It's commonly said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Since a video contains essentially thousands of pictures, these must be of great value, right? Anyways, here I present you with a treasure-trove of khoomei, overtone, and related videos, all free downloads. Have fun!
All videos are QuickTime movies. Click here to get QuickTime (available for Mac and PC).
All movies are © Steve Sklar/Skysong Productions, Inc.
PLEASE DOWNLOAD EACH MOVIE ONCE ONLY! REPEATED DOWNLOADING HAS RAISED OUR SERVER COSTS DRAMATICALLY AND ABUSE OF THIS POLICY MAY LEAD TO LOSS OF DOWNLOADING PRIVILEGES!
Note: If you don't have QT Pro and want to save the videos, then either R click (PCs) or Option Click (Mac) and do a Save to Disk, then view the .mov file from your hard drive. If you have QT Pro, then you can view the videos from within your browser, and save them from there. If you view them from within your web browser, I recommend configuring the browser to view them using the QT plugin, as this lets you begin viewing as the files download.
Personel (seen L-R in videos): Anatoli Kuular, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, Sayan Bapa, Alexei Saryglar.
Sygyt: Alexei demonstrates the style Sygyt.
Borbangnadyr: with water: Former HHT member Anatoli sings with a recording of rolling water. This clip was used by CD Now in their televised ad campaign.
Khoomei: Kaigal-ool performs a beautiful, textless version of Lament of the Igil
Oidugen Taiga: An excerpt from the Taiga song on Orphan's Lament, featuring natural sound imitations.
Orphan's Lament: This song, heard on HHT's Shanachie CD "The Orphan's Lament" represents one of the greatest tour-de-force vocal performances I've ever heard! Kaigal-ool sings his heart out in several khoomei styles.
In addition to being a master vocalist, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg of Huun-Huur-Tu is one of the finest Tuvan igil players, displaying great technical prowess, sensitivity, and expressiveness. Here he is captured in an excerpt of the song, Lament of the Igil. I would not have used this video for a demonstration of his singing, as the mix between the vocal and the igil is skewed towards the instrument. However, as a demonstration of the art of playing the igil it is quite good.
When watching this video, note the simlilarity between the igil and the singing. Both alternate "ordinary" voice with harmonics, and the same relationship exists between the voice and the igil.
Makigami Koichi Fine "khoomedy" from this excellent avant garde singer. From International Khoomei Festival, Kyzl, Tuva, 1995.
Evgenii Ulbugashev, Khakassia A fine Khai-singing performance by this khaidzhi, who accompanies himself on the Chatkhan. From International Khoomei Festival, Kyzl, Tuva, 1995.
Sandak Chaf, Mongolia Chaf singing in a style similar to the Tuvan sygytyyng borbangnadyr. I'll try to find the proper name. With piano accompaniment. From International Khoomei Festival, Kyzl, Tuva, 1995.
Drepung-Loseling Monks, Tibet: Also from the 2001 Montreal Festival, the monks chant and play their instruments at a ceremony preceding the disintegration of a ritual sand mandala.
Parade of the Throat-Singers Parade through the streets of Kyzyl (capital of Tuva) to inaugurate the 1995 Khoomei Festival/Symposium
Gen-Dos Aka Gennadi Chamzyryn A very interesting and artistic performance of Dag (mountain) Kargyraa, with dulcimer played with the fingers. Note the extensive use of nasality and khoomei-style throat-technique typical of many singers' approaches to this style, with his own unique twists and turns. From International Khoomei Festival, Kyzl, Tuva, 1995.
5-year old singer name unknown, performing khoomei, kargyraa and sygyt, while accompanying himself on the chaanzy. From International Khoomei Festival, Kyzl, Tuva, 1995.
Shonchalai Oorzhak Womens' khoomei champion, 1995. This is a rare video example of a woman singing not only khoomei and sygyt, but also kargyraa.
Fedor Tau: We had a lovely evening in Tuva 2001 singing with him in the woods by the Yenisei river near Kyzyl. There were Sayan, Alexei, and Anatoli from HHT, Nikolai Oorzhak, mosquitos, Johnna, and me. Later we headed to his house, and Mrs. Tau, for khoomei, tea, and beers. Delightful!
Keep in mind that he was about 75 when I recorded these. Hia khoomei is soft, very beautiful, mainly dumchuktaar, with wonderful ezengileer-style pulses. The pin that Tau is wearing was awarded him for being one of Tuva's most outstanding athletes of the 20th century. He was a champion skier. I hope he is still alive and well, and singing his khoomei.
Fedor Tau Kargyraa With Sayan Bapa, igil.
Fedor Tau Khoomei
Tumat Kara-ool Tumat was an excellent singer in many styles, and here demonstrates finger-style borbangnadyr. From International Khoomei Festival, Kyzl, Tuva, 1995.
Iril, Tuva A fine example of kargyraa by the Best Kargyraa winner, 1995.
From International Khoomei Festival, Kyzl, Tuva, 1995.
Here is a video of our good friend Tran Quang Hai. He is a pioneer in the field of overtone singing, a leading performer of Viet Namese folk music, and a virtuoso of Jew's harp and spoons.
Hai 2 Here, Hai displays great form on jaw harp and spoons, combined with overtone singing. Kyzyl, Tuva 1995
Steve Sklar/Overtone Orchestra An excerpt from a World Artists for Tibet, Minneapolis, 1998. I'm singing khoomei and sygyt styles (also birdcalls), accompanied by flute, didgeridoo, and swarpeti (E. Indian sruti drone box).
Steve Sklar singing in Chadaana, Tuva This video has a funny story that I think other singers will appreciate. We were on a campaign tour with a candidate for the Russian Duma, with Huun-Huur-Tu and other artists. After a rousing HHT performance, I was enjoying a nice, dry Cliff Bar, and wishing I had some water. Suddenly, Viktor (the candidate) announced that I would be singing for the local crowd, and called me to the stage. Now, I had sung my khoomei in public many times before, in many places, but never at a concert in the very heart of throat-singing country. And right after HHT. With a throat full of Cliff Bar, and sweat palms, I got onstage, and asked if there was pleeaase some water available. "No," Kaigal-ool said, "just sing! You'll be fine." So, I started with a bit of sygyt, and the crowd went wild. It is still very novel for foreigners to sing khoomei in Tuva. Since Tuvans start clapping and cheering as soon as they like something, rather than waiting until the end, I was surprised by the loud cheering and had to stop for a moment as I couldn't hear myself. When I thought I was finished, Kaigal-ool and Viktor asked me to sing a bit of kargyraa, so I obliged. While I was singing, Tolya from HHT brought up a bottle... you can see him sniff it and smile. He handed me the bottle when I finished, and I took a deep drink. You can see my reaction when I discovered that the bottle contained aragha, the local milk-liquor! The emcee is Galena Monzuk, daughter of famed Tuvan performer Maxim Monzuk.
Steve Sklar singing in Xandugaiti', on the Mongolian border. Another campaign stop, but no aragha. In background is Tuvan pop star Oleg Saryglar.
Nikolai Oorzhak (Tuva) and Steve Sklar singing kargyraa and sygyt for children inside the bottom of a giant glacial pothole in the cliffs along the St. Croix River in Taylors Falls, MN. 2002
Chanting with the Drepung-Loseling Tibetan Monks: Here is a clip from the 2001 Montreal Throat-Singing Festival. I'm chanting in the Dzho-Kay style with the chantmaster and assistant chantmaster.
Steve Sklar's Khoomei Workshop: Can nearly anyone really learn to throat-sing? Yes! Here's proof: This is a video taken after a 2-day beginning Khoomei Workshop which I taught in Chicago, 2000.
Last Updated 1.27.06