Siberian Throat Singing

SIBERIA – Tun Payram FestivalHere’s a program from our archives.Ambience: throat singing The sound is a paradox, one moment impossibly low and the next, rising up to a shrill whistle. It is a human voice from a man trained since childhood to sing two separate notes simultaneously in a style unique to a remote region of Siberia. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Throat singing is just one part of an ancient festival being celebrated this month in Khakassia Siberia, just north of Tuva. The festival is called Tun-Payram which means ‘Main Holiday” and it draws thousands of people from communities across this vast and rural region for a day of music, dancing and horse racing. They have come to celebrate the arrival of spring, symbolized by a bowl of “first milk” from cows who have grazed on grasses just beginning to poke through the Siberian soil, long frozen from a bitter winter. Inside traditional nomadic tents, women gather in small groups to improvise a popular call and response song. Taking turns, they poke fun at each other and exchange gossip.But of all the performances that will take place today, none is met with such delight as the throat singers, their otherworldly voices enveloping the hushed crowd like an echo from the past.Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner. We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast.

Siberian Throat Singing

Some remarkable music is a highlight at the annual Tun Payram festival.
Air Date:06/25/2021
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Transcript:

SIBERIA - Tun Payram FestivalHere's a program from our archives.Ambience: throat singing The sound is a paradox, one moment impossibly low and the next, rising up to a shrill whistle. It is a human voice from a man trained since childhood to sing two separate notes simultaneously in a style unique to a remote region of Siberia. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Throat singing is just one part of an ancient festival being celebrated this month in Khakassia Siberia, just north of Tuva. The festival is called Tun-Payram which means 'Main Holiday" and it draws thousands of people from communities across this vast and rural region for a day of music, dancing and horse racing. They have come to celebrate the arrival of spring, symbolized by a bowl of "first milk" from cows who have grazed on grasses just beginning to poke through the Siberian soil, long frozen from a bitter winter. Inside traditional nomadic tents, women gather in small groups to improvise a popular call and response song. Taking turns, they poke fun at each other and exchange gossip.But of all the performances that will take place today, none is met with such delight as the throat singers, their otherworldly voices enveloping the hushed crowd like an echo from the past.Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner. We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast.