tutti e non per specialisti.
Un evento che diviene dunque propulsore sociale, attivatore di relazioni,
creatore di benessere immateriale. Location d’eccezione, le Sale dell’ex Refettorio di una
delle biblioteche più antiche d’Italia: la Biblioteca Sperelliana,
uno dei tanti patrimoni artistici dell’incantevole città di Gubbio.
della V edizione si conferma denso di appuntamenti d’eccellenza e si
pregia anzitutto di due importanti presenze di alto livello
internazionale, che incarnano la dedica del festival al grande artista e
sperimentatore della voce Demetrio Stratos, di cui quest’anno
ricorre il quarantennale dalla scomparsa.
Primo tra gli ospiti, il vietnamita Tran Quang Hai, il più grande
esperto e maestro al mondo del canto difonico: una tecnica vocale di
origine sciamanica diffusa in Mongolia, in Siberia e in Sudafrica che ha
introdotto nella musica contemporanea ricevendo molti riconoscimenti
internazionali. Raffinato interprete delle tradizioni musicali dell’Estremo
Oriente, è stato maestro di artisti come Demetrio Stratos, e dal 1968 fa
parte del gruppo di ricerca del CNRS, dipartimento di musicologia presso il
Musée de l’Homme di Parigi. Sabato 9 novembre alle 13.30 sarà
protagonista del seminario “Overtune singing e canto difonico”,
della durata di 5 ore (info: email@example.com).
Altro ospite attesissimo è il fenomeno musicale Anna
Maria Hefele: cantante, polistrumentista e compositrice tedesca,
protagonista del video virale “Polyphonic Overtone Singing”. Il suo è un canto
che si muove tra diverse tecniche – dalla musica classica al canto armonico –
accompagnandosi con strumenti inusuali come l’arpa e la fascinosa e ipnotica
nyckelharpa svedese. Per Umbria in Voce sarà protagonista sabato 9
novembrealle 21.30 del concerto “Longing” per
arpa e voce, presentando la sua versatilità vocale in un “solo” che pochi
cantanti al mondo possono affrontare con disinvoltura e vera bravura: dal
folklore scandinavo e italiano del XVI secolo a Brian Eno, passando per
composizioni originali in un unico viaggio che porta il pubblico in un mondo
misterioso in cui il virtuosismo è al servizio della partecipazione emotiva e
del mondo etereo e sognante di questa magnifica artista.
The program of the V edition confirms itself to be full of excellent events
and first of all has the honor of two important presences of high international
level, which embody the dedication of the festival to the great artist and
experimenter of the voice Demetrio Stratos, of which this year mEarks the forty
year since disappearance.
First among the guests, the Vietnamese Tran Quang Hai, the greatest expert and
master in the world of difonic singing: a vocal technique of shamanic origin
widespread in Mongolia, Siberia and South Africa which he introduced into
contemporary music receiving many international awards. Refined interpreter of
the musical traditions of the Far East, he was a master of artists such as
Demetrio Stratos, and since 1968 he is part of the research group of the CNRS,
department of musicology at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. Saturday 9 November
at 13.30 will be the protagonist of the seminar “Overtone singing and singing
difonico”, lasting 5 hours (info: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Another highly anticipated guest is the musical phenomenon Anna Maria
Hefele: singer, multi-instrumentalist and German composer, protagonist of the
viral video “Polyphonic Overtone Singing”. His is a song that moves between
different techniques – from classical music to harmonic singing – accompanied
by unusual instruments such as the harp and the fascinating and hypnotic
Swedish nyckelharpa. For Umbria in Voce it will be the protagonist on Saturday
November 9th at 9.30pm of the “Longing” concert for harp and voice, presenting
its vocal versatility in a “solo” that few singers in the world can face with
ease and true skill: from Scandinavian and Italian folklore of 16th century to
Brian Eno, passing through original compositions in a single journey that takes
the public into a mysterious world where virtuosity is at the service of
emotional participation and the ethereal and dreamy world of this magnificent
The most prolific researcher in the field of overtone singing is a
man with many faces. His name is Tran Quang Hai and you can call him
(and all options are correct): Vietnamese or French; a professional
musician or a professional musicologist; an instrumentalist or a singer;
an improviser or a composer; a traditional, a popular or an
experimental musician (all three will do); an expert in Vietnamese
traditional musics and an astute chronicler of its year-to-year
development in the past decades.* Tran Quang Hai has a new book out
celebrating his 50 years of music research in many different areas. We
recently met in Paris, where he shared some interesting facts about the
Vietnamese Jew’s harp (dan moi) I did not know before. On the
trip back to Amsterdam I read most of the articles in his book that I
had not seen before, so more on that too. Before talking about our
meeting, his book and the origin of the word dan moi (Jew’s harp), some historical background. Since Hai is Tran Quang Hai’s first name I will refer to him as Hai.
I learned of Hai’s work on overtone singing in the early 1990s. When I
got to know him personally, I was astounded and (I will admit) a bit
intimidated by his unbridled energy. He loves to share what he does, and
he is in fact overflowing with enthusiasm: for overtone singing, for
Vietnamese music, for playing the Jew’s harp and spoons, for
ethnomusicology, for his constant travels as a performer and teacher.
After my visits I was usually exhilirated (about all the new things I
had learned or shared with him) and at the same time exhausted (feeling
my life was a mess with no progress at all).
In fact, going to Paris has been almost synonymous with visiting Hai and his lovely wife Bach Yen (whose singing carreer goes way way back).
And these visits became almost synonymous with absolutely great
Vietnamese food. Bach Yen often spent hours and hours to buy fine
ingredients like all kinds of fresh leaves, vegetables, seafood and meat
and prepare them the Vietnamese way. We would have excellent diners,
drank nice wine, as the couple made an annual ‘pilgrimage’ to different
regions in France to stock up on boxes of quality wine to share with
friends at home.
After moving to Taiwan, my encounters with Tran Quang Hai were
scarce, and visits to both of them even more. In 2019, it has been
around ten years since we last met in Paris. So I was delighted to see
them again some weeks ago. Tran Quang Hai retired a decade ago from the
ethnomusicology department at the Musée de L’Homme in Paris, but has
remained an active performer and workshop leader for all these years.
Bach Yen is a famous singer of popular songs and entertainment music, as
well as a singer of many different genres of traditional music.
Together they have given hundreds of concerts in Europe and elsewhere,
and they continue to do so. Here is a photo of their appearance in Genoa, Italy, a week or so after I met them.
Late August, when I walked down the platform of Gare de Lyon, Hai and
Bach Yen were waiting for me. Once again I was overwhelmed to be in
their buzzing, energetic presence. The first thing they did, was to get
out their cameras and make many photos together. Then we strolled to
their car, and their warm hands and arms embraced my arms. I sometimes
think of myself as someone who easily touches people, but this time I
thought I am quite distant compared to them. It was really (excusez le
mot) touching to stroll down the platform chatting and to be
‘wrapped’ by their tender hands and arms on both sides. Hai told me once
about using his hands to heal people and showed me some methods. But it
seems the couple just radiates warmth and energy naturally, even
without using a special method.
For our Vietnamese food, this time we drove to a place called Pho Bida, pronounced Fo Beeyaa. Pho is the famous Vietnamese noodle soup, but what about Bida?
It turns out to be derived from ‘billiard’, as the former location of
this restaurant housed a popular billiard room as well. The place is not
very spacious but we were early and could chose any seat. By the time
we left lots of people waited outside. The food was great and loved by
Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese alike: highly recommended! (Pho Bida Vietnam, 36 rue Nationale, 75013 Paris)
Tran Quang Hai’s New Book
When we sat down, Hai gave me his new book, a thick volume with many
of his articles and listst of all his achievements, titles, appearances,
etc. organized in a single volume. Some articles I have known for a
long time. So I particularly enjoyed reading those things I did not know
First, an article about Vietnamese music and its historical
background, very helpful for understanding the relationship to Chinese
music and culture. It also covers many of the recent developments in
Vietnamese music, making it in effect a kind of encyclopaedic entry into
Vietnam and all its music. With this work Hai most clearly follows in
the footsteps of his late father Tran Van Khe, also a well-known
musician and musicologist.
“Tran Quang Hai. 50 Years of Research in Vietnamese Traditional Music and Overtone Singing.”
Second, an article that accompanied a double CD issued in France in
1997, dedicated to the absolutely fascinating world of mountain tribe
musics in Vietnam. There is a dazzling array of types of instruments and
ways of playing, and these liner notes give a good overview of this
If you are interested in overtone singing and still love printed
matter, as I do myself, then this is a good way to get your (physical)
hands on several key articles on this technique by Dr. Tran Quang Hai
and understand the background of his research. (Note for academic
readers: for research purposes it is better to consult online pdfs of
the articles in their original format). Available here.
Tran Quang Hai and the Dan Moi
During our lunch I also learned where the common name of the
Vietnamese brass Jew’s harp comes from. It is usually referred to as dan moi, which is a Vietnamese word (compare for example dan tranh/đàn tranh, the plucked zither, or the unique one-string zither dan bau/đàn bầu).
However, the thin, finely crafted Jew’s harp, probably smaller than any
other type of Jew’s harp, originates from the mountain tribes who live
close to Yunnan in South China. The Hmong’s native language and culture
has little to do with that of the dominant Viet or Kinh ethnic group,
who are historically tied to China. When travelling in the mountains in
North Vietnam (around Sapa), I encountered the Hmong people who play
this instrument and managed to get one made locally by their craftsmen.
They referred to it as gya, phonetically speaking, though in writing it is referred to as djam. A
personal note from Tran Quang Hai shortly after publishing this post:
the Hmong name of the Jew’s harp is ncas (pronounced ncha).
The djam I bought in Sapa from girls who played the instrument along the mountain road. (photo by the author).
So I asked Hai how the name dan moi came about. He
explained: there is no Jew’s harp in the music of the ethnic Vietnamese.
So when he learned about the traditions of the mountain people around
50 years ago, he had to make up a new name himself in order to
accommodate the minorities’ instrument in the system and language of
Vietnam. To use ‘dan’ (meaning ‘instrument’) was an obvious beginning
point. Hai decided to add ‘moi’ for lips, to designate it is played
between the lips. Most brass or metal Jew’s harps are held against the
teeth, with the lamella vibrating between the teeth; the dan moi
is held between the lips and vibrates there. In this sense it is more
like a type of wooden or bamboo Jew’s harp, particularly the ones
vibrated by a string attached to one side.
A Hmong girl playing the djam for me in 2003 (photo by the author).
The dan moi went on to become a very popular instrument around the
world once non-Vietnamese musicians discovered them, at the turn of the
millenium. Many people asked me for it when I brought them back in 2003.
I remember giving one to Tuvan throat singer Sainkho around 2004. She
immediately fell for its bright sound and expressive qualities, and
asked for more several times after (and so did other people). At the
same time, a German company saw the potential of this cheap instrument
to reach a huge audience and set up (web)shop, calling it www.danmoi.com. It has a become a one-stop shop to buy all kinds of Jew’s harps. So dan moi, Hai’s new name for the djham, a minority instrument, and for Jew’s harps in general, now has become sort of a symbol of 21st
century global Jew’s harp culture. And it seems to be growing year by
year: here in Taiwan I have seen many new Jew’s harp enthusiasts taking
the stages recently, often sporting a collection of world Jew’s harps,
including, of course, the dan moi.
Here is a video where you see the movement of the dan moi lamella in slow motion, played by Hai’s student Dang Khai Nguyen.
(the blog itself amounts to a ‘wikipedia’ of sorts for
throat/overtone singing, where you will find a huge amount o copies of
scientific and popular articles, videos, and indeed copies of wikipedia
entries, as well as some original posts about Hai’s workshops and
Go here to find more entries in English and in Vietnamese:
Finally, back to some Asian flavour, but East-Asian instead of the
South-East Asian of Hai’s origins. Here is a hilarious video from the
time Hai was flown into Japan to demonstrate overtone/throat singing in a
hypertheatrical popular entertainment program.
* OK, for this one I have no way to tell if it is true, but Hai does
mention in his new book (page 32) that he wrote “more than 500 articles
in Vietnamese for 30 Vietnamese magazines in America, Europe, Asia and