Chances are, you haven’t heard of Tuvan Throat Singing. Chances are, you also haven’t heard of Tuva, a small country in the Russian Federation located south of Siberia.
All that is okay. We invited the group to Macon so you have an opportunity to encounter something new.
Here at The Grand we have big, flashy shows full of spectacle that often cost you $50 or more to attend. We are also a place you can have small, intimate experiences where you can meet artists and satisfy a curiosity to learn new things without feeling you are risking your time and money.
Alash is one of those groups. I have worked with Alash before and they are a lot of fun.
Actually, the fun part is watching people in the audience, from 4 year old kids to 80 year old grandparents, trying to replicate the sound coming out of the singers’ mouths.
The one comment many people make is that the singing style must strain vocal cords.
People are surprised to learn the technique is very natural and relaxing even though it sounds like the throat is constricted to an inch of its life.
Just check out the video below. Often they are creating a really big sound but their lips are barely open. You almost wonder if it is real or a trick with the microphones. The sound had to be loud. The technique was developed as a way for people tending herds to sing back and forth to each other across fields and valleys.
My favorite technique starts at the 3:00 mark. To me it sounds exactly like the sound effect for a hovering UFO, but there are no tricks, just his mouth.
If you are thinking, these are strange things that people from other places do, remember the goal of beatboxers and a capella groups is to create a whole range of sounds with just their voices.
There is a beatboxer from Baltimore who goes by the name Shodekh who traveled to Tuva to learn the technique. He will be on the tour with Alash and can answer questions about how beatboxing and throat singing work well together.
You may have seen him in the video below we have posted about the show.
If any of this stimulates your curiosity in the least, swing by The Grand on March 12, 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10
-Joe Patti is the Executive Director of The Grand Opera House