Thursday, November 13, 2008

Et Tu, Tuva

Big doin's at the library this morning. As part of their "Our World" series, the Metropolitan Library System presented a concert by Huun Huur Tu Tuvan Throat Singers. Tuva is a small republic squashed between Mongolia and Siberia. Throat singing is an ancient art -- its origins lie in prehistoric religious rituals and communication with spirits. The five singers/instrumentalists sang ancient songs and more contemporary compositions. They began the concert with plucked notes on a stringed instrument. The singing began with a primal growl -- kind of a cross between wind blowing through a great cave and a giant tiger's purr. Throat singers are able to sing two or three tones simultaneously. Above a ground bass-like growl, flute like warblings are produced -- an amazing sound. The musicians were dressed in robes of rich fabric, three in brown tones, two in shades of rose and mauve. One was a rich mahogany with medallians of embroidered gold thread. Over 200 people showed up for the concert -- a number of them had to stand outside the doors. Who says we ain't got culture in Oklahoma?

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