Friday, November 14, 2014


“Voice Masking” is at once a universal shamanic practice, yet in many ways is viewed as a primeval imitation of various sounds of nature and the music produced by the wind in natural formations. . . . The remarkable mechanics behind the xhöömeij style of throat singing have been widely discussed in recent times; yet few vintage recordings have ever surfaced save for some expeditionary and institutional collections. . . . [About 1930] a contingent of Oriental musicians and singers made their way to Berlin . . . specifically to record examples of traditional song. . . . On “Mon-Gu Tuul 2”, a vocal duet, we hear the lower or “hoarse” part (no pun intended) sung in the style the Tuvans refer to as Kargara on the type of song that would fill a winter’s night or an autumn hunt’s eve. 
—adapted from Pat Conte’s notes to The Secret Museum of Mankind: Central Asia (Yazoo, 1996).  

Anonymous • “Mon-Gu Tuul” 2 • ca. 1930
(xhöömeij duet from Mongolia)

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