The most distinctive characteristic of Huun Huur Tu's music is throat singing, in which the singers sing both the note (drone) and the drone's overtone(s), thus producing two or three notes simultaneously. The overtone may sound like a flute, whistle or bird, but is actually solely a product of the human voice.
The group has appeared on stages throughout North America and Europe, representing a remarkable musical culture. The Tuvans, a South Siberian Turkic people who number roughly 150,000, preserve what are arguably some of the world's oldest forms of music-making.
What binds these forms together is their use of mimesis, or imitation for aesthetic purposes. By imitating or aesthetically representing the sounds of nature, human music-makers seek to link themselves to the beings and forces that most concern them: in the case of the Tuvans, domestic animals; the physical environment of mountains and grasslands; and the elemental energies of wind, water, and light.
The group primarily uses native Tuvan instruments such as the igil, khomus (Tuvan Jew's Harp), doshpuluur, and tungur (shaman drum). However, in recent years, the group has begun to selectively incorporate western instruments, such as the guitar. While the thrust of Huun Huur Tu's music is fundamentally indigenous Tuvan folk music, they also experiment with incorporating not only Western instruments, but electronic music as well.
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Added by FullCalendar on January 28, 2010