Rochester, NY –Back by popular demand after the group’s last sold-out show at the Eastman School of Music in 1995, Huun-Huur-Tu returns to Kilbourn Hall on Tuesday, January 24 at 8 p.m.
According to paleo-musicologists, throat singing, or khöömei, is the most ancient form of music making known to human beings. It was developed by sheep and reindeer herders in the mountains of central Asia, and is most closely associated with what is now known as the Republic of Tuva. The phenomenon went largely unheard outside of Asia until the late 1980’s.
Using any one of a number of techniques, a single vocalist simultaneously produces two distinct pitches: a very low, sustained fundamental pitch (similar to the drone of a bagpipe), and high above it, a series of articulated harmonics. Depending upon the singer, these harmonics can be manipulated into virtuosic melodies. The result is an incredible, haunting sound that is thrilling to most Western ears.
“Throat-singing music comes to us from the time before language,” explains Huun-Huur-Tu co-founder, Sayan Bapa. “This is why it is so difficult to find words to describe its beauty.”
“A sonic marvel, throat singing cannot be described, it simply must be heard,” agrees the Boston Globe. “And Huun-Huur-Tu…are among the most renowned in this ancient vocal style.”
Huun-Huur-Tu first toured North American in 1992, and has since played more than 500 concerts in the U.S. and Canada. In 1993, members of the group took part in collaborations with musicians such as Frank Zappa, Ry Cooder, the Chieftans, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, the Kronos Quartet and L. Shankar. An award-winning documentary film called Genghis Blues, featuring the late blind bluesman, Paul Pena, has also been an important factor in popularizing Tuvan throat singing.
Tickets to Huun-Huur-Tu at Kilbourn Hall on Tuesday, January 24 at 8 p.m. range from $5 to $15, and are available at the RPO Box Office (108 East Avenue), by phone at 585-454-2100, online at www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts, or at any Rochester-area Wegmans Video Department.
Please note: High-resolution photos are available electronically. Interviews and photo/footage opportunities can also be arranged. For more information, visit www.huunhuurtu.com and www.genghisblues.com.