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Throat singing is a technique that involves singing multiple pitches at the same. In Tuva, nomadic herdsmen developed the art generations ago as they mimicked sounds and harmonies in nature such as birdsong and wind. Newsweek has compared the sound to “a human bagpipe – a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally – by the same person, at the same time.”
Trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood, Alash’s members formed the group while students at Kyzyl Arts College, where they practiced a basement. The group began to weave western styles into its throat-singing performances and today performs a range of musical genres, including classical chamber music, jazz and bluegrass fusion.
In addition, the musicians accompany their singing with a variety of string, percussion and wind instruments made from natural resources and designed to produce a multi-textured sound. The ensemble tours regularly in Europe and the United States, and has performed on four albums, including as guest artists on the Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Grammy Award-winning holiday CD “Jingle All the Way.”