I decided to start my own thread, because I don't want to make anyone feel that I'm inundating theirs with too many wordy replies.
Talk to the friends on facebook, they'll all tell you they think I talk and type too much.
They say I like the sound of my own voice.
Truth is, I don't particularly care for the sound of my own voice. Never have. That never stopped me from using it.
Well, the way my speech sounds to myself is fine. When I hear myself on tape, though, it's a different story.
I did many recordings in the past. When I was a little kid and all we had was a mono cassette recorder (wiki this, some may not remember pre-ghetto-blaster-era TCRs), my best buddy and my mom and I would record little skits and make a foley track and all that. In high school we went to town on an assignment to write a play in 6 scenes and record it. I must have purchased $200 worth of sound F/X recordings at the time to make sure it's perfect. At the time, it was great that I could play 4 or 5 parts by changing my voice in various ways.
So I always had a certain relationship with my voice.
Imitating guns when your dad wouldn't buy you any more caps for your toy winchester cathedral 76 playing cowboys and indians (how un-PC, blush!!), doing little sound f/x to illustrate your stories in school talking about Star Wars or Tron, who hasn't done something similar?
Could I sing?
Sure!! I could sing. High as a bird looking for a mate on a spring day.
I recall being in an 'open audition' within music class in grade 5. Break Dancing was the latest fad. My music teacher was trying to get us ready to perform a song at the autumn pageant. Had something about a banana vending kid named Pedro, whose line in the song was "My name is Pedro and I sell you the Banaaaaaaanaaaaas" in a high pitch. My teacher was making everyone take turns to sing the part of Pedro. I was quietly singing along, annoyed that this was such a waste of time. At one time, she heard me. She said, "whoever this is that keeps singing along when I'm trying to find the right person, speak up" and I stood up, being right up front already, and I got the part. My teacher was delighted that an actual boy could do the part so well. My peers made a little fun of me with remarks about the testicles that have yet to drop, etc. It wasn't too hurtful. I'm fine. The stage appearance made up for it, as I was on the bill as headliner...
But I digress... or do I?
From there on, singing wasn't anything I'd wanted to do for anyone else's enjoyment but my own.
Just like dancing. I do get down when I'm in the mood, but god forbid, it's not for anyone else to observe and say "now there's a dude that can dance!"
I have rhythm, and I'm not tone deaf. But I don't think that I would have gone into show biz if I had a singing voice like Robin Gibb.
I tried to learn the guitar at age 10 or 11, but the teacher wasn't what I'd call student-oriented. I had not yet understood how the thing works and she expected me to play a song that had like five chords. Well, I learned how it works finally, but I had to pick up a semi-acoustic one to figure it out slowly on my own. I don't play guitar now, but when I go out and buy one some day I will.
Genetically, I'm blessed with hands in many ways. I can write, draw, sketch, illustrate and have fine motor skills that may make a surgeon envious, I'm told by people who know surgeons professionally. Of course, academically I could have attended the finest medical schools and made a mighty fine doctor, but my antisocial attitude in school pretty much prevented all that from materializing before I was thrust into working life. My hands, however, have lived through it unscathed. I can play piano two-handed (score and bass totally separate) and have a reach from a C to the E of the next octave. But my grandmother accidentally destroyed the upright piano my family owned in 1976 by overwatering a plant pot on top. The whole thing rusted. I had a lot of fun, playing a harmonium in Sweden at my aunt's house. I taught myself many tunes there, while the dachshund howled along....
I have always sung along. On rare occasions when I had a particularly emotional experience, I have been known to vocalize something 'original'. I don't Karaoke. I used to, even before it became all the rage. I tried to sing a song I liked EXACTLY how the original artist would sing it, even attempting to imitate their voice, if I could. I knew always that I'd never sound JUST like them, but if I felt their song within me, and I agreed with the way they sung it, I thought it was perfect. I have at that time not heard Il Pagliacci sung by Pavarotti, only by Caruso. They DO sound different. The tenors sing the same notes, but they emote in their vocals differently. It DOES sound different, even if you don't speak Italian.
Some days I would put new words to a pop song to express a thought. Other times I would sing a known melody to emote. Only in the last 4 months have I actually used my very own voice. The one I own. The one Andre Phillippe Gagnon can't imitate because he hasn't heard it.
Khoomei is what I apparently have been waiting for all this time.
It is the ONE thing I can do wherever I go, whatever weather it is, whether there is an electrical outlet or not, and I don't need an amp or a piano or guitar or ANYTHING to do it. And it's beautiful and emotional and in touch with the earth and deeply connects me with the universe, or at least it feels that way.
Funny, how you can go all your life without being aware of something that existed for 3000 years or more.
I wasn't seeking a new hobby, either. I heard some Kargyraa on a TV show and googled it as it was mentioned that it was "Tuvan Throat Singing". What I found on wikipedia et al blew me away.
I find harmonic overtone singing a scientifically interesting subject as well as an artistic outlet.
I have only been at this for about 4 months and have come VERY far indeed. I am still shocked at my own progress. I liken it to the discovery of a friend's unicycle in his garage. Imagine you found one and asked what it was. And your friend told you it's a unicycle and it's really hard to ride. So you pick it up and get on it and ride it after two tries.... would you put it back down and never ride it again?
The first time I tried throat singing I have been listening to Huun-Huur-Tu for a week or so. I wanted to search YouTube for a video showing them sing. I could just not picture the lip movements, I had to see it. I found instead a video tutorial that kicked me off. It explained in detail how to get overtones.
Well, I tried and got Kargyraa immediately. After two more days of listening to "Crash Course in Khoomei" by Brian Grover I got Khoomei with overtones, albeit crappy ones.
After 4 months of practice, I can now sing in a low, but clear, Khoomei and can use Ezengileer, Dumchuktaar and Borbangnadyr. I get high and low Kargyraa and can hold a note for like a minute. I just finally cracked the secret to a clear, bird-like Sygyt, too. My Chylandik still stinks.
When I can, I will record my prowess and share it with you all to criticize.
I can't possibly be that good.
I know. I don't believe it either. When I can show what I can do to someone and they say to me "dude, that's awesome!" is when I will know I successfully learned throat singing - at almost age 40!!!!
"well, at least you don't have to listen to me..."
I am not a pro and don't know crap. Any advice given is my sole opinion and must not be taken seriously. Doing so may result in injury, shame or death from boredom.