Huun-Huur-Tu : biography

Archaic voice wonder from Tuva
HHT May 2006 Moscow

Origin: Kyzyl, Tuva

In 1992, Huun-Huur-Tu was founded by Sasha Bapa, his brother, Sayan, and two other musicians, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and Albert Kuvezin. Ever since they have tried to focus on the performance of “old and forgotten songs”, as Sasha put it. Sasha, Sayan, and Kaigal-ool were refugees of one of the large state-managed song and dance ensembles that became fixed institutions of the public cultural life during the Soviet era. For decades these ensembles with their glitzy performances of folk music or pseudo folk music offered the only possibility for young musicians to play indigenous music for a living. Throughout the privatization of the music business in the former Soviet Union, many musicians decided to abandon these state ensembles and form their own groups. The musical results have decidedly been mixed.

In an interview for the American producer and critic, Ted Levin,  Sasha Bapa  explained the meaning of  ‘Huun-Huur-Tu’ as the vertical separation of light rays that one often see out on the grasslands just after sunrise or just before sunset. It seems to be a metaphor for the band’s key element– throat-singing that “consists of producing a deep tone in such a way as to create one or two substantial harmonics. The first harmonic is a humming sound in the mid-range, and on top is a loud whistling tone that the singer raises and lowers to create a weird sort of melody by varying the embouchure” (Jon Sobel, Blogcritics Magazine). In this light and through their heavy touring, Huur-Tu can truly be seen as a leading force in popularizing throat singing or khöömei the past  decades.

However rooted in Tuvan traditions, it would be a mistake to attribute Huun-Huur-Tu to a folk ensemble. For the first time, Huun-Huur-Tu laced in the pop charts with a remix of the title “Eki Attar”. It became Greece’s No.1 hit in the summer of 2002. The ensemble then went on to release a studio project entitled ‘Spirits of Tuva’ with Djs of various nationalities. They have performed with Ry Cooder, Frank Zappa, The Chieftains, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Kronos Quartet and L. Shankar among the others. The ensemble’s collaborations do also include other members of  JARO: Hazmat Modine, The Bulgarian Voices– Angelite, and Moscow Art Trio.

Huun-Huur-Tu’s Style

Huun-Huur-Tu’s style could be best described as profoundly mysterious. This comes as a consequence of their traditional, ritual laryngeal chants descending from Central Asian land of Tuva. This unique song technique reside on developing an enthralling sound cosmos rich in undertones and overtones.

The members of Huun-Huur-Tu have devoted themselves to learning oId songs and tunes, but at the same time their performances reflect the values of globalization. The whistling of the high-mountain wind forms eerie overtones and postmodern statement. The repeated thrum of a string against wood and hide turns into a meditative, evocative figure straight from the avant-garde. The descendants of isolated Siberian herdsmen make serious, strangely universal music out of some of the planets quirkiest acoustics.

The Tuvan acoustic quartet Huun Huur Tu prove that Tuvan music can take plenty of intelligent innovation. Using traditional instruments and drawing subtly on 20th-century composers, Huun Huur Tu transform ancient songs into complex acoustic compositions.

Huun-Huur-Tu’s Performance

As they began touring in the West, Huun Huur Tu almost single-handedly introduced the outside world to the boundless wealth of Tuvan traditions, thanks in great part to their superior musicianship. Hailing from the high pastures of the Altai Mountains in south central Siberia, the musicians have spent decades honing the overtone singing, instrumental approaches, and vibrant songs of their home.

Steeped in Tuvan folklore, the ensemble wears traditional garb and accompanies themselves on string and percussion instruments, playing galloping rhythms that evoke the vast south Siberian steppe. Their tightly structured pieces often imitate natural sounds, so that a song can be a literal representation of a Tuvan landscape.

Jon Sobel of the Blogcritics Magazine characterized the ensemble’s live performance as: “[…] the music is as warmly human as any folk style, and it’s not all khoomei. The four men have six or seven very distinct singing voices among them. Accompanying themselves on plucked and bowed stringed instruments, percussion, and jaw harps, they emulate biological rhythms in song: heartbeats, breathing, a brain drifting in dreamland, and not least (for a nomadic people), a horse’s trot. The songs are about romantic love, love of place, and (not least) horses, with moods that range from lyrical and thoughtful to joyful, humorous and danceable.”  In this sense, the San Francisco Bay Guardian concluded that the Tuvan show: “will ride into your brain and leave hoof-prints up and down your spine.”

http://www.jaro.de/artists/huun-huur-tu/

Tisato G., Ricci Maccarini A., Tran Quang Hai (2001), “Caratteristiche fisiologiche e acustiche del canto difonico”

Tisato G., Ricci Maccarini A., Tran Quang Hai (2001), “Caratteristiche fisiologiche e acustiche del canto difonico”

TQH TISATO 2004

Trân Quang Hai & Graziano Tisato in Venice, 2004

dav

Graziano Tisato & Trân Quang Hai in Padova, 13 october 2017

 

4-Andrea-Ricci-Maccarini-2

Dr. Andrea Ricci Maccarini

Click on this link below to read the integral article illustrated with spectral & acoustical analyses :

Tisato G., Ricci Maccarini A., Tran Quang Hai (2001), “Caratteristiche fisiologiche e acustiche del canto difonico”

II Convegno Internazionale di Foniatria – Ravenna 19 ottobre 2001

Caratteristiche fisiologiche e acustiche del Canto Difonico

Graziano G. Tisato, Andrea Ricci Maccarini, Tran Quang Hai

Introduzione
Il Canto Difonico (Overtone Singing o Canto delle Armoniche) è una tecnica di canto
affascinante dal punto di vista musicale, ma particolarmente interessante anche dal punto di vista scientifico. In effetti con questa tecnica si ottiene lo sdoppiamento del suono vocale in due suoni distinti: il più basso corrisponde alla voce normale, nel consueto registro del cantante, mentre il più alto è un suono flautato, corrispondente ad una delle parziali armoniche, in un registro acuto (o molto acuto). A seconda dell’altezza della fondamentale, dello stile e della bravura, l’armonica percepita può andare dalla seconda alla 18° (e anche oltre).
Per quanto riguarda la letteratura scientifica, il Canto Difonico compare per la prima
volta in una memoria presentata da Manuel Garcia di fronte all’Accademia delle Scienze a Parigi il 16 novembre 1840, relativa alla difonia ascoltata da cantanti Bashiri negli Urali (Garcia, 1847).
In un trattato di acustica pubblicato qualche decennio più tardi (Radau, 1880), la realtà di questo tipo di canto è messa in discussione: “…Si deve classificare fra i miracoli ciò che Garcia racconta dei contadini russi da cui avrebbe sentito cantare contemporaneamente una melodia con voce di petto e un’altra con voce di testa”.
Deve trascorrere quasi un secolo dal 1840 prima che si ottenga un riscontro obbiettivo
della verità del rapporto di Garcia, con le registrazioni fatte nel 1934, fra i Tuva, da etnologi russi. Di fronte all’evidenza della analisi compiuta nel 1964 da Aksenov su quelle registrazioni, i ricercatori cominciarono a prendere in considerazione il problema del Canto Difonico (Aksenov, 1964, 1967, 1973). Aksenov è il primo ad attribuire la spiegazione del fenomeno al filtraggio selettivo dell’inviluppo formantico del tratto vocale sul suono glottico, e a paragonarlo allo scacciapensieri (con la differenza che la lamina di questo strumento può ovviamente produrre solo una fondamentale fissa). In quel periodo compare anche un articolo sul Journal of Acoustical Society of America (JASA) sulla difonia nel canto di alcune sette buddiste tibetane, in cui gli autori interpretano correttamente l’azione delle formanti sulla sorgente glottica, senza
tuttavia riuscire a spiegare come i monaci possano produrre fondamentali così basse (Smith et al., 1967).
A partire dal 1969, Leipp con il Gruppo di Acustica Musicale (GAM) dell’Università
Paris VI s’interessa al fenomeno dal punto di vista acustico (Leipp, 1971). Tran Quang Hai, del Musée de l’Homme di Parigi, intraprende in quel periodo una serie di ricerche sistematiche, che portano alla scoperta della presenza del Canto Difonico in un numero insospettato di tradizioni culturali diverse (Tran Quang,1975, 1980, 1989, 1991a, 1991b, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, e il sito Web http://www.baotram.ovh.org). L’aspetto distintivo della ricerca di Tran Quang Hai è la sperimentazione e verifica sulla propria voce delle diverse tecniche e stili di canto, che gli ha permesso la messa a punto di metodi facili di apprendimento (Tran Quang, 1989). Nel 1989 Tisato analizza e sintetizza il Canto Difonico con un modello LPC, dimostrando per questa via che la percezione degli armonici dipende esclusivamente dalle risonanze del tratto vocale (Tisato, 1989a, 1991). Nello stesso anno anche il rilevamento endoscopico delle corde vocali di Tran Quang Hai confermava la normalità della vibrazione laringea (Sauvage, 1989, Pailler, 1989). Nel 1992 compare uno studio più approfondito dal punto di vista fonetico e percettivo,
che mette in risalto la funzione della nasalizzazione nella percezione della difonia, la presenza di una adduzione molto forte delle corde vocali e una loro chiusura prolungata (Bloothooft et al., 1992). Gli autori contestano l’ipotesi fatta da Dmitriev che il Canto Difonico sia una diplofonia, con due sorgenti sonore prodotte dalle vere e dalle false corde vocali (Dmitriev et al., 1983). Nel 1999 Levin pubblica sul sito Web di Scientific American un articolo particolarmente interessante per gli esempi musicali che si possono ascoltare, le radiografie filmate della posizione degli articolatori e della lingua, e la spiegazione delle tecniche di produzione dei vari stili del Canto Difonico (Levin et al., 1999, http://www.sciam.com/1999/0999issue/0999levin.html).
Il lavoro che presentiamo qui è il risultato di una recente sessione di lavoro con Tran
Quang Hai (ottobre 2001), in cui abbiamo esaminato i meccanismi di produzione del canto difonico con fibroendoscopia. La strumentazione utilizzata era costituita da un fibroendoscopio flessibile collegato ad una fonte di luce stroboscopica, per valutare quello che succedeva a livello della faringe e della laringe, e un’ottica rigida 0°, collegata ad una fonte di luce alogena, per esaminare il cavo orale.

TRAN QUANG HAI on JAPANESE TELEVISION, part 2, December 26, 2012

TRAN QUANG HAI on JAPANESE TELEVISION, part 2, December 26, 2012

Ajoutée le 14 avr. 2012

14 avril 2012 par tranquanghai Dans le cadre de cette émission à caractère documentaire et culturel, la chaîne NTV (Nihon Television) a présenté l’émission à laquelle Tran Quang Hai avait participé “SEKAI MARUMIE TOKUSOBU” (Regardez le Monde de près). Tran Quang Hai y a fait la démonstration de différents types de voix. Cette émission fut diffusée le 26 décembre 2011 au Japon. In the framework of this TV program of documentary and cultural aspect, the NTV channel presented this program in which Tran Quang Hai had participated “SEKAI MARUMIE TOKUSOBU” (Have a close look at the world). Tran Quang Hai gave a demonstration of different types of voices in that program. Site officiel de l’émission / Official website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/marumie

III МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫЙ ФЕСТИВАЛЬ «ХӨӨМЕЙ В ЦЕНТРЕ АЗИИ». “Khöömei in the Center of Asia” День 3. Day 3.

III МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫЙ ФЕСТИВАЛЬ «ХӨӨМЕЙ В ЦЕНТРЕ АЗИИ». “Khöömei in the Center of Asia” День 3. Day 3.

Streamed live on Aug 18, 2019

III МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫЙ ФЕСТИВАЛЬ «ХӨӨМЕЙ В ЦЕНТРЕ АЗИИ» 2019. 3rd International Festival “Khöömei in the Center of Asia” 2019.

MuOM and 200+ voices in Montserrat Mountain Cave (Overtone Singing)

MuOM and 200+ voices in Montserrat Mountain Cave (Overtone Singing)

Ajoutée le 22 mai 2013

Las imágenes muestran diferentes momentos del concierto en la cueva. La música únicamente una pieza y el canto de todo el público al final del concierto…
MuOM is: Josep Mª Aragay Borràs Cumie Dunio Sylvan Farran James Joaquín Manjón Peñalver Riccardo Parenti Moisés M. Pérez Miguélez David Sitges-Sardà
MuOM is a septet overtone singing choir, where all singers use Western techniques of Overtone Singing. In some of the pieces, guttural vocal techniques from Central Asia (Tuva, Mongolia) are used, such as khoomei, sygyt and kargyraa.
MuOM es un septeto coral de cantos armónicos, donde todos los cantantes utilizan técnicas occidentales de canto difónico. Además en algunas de las piezas también se utilizan técnicas vocales guturales y difónicas provenientes del centro de Asia (Tuva, Mongolia), como el khoomei, sygyt y kargyraa.
MuOM és un septet coral de cants harmònics, en el qual tots els cantants utilitzen tècniques occidentals de cant difònic. A més en algunes de les peces també s’utilitzen tècniques vocals guturals i difóniques provinents del centre d’Àsia (Tuva, Mongòlia), com el khoomei, sygyt i kargyraa.

Punk Inuit throat singer | Tanya Tagaq | TEDxMet

Punk Inuit throat singer | Tanya Tagaq | TEDxMet

Ajoutée le 30 sept. 2015

Tanya Tagaq accesses deep emotions and connections in her unusual and powerful performance. Inuk punk Tanya Tagaq has given her visceral, elemental performances from Canada’s Northwest Territories to Carnegie Hall. Her unique vocal expression is rooted in Inuit throat singing, but expands well beyond traditional culture to incorporate electronica, industrial, and metal influences. Tagaq has collaborated with artists ranging from opera singers to experimental DJs, and been honored with a string of Juno nominations. Her latest CD, Animism, features Michael Red, a live programmer whose wild northern field recordings often serve as her de facto backing band. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Lindestad PA1, Södersten M, Merker B, Granqvist S.: Voice Source Characteristics in Mongolian “Throat Singing” Studied with High-Speed Imaging Technique, Acoustic Spectra, and Inverse Filtering

Lindestad PA1, Södersten M, Merker B, Granqvist S.

Voice Source Characteristics in Mongolian “Throat Singing” Studied with High-Speed Imaging Technique, Acoustic Spectra, and Inverse Filtering

Lindestad PA : Karolinska Institute, Department of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden. per-ake.lindestad@logphon.hs.sll.se

Abstract

Mongolian “throat singing” can be performed in different modes. In Mongolia, the bass-type is called Kargyraa. The voice source in bass-type throat singing was studied in one male singer. The subject alternated between modal voice and the throat singing mode. Vocal fold vibrations were observed with high-speed photography, using a computerized recording system. The spectral characteristics of the sound signal were analyzed. Kymographic image data were compared to the sound signal and flow inverse filtering data from the same singer were obtained on a separate occasion. It was found that the vocal folds vibrated at the same frequency throughout both modes of singing. During throat singing the ventricular folds vibrated with complete but short closures at half the frequency of the true vocal folds, covering every second vocal fold closure. Kymographic data confirmed the findings. The spectrum contained added subharmonics compared to modal voice. In the inverse filtered signal the amplitude of every second airflow pulse was considerably lowered. The ventricular folds appeared to modulate the sound by reducing the glottal flow of every other vocal fold vibratory cycle.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12269637