i've been working on trying to learn khoomei since about mid
September 1999. i had been aware of throat singing in the style
of the Tibetan Monks before then, but never really interested
enough to pursue it. Then someone on a
Didgeridoo e-mail list
i'm on mentioned a
Scientific American article on Tuvan
sound files on their web site astounded me, i
never knew throat singing could sound like that. Ironically i had
disc by Philip Peris
that had some throat-singing on
it by Tran Quang Hai,
but had always thought the high harmonics
were some other weird instrument. Anyway, shortly after
thoroughly perusing the Scientific American site i was able to
see the movie Genghis Blues
and that was enough to push me the
rest of the way into getting serious about trying to figure out
how to really do it.
After a mere 3 months of effort i was so excited with my new found
sounds that i actually recorded some neophyte kargyraa on the
busker kibbutznik CD. Almost a year
later Steve Sklar
made his way down to Chicago from the Twin Cities to conduct a
workshop which was very helpful in clearing up many of the finer
details of technique. Over the next couple of years i worked on refining
and improving my technique. But, alas, Chicago was a bit of a
khoomei waste land. Though there had been a number of fine
performances no regular methods of instruction were available.
Since there was no one else available i was picked up by the
Old Town School of Folk Music
to teach introductory throat-singing
the past few years have been filled with gathering and building
traditional instruments and continued progress in singing technique.
Meanwhile my friend Sean P. Quirk had managed to land a
Fulbright grant to
study music, language and culture in Tuva during 2004.
During the summer of 2004 i was able to put together a one month
trip to Tuva to visit Sean and meet all the people he had gotten to know.
It was great to visit Tuva and have a friend there with similar interests
to act as my full time guide and translator. Hopefully i'll have more
about that trip up on this site soon.
Well, that is the story so far
back to the main khoomei page