Hello fellow aficionados of Jan Heinke’s overtone music,
I am eager to share with you an emotionally charged story that has profoundly touched me. In April of last year, my dear friend and talented musician, Jan Heinke, sadly passed away. However, just hours before his untimely departure, he sent me an email containing a very special attachment.
In the email, Jan confided that he felt he wouldn’t be able to complete his work and requested that I see it through. I instantly knew what I had to do. Attached was a vast compilation of folk songs from around the globe, meticulously arranged for overtone singing by Jan – several hundred songs in total! He had initially begun working on this project in 2013 and had received a grant from the Kulturstiftung Sachsen to support his efforts.
In collaboration with Jan’s life partner, Claudia, we managed to finalize the first volume of the series, featuring 126 German folk songs adapted for polyphonic overtone singing. To commemorate the anniversary of his passing on April 20th, 2023, this volume will be made available on Jan’s website as a free e-book, complete with a complimentary Creative Commons license.
Jan’s nine years of dedicated work on these arrangements will now be posthumously shared with the public, fulfilling his cherished desire. According to a report on the project, the initial objective was to explore the potential of overtone singing as a vocal technique for both performers and composers in Western culture, an area that had not yet been extensively investigated. These song arrangements were intended to encourage the practical application of overtone singing in music.
I am both grateful and honored to continue Jan’s legacy and share his remarkable work with the world. His music will live on and inspire others – exactly as he wished.
Warm regards, Wolfgang