Two New Hours
Program Run Sheets
Two New Hours 16 July/95: Playlist
CD: Interworld Music CD 21907
GLEN VELEZ: Tuva
CD: VIRGIN REALWORLD V2 7243 8 39469 2 1
THREE STYLES OF TUVAN SINGING
CD: Music and Arts CD 736
Mandel Offering of the Universe - Traditional Music of Tibet
Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastary
CD: Celestial Harmonies CD 013/14
David Hykes: Hallelujah
CD: Network Best -NR. 72022
Gelobtes Land #2 (amazing Grace) - Christian Bollman
CD: WERGO SM 1038-50
Michael Vetter: OVERTONES / PART 2
CD: CDA 66115
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Stimmung
CD: Catalyst: 09026-61981-2
Toby Twining: Himalaya
CD: Geffen GEFD
Kitaro: Dream of Chant
CD: Leo records CD LR 190
Sainko Namchylak: Letter 6
RICHARD: Often Two New Hours will have a feature on a composer. Sometimes we'll feature
an outstanding performer. Tonight's show is quite different. Tonight, I have a feature on
a very unusual vocal technique: overtone throat singing.
And I have a guest cohost, broadcaster Rei Uyeyama. She's made quite a study of this
technique. And she has a whole bunch of fascinating examples, ranging from folk traditions
to jazz, pop and concert music.
RICHARD: You may know Rei Uyeyama from her work on other CBC series. She recently
completed a documentary called "One Tone. Two Tones. Overtones" for CBC Ideas
and the Arts Tonight.
But this is her first appearance on Two New Hours. Welcome, Rei.
REI: Hi Richard.
RICHARD: Rei:, before we find out what overtone throat singing is, I want to find out
about you.... how did you get so interested in overtone throat singing?
an etheral, flute-like whistle. It was amazing and so, it became an obsession.
REI: When I was in University, I came across a recording of a twenty-three year old
Mongolian named Bori singing overtones. I couldn't believe what I heard because it sounded
like two musical lines were being sung at exactly the same time. There was a low, droning
ostinato note at the bottom and above it -
RICHARD: What did you find so fascinating about it?
cosmic forces. I think it's part of a deep need in each and every one of us -
REI: A sense of wonder. When you hear or sing overtones, there's a feeling that you're
somehow discovering the mysteries of the universe -
a human impulse -
to commune with nature in a spiritual way.
The sound of overtones themselves have that quality. They're ethereal. It's magic. The
invisible suddenly becomes -
visible. It's like you've been walking around with dark sunglasses on all the time and
all of a sudden, when you take them off -
something you never really heard before suddenly becomes audible to the naked ear. As a
result, you begin to listen on a totally new level.
RICHARD: You've whetted my curiosity. What did you bring today?
a frame drummer and composer of "world music" who taught himself to sing
overtones about fifteen years ago. He's one of the many musicians who uses overtones in
their compositions to create new textures and colours.
REI: I'm going to start with a recording by Glen Velez -
In the piece we're about to hear, Glen Velez uses a scruti box -
used in classical Indian music for tuning purposes -
because it's rich in overtones.
It's called "Tuva" -
our theme for the evening. This is a meditation -
RICHARD: That was Glen Velez doing the overtone singing and accompanying himself on the
sruti box. That's from a disc on the Interworld label.
play with sound. People who heard my documentary have told me about memories they'd had
making funny noises when they were kids. They never realized that they were singing
overtones. When we grow up, we're conditioned to vocalise in specific ways. Certain sounds
are "socially acceptable" and we get lost in complexities. Singing overtones is
a way to get back in touch with the child within you.
Rei Uyeyama is my guest tonight and our guide through the world of overtone singing. Rei:,
that was phenomenal. Do you need to have a special kind of physiology... a twin larynx or
something, or can anyone do that.
REI: Anyone can sing overtones. It's something that doesn't require a lot of training like
operatic singing. I attended a workshop Glen Velez gave at a Music Therapy Conference
recently. After practicing for about an hour, a roomful of about fourty music therapists
were singing overtones.
It's something do as children -
RICHARD: Now that piece was in homage to Tuva.... who are the Tuvans? and why are they
about one fifth the size of Britsh Columbia -
REI: I never thought you'd ask, Richard. Tuva is a small, independent country in Southern
just north of the Gobi desert. It's surrounded by the Sayan and Altai mountains on three
sides. About 380,000 people live in Tuva. For centuries, Tuva has been occupied and
influenced by the ancient Greeks, Scythians, Huns, Mongols, Turks, Tibetans, Chinese,
Russians and now -
the West. You can send a fax to Kyzyl, their capital city. Tuvans have MTV, walkmans and
RICHARD: What's the connection with Tuva and overtone throat-singing?
a form of vocal olympics. Some of the overtone throat-singing styles had to be performed
on horseback. The winners were honoured with livestock or special robes and and were
thought to possess supernatural powers.
REI: Tuva is the "Overtone Throat-singing capital of the world". They have over
a dozen known overtone throat-singing styles and the people are very musical. Somehow,
overtone throat-singing is still very well-preserved in Tuva probably because they've been
more isolated from outside influences because of their geography and political history.
But, don't let me mislead you. In Central Asia, overtone throat-singing is part of the
music traditions of Tibet, Mongolia, and Siberia. Some of the other cultures who also sing
overtones include the Oirats, Khakass, Bashkirs, Kirghis, Kazakhians, Yakuts and
Azerbaijainis. Traditionally, there were secular vocal music festivals called
"toj". They were attended by thousands of Central Asian pastoral nomads from the
surrounding steppe. There were singing contests of overtone throat-singing -
RICHARD: I've never met a Tuvan. Have you? What do they look like?
mostly short, stocky and muscular. But in costume, they really look like something out
of a Genghis Khan picture book. Their robes are rich colours of blue, red, gold, and
REI: There's a saying that if you meet a Tuvan, it brings you luck. I've met eight. What
do they look like? They look Asian -
silks and brocades. The hats they wear are trimmed with fur and cone-shaped.
Traditionally, the men and women wear their hair long -- down to their waist -
often in braids. They have elf-like boots with toes that curl up.
RICHARD: What's the place of overtone singing in Tuvan society.... If I happen to take
a stroll down main street in Kyzyl, will I hear Tuvans doing this all over the place?
master overtone throat-singer, Kongar-ool Ondar.
REI: Well, first of all, it's an oral tradition. It's not written down.
It's also something that only men and boys do. You learn it from your father or your
uncles. It's a living tradition that's passed on from generation to generation.
One of my favourite Tuvans is a nine year-old boy called Bady Dorzhu Ondar. He came to the
Glenn Gould Studio here at the CBC with his teacher -
You can hear him sing two distinct overtone throat-singing styles here. The high,
whistling style called "sigit" which imitates the sound of birds and a bit of
the "frog" voice -
the low "kargiraa".
RICHARD: It's hard to believe that's a nine year old kid.... I was having difficulty
with Beach Boy songs when I was nine. Can ALL Tuvan kids do this?
a Lyceum for the arts in the capital city of Kyzyl. It's run by Tuvans and was
established to preserve the culture in their country after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
REI: Bady Dorzhu Ondar's been studying overtone throat-singing for two years. He's just
one of many musically gifted children attending a school -
RICHARD Rei:, some time ago you prepared a documentary that demonstrates how overtone
singing is done..... We're going to play two clips from your documentary that demonstrates
Glen Velez will talk about how to sing them.
What are we going to hear on this tape?
REI: On this clip we're going to hear two contrasting demonstrations of this technique.
First, we'll hear from Ted Levin whose an ethnomusicologist at Dartmouth College and the
first musician from the West allowed into Tuva to record their music. His demonstration
takes a more scientific approach After his demonstration of overtones, composer and
RICHARD: That was Ted Levin and Glen Velez demonstrating 2 different styles of overtone
singing. That was a segment of a documentary that Rei Uyeyama prepared for CBC's IDEAS,
back in January of this Year and Rei Uyeyama is my guest on TWO NEW HOURS tonight. Rei,
later on in the program, we're going to hear part of a live Tuvan concert from Toronto's
Music Gallery...and we just happen to have a new recording by this same group of Tuvans.
I'd like to play the track the demonstrates the various styles of overtone singing... Rei
maybe you can tell us what we're going to hear?
sigit, kargiraa, enzengileer, borbannadir, and khoomei. From these, there's a branching
out of sub-styles. If you're a master overtone throat-singer, you may create your own
sub-style or have one named after you. (The Richard Style) "Sigit" -
REI: I mentioned earlier that there are over a dozen overtone throat-singing styles in
Tuva. They're based on five basic styles -
the style you just heard the nine year old Tuvan boy sing, means "whistle" in
Tuvan. The "kargiraa" style -
or frog voice is an onomatopoeic word in Tuvan that means "to speak in a hoarse or
husky voice". It's very close in sound to the overtone chanting of the Tibetan
Buddhist monks you'll be hearing a little later. To give you an example of a sub-style,
there's one called "steppe kargiraa". A singer stands on the windblown steppe or
plateau and turns his head at a right angle to the wind and carefully shapes his lips.
When he sings the effect is like blowing across an open bottle top -
the wind amplifies the vocally produced overtones.
The Tuvan medley we're about to hear begins with a popular kargiraa tune called
sung in the low, frog voice. You'll also hear the high, whistling "sigit"
style accompanied by a traditional two-stringed lute called doshpuluur. At the end of the
medley, the word "shu-de" is vocalized. It's sort of like "hey" or
"high ho silver".
RICHARD: We've just heard a medley of two Tuvan overtone throat singing styles
performed by vocalists Oleg Kuular and Mergen Mongush and Leonid Oorzhak was also singing
and playing the Tuvan lute,
the doshpuluur. And we'll hear more from the Tuvans from a live concert from Toronto's
Music Gallery later in tonight's program.
I'm Richard Paul and you're listening to Two New Hours. My guest tonight is Rei Uyeyama
and tonight we're taking a look at is very specific kind of extended vocal technique
called overtone throat singing. Rei, I must admit that the Tuvans were new to me until
tonight... but I HAVE heard the Tibetan Monks sing overtones. They sound like the some of
the low growling sounds that we've heard by the Tuvans. Is there a connection here?
REI: (still researching)
Secular vs. sacred tradition.
Connection with shamanism in both.
Stone from Kongar-ool
closeness to nature.
Intro Tibetan chant master and explain.
Explain what happens when the chant master is joined by monks
RICHARD: We've just heard Offering of the Universe
Traditional Music of Tibet Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery. That's
from a Music and Arts CD. Rei, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that in the west we've
been exposed to the Tibetan style of Overtone singing more than we have to the Tuvan
REI: Yes, when I interviewed the chantmaster and spoke to the monks, I was told that under
normal circumstances, these overtones have only been allowed to be sung in certain Tantric
monasteries. The chants not only sacred, but secret.
RICHARD: but THE SECRET IS OUT, ISN'T IT? The Tibetan monks HAVE BEEN TOURING the world
who composes music himself, feels that we in the West are living in a time of great
turmoil and darkness. Overtones are a way to bring enlightenment to the West.
REI: I was told by this group which was sent by the Dalai Lama, that it's part of a sacred
mission. The sounds of the overtones themselves are powerful and have a healing quality.
The Dalai Lama -
New Age movement influenced. Composers such as David Hykes and The Harmonic Choir. ****
RICHARD: Okay Rei, let's listen to David Hykes with Hallelujah. This music was actually
recorded in a monastery in France where David Hykes lives.
RICHARD: That was Hallelujah. David Hykes, Michelle Hykes and Timothy Hill were the
vocalists and drummers. You're listening to Two New Hours and I am Richard Paul. With me
in the studio is Rei Uyeyama. Rei has made a study of the extended vocal technique called
overtone singing and tonight we're taking a look at some of the various styles of this art
form. Rei, it seems that Europeans are fascinated with this ... why is that?
Intro Amazing Grace.
RICHARD: That has to be one of the most unusual performance of Amazing Grace that I've
heard.... That was sung in overtones by Christian Bollman. That recording is available on
the Network Best label and is called= Drehmomente.
Rei, we've just heard a performance by a German singer. And next, I'd like to offer some
music by another German exponent of overtone singing. Michael Vetter has been interested
in this technique for about 25 years. Vetter is a pretty unusual character. He's formally
trained in Theology. And he's a self-taught musician and painter. He's also a Zen Buddhist
monk. In fact, he spent 12 years in a monastery in Japan. He's also an expert in Japanese
Vetter's interest in overtone singing stems from his practice of meditation. Earlier, you
mentioned that the Tibetan Buddhist monks believe that overtone singing promotes healing
and peace. Vetter believes the same thing. And he teaches his techniques at an institute
in the Black Forest in= Germany.
Here's a sample of his music. He accompanies himself on an Indian drone instrument called
RICHARD: That was an excerpt of Michael Fetter performing some of the 45-minute piece
he calls Overtones.
RICHARD: I mentioned that Michael Vetter is a self-taught musician. During the 60s, he
attained a certain amount of fame as a recorder virtuoso. And he attracted the attention
of Karlheinz Stockhausen, who invited him to join his group of musicians.
Like Fetter, Stockhausen is very involved in mysticism. As far back as the early 1950s, he
insisted that musicians have a sense of ritual when performing his music. In the early
60s, he began to develop his own brand of mysticism. He has taken bits and piece from
cultures and religions all over the world. The piece we'll hear shows that.
In 1968, he wrote Stimmung.It uses the technique of overtone singing. Now, whether he
became interested in this technique from his association with Michael Vetter we don't
know. It may even have been the other way around. Stockhausen was inspired to write this
piece during a trip to Mexico. He spent a month walking through the Aztec and Mayan ruins.
He says that he relived ancient rituals, some of which were very cruel.
That cruelty isn't in this piece. But the names of the ancient Aztec gods and goddesses
are. A lot of the texts are descriptions of these gods, their properties and duties. Some
of it's pretty racy stuff.
Now, we're not going to hear all of Stimmung. Some performances of it run about an hour
and a half. But I want you to hear an excerpt.
Here's the English vocal group called Sing circle with some of their version of Sitmmung
by Karlheinz Stockhausen.
RICHARD: That was a section of Stimmung by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was performed by
the English group Singcircle. The members of the group are sopranos Suzanne Flowers and
Penelope Walmsley-Clark, mezzo Nancy Long, tenor Rogers Covey-Crump, baritone Gregory Rose
and bass Paul Hillier.
Sacred vs. secular. Stimmung is definately secular -
sensual text and sound textures.
spiritual innerness -
stillness of time.
RICHARD We've just heard an English group doing overtone singing. And now, I'd like play a
recording by another vocal group from England. They have a great name -
they're called Electric Phoenix. We'll hear them sing a piece by a composer named
WIlliam Brooks. Brooks wrote a set of piece that he calls Madrigals. And for one of these,
The Silver Swan, he uses a text that was set in a very famous madrigal by the 16th-century
English composer Orlando Gibbons.
REI: When I heard the recording... Silver Swan
tight-throated / tension on larynx / nasal
talk about singing technique
RICHARD: Here's Electric Phoenix with The Silver Swan by William Brooks.
RICHARD: That was the Silver Swan a Madrigal by William Brooks.... it was sung by
Electric Phoenix ______________ Rei .. that was an example of how contemporary composers
are incorporating this style of overtone singing into their compositions. I also
understand that pop groups are experimenting a little bit with these musical ideas. You
have a recording by a group called Toby Twining. And you have it with you.
Intro Toby Twining. Versatile, fresh ideas.
Electric Phoenix stayed within the perimeters of "new music" in the classical
sense. Toby Twining, a similar vocal ensemble -
is reaching beyond this to popularize sounds and textures using overtones. One of their
models is Bobby McFerrin.
This selection reflects Tibetan influence but their recording includes jazzy syncopated
pieces and yodelling with overtones.
RICHARD: From a disc on the Catalyst label, that was Toby Twining with Himalaya.
Extro and react to Toby Twining Music
Frank Zappa, Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, Philip Glass, performances with the
RICHARD: Rei, I see that you came in with a disc by that monarch of mellow
Kitaro... don't tell me he does overtone singing as well.
Talk about conversation and meeting with Kitaro.
His use of overtones
new age approach.
RICHARD: That was Kitaro with Dream of Chant... that's from a disc on the Geffen label.
Rei Uyeyama is my Guest on Two New Hours tonight and we're taking a look at overtone
singing. While listening to Kitaro, I realised that we've heard this music sung mostly by
men... is this a guy thing or what... can women do this as well?
Intro Sainko Namchylak
Yma Sumac of Tuva
Restrictions for Tuvan women singing overtones. Changes.This is Sainko's letter to
"Papa" back home in Tuva. She wrote it in Tokyo -
in Russian on March 11th, 1993.
Letter 6 :
RICHARD: Extro Sainko Namchylak and intros Tuvan concert form the Music Gallery. The
same group of Tuvans that we heard at the beginning of the show actually were touring
recently.Two New Hours recorded this group Live in concert from Toronto's Music Gallery.
Rei, what can you tell us about the music we're going to hear in this concert?
Song of Praise
Rei, what's the next song we'll hear?
master overtone throat-singer. Thirty years old.
RICHARD: From the Music Gallery in Toronto, we're listening to a concert of traditional
music from Tuva. The group is the Ensemble Eye Karelle. That performance was by master
overtone throat singer GEN-nadi Tumat REI:
Talk about Tuvan language
Part of oral tradition to teach children how to enunciate
Sigit and khoomus
Ensemble song at end -
Ends with shudeh!
RICHARD: From the Music Gallery in Toronto, we're listening to a concert of traditional
music from Tuva. The group is the Ensemble Ay-Kherel. The members are Gennadi Tumat,
Vladimir Soyan, Orlan Ch=FCdekpen and Leonid= Oorzhak. I'm Richard Paul. This is Two New
Hours. My guest tonight is Rei Uyeyama.
"My Rich Taiga"
talk about taiga forest
Kargiraa with igil
long-necked three string fiddle. The sits the igil up vertically and rests the stem of
the igil in his left boot, under his knee while he bows across the strings. Very rich in
story behind it.
RICHARD: From the Music Gallery in Toronto, we've heard a concert of traditional music
from Tuva sung by the Ensemble Ay-Kherel. The members are Gennadi Tumat, Vladimir Soyan,
Orlan Ch=FCdekpen and Leonid Oorzhak. The concert was produced by Ann McKeigen. David
Quinney was the recording engineer.
Immediately following the concert you're about to hear, this same group performed at the
premiere of "Noah" in Amsterdam.
First opera that uses overtone throat-singing techniques
It's a contemporary interpretation of the Biblical story of Noah written by Dutch
composer Friso Haverkamp
Uses two Western operatic singers in the role of Noah and Mrs. Noah, four Tuvan overtone
throat-singings and and orchestra of twenty-four players
The opera is half composed and half improvised
Tuvans provided sounds -
using the kargyraa and sigit styles -for the "natural elements" -
winds, the sea, a rainbow, birds and mammals
For example: they would vocalise "Chinook" when they're a North American= wind
When I asked Friso Haverkamp why he chose to use overtone throat-singing textures in his
opera, he replied: "Purity. It's that simple. No tricks. It's not artificial. It
sounds like pure nature".
RICHARD: And that's about it for Two New Hours for this week. I would be remiss in my
duties, if I didn't thank the terrific people who helped me put tonight's show together.
The executive producer of Two New Hours is David Jaeger, and our studio engineer is David
Quinney. Our studio director is Denise Grison. The music consultant is Larry Lake. Thanks
also to Alan Gasser for his contribution to tonight's program. And also to my guest
tonight Rei Uyeyama.
I would also like to thank you for your input. Your letters and calls are welcome and
helpful. If you would want to drop me a note, you could reach me at. Two New Hours, CBC,
Box 500, Station A, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1E6. Or, if you'd rather call, you could do that
as well. If I am not in the office you could always reach my voice mail... the number is
416 205-8577. I'm Richard Paul. But don't go to bed yet.... This is Art will be along
right after the news. If there's any connection at all between Heavy metal, John Coltrane
Beethoven or Tuvan overtone throat singing... Art will find a connection John Cage.... Art
will find it. I'm Richard Paul, and I'll be back next week at our usual time with Two New
And while I am on the topic of thankyous
The CBC Radio Home Page.