Throat and Overtone Singing
A few years ago I found myself curious about death and near death experiences. I wondered what people experienced as they transitioned. While reading Beyond the Light (P.M.H Atwater, 2009) the author recounted an experience when she was confirmed dead. While physically dead, she heard sounds described as so beautiful, she could only begin to comparing them to Hoomi singing done by the Mongolians. Being a student of sound I was struck with her powerful experience.
A year or so later I looked up Hoomi singing on youtube and saw a video of a Mongolian man doing a simple song that employed overtone throatsinging, and had been filmed by a small group of Americans. Here it is below.
After hearing it, I felt a longing to learn how.
Still, I was not expecting to actually be able to learn how to sing harmonics. My thought was that such a thing must take years of practice and direct guidance - and was this even something white people could do? Despite all this, my curiosity and desire eventually became so much that I began looking up videos on techniques, and watching or listening to as many recordings of overtone singing and throatsinging that I could find. The information on the subject was all over the place and I found there were many variant styles - and many overlaps. Practicing and trying these techniques myself - while also just attempting to imitate the things I heard - I began to hear overtones in my own voice.
Years later, after practicing on my own a long while, I started using overtones in performances, with friends, and combined with other instruments.
Overtone teaching came to me slowly as well as more and more people asked me to teach what I was doing. After so much trial and error, I became very good at guiding people into a powerful overtone or throatsinging practice, in a fraction of the time it took me to get to where I am.
"Emile helped me improve my overtone singing in just one lesson. I am still working through his insight about it being more than just technique, that there is something you can contact."
Throatsinging for The Sound Mandala with Loriel Starr
Church of Eight Wheels, San Francisco 2016
Curious about throatsinging? Want to learn more? Find harmonics in your voice and sing with overtones.