Polyphonic overtone singing




It’s not Agnes Nitt good but impressive none the less


Well that was rather lovely!
Well that was rather lovely!


People, they just keep surprising you.


That is fascinating. It sounds almost like she’s whistling and humming at the same time.


I hadn’t realised that the human voice was capable of that, very clever.


This is great in two ways; first, it’s really rare to hear a strong female throat singer. I have at least half a dozen CDs and have been to several concerts and it’s a predominantly male performance niche. Second, Ms. Hefele gives a very western presentation, very accessible for Europeans and Americans; she doesn’t bother with distinctions between the styles and presentations (sygit, khoomei, kargyraa etc.) but concentrates on the sounds themselves.

I am totally reblogging this. Thanks, Rob!


Why does she blink so much? It’s freaking me out.

I had to put the video in a second tab and just listen to the audio to avoid the distraction.


Reply to medievalist: I agree it’s great to see this from a female voice, but she’s not throat-singing. There are several different techniques for overtone singing, and they all have in common using the resonance of the mouth cavity to enhance a specific harmonic. In throat singing, the singer produces a subharmonic pitch and emphasises its harmonics. Here the singer is producing an ordinarily sung pitch, no throat singing.


I would love to do an eerie, atmospheric sci-fi short with that as the soundtrack while people are exploring a dark, mysterious place with flashlights and as they progress the sound gets ever louder until finally they enter a room and suddenly discover there in the beam that Anna-Maria Hefele is practicing her singing. Then she could just stop and smile and wave at them and say hi. Then resume.

Roll credits.


That’s just the tip of the iceberg if you go to her webpage: http://xanmoo.com/am-oberton/


An interesting exception to that - among the Inuit, throat singing is usually a women’s art form. Check out Tanya Tagaq’s albums for a not-super-traditional example (incorporating electronic music, collaborations with Bjork, etc.)


Her Sygyt is quite good but she doesn’t attempt the two styles of lower overtone singing in Tuvan throat singing, Khoomei and Kargyraa, both of which use the “chest voice” or Khorekteer.


I’m also a huge fan of polyphonic and throat singing. the first time i heard a tuvan throat singer i was floored.

A good introduction for those who have never heard it:


That’s the best thing about the internet, these surprises.


I think most of what she is doing would probably be called sygit in Tuva. I have plenty of it on various throatsinging albums.


My dog and I both find this fascinating. Especially my dog.


The would stop and smile and wave at them and say hi. And blink.

It is odd to hear this sort of westernized version. It’s weird but still beautiful and amazing. I can’t even figure out how to get started on this. I’d probably break my throat.


I can’t do that but while watching her I had this weird daydream that I could and I showed a miserable boss I once had and the response I imagined him giving me was, “Yeah? So? I could just get two people to do that.”


I’m totally going to learn how to do this and piss the cicadas the hell off early next summer!