Overtone Singing of Dani Tribe from Papua New Guinea
I could find surprisingly little information about this highly virtuosic and fascinating style. I am happy to receive any hints. The only sound samples I could find are the CD Les Dani de Nouvelle Guinée Volume 2 and this documentary:
The documentary “Yeleme – La hache de pierre polie en Nouvelle-Guinée” shows in the first seconds how Dani sing overtones. Source: http://www.canal-u.tv/video/cerimes/yeleme_la_hache_de_pierre_polie_en_nouvelle_guinee.8535
In this overtone singing, small repetitive melodic motifs with clear overtones are sung and sometimes extended to three-part harmony with a second pitch. True polyphony with counter-movement of fundamental and overtones can also be found therein. I have no idea how the sounds are produced. Perhaps hollow branches are used. I once tried a kind of 30 cm long didgeridoo with a finger hole in an Asmat exhibition, which produces a similar effect in terms of resonance. Any idea about this?
CD: Les Dani de Nouvelle Guinée Volume 2
Tracks 15 through 27 from CD2 of the album Les Dani de Nouvelle Guinée Volume 2 (amazon.de Partnerlink) demonstrate their overtone singing virtuosity.
Beetle as a Jew’s Harp
My friend Skye Løfvander from Denmark brought this video to my attention, which features another style of Dani music. A living sago beetle is held in front of the mouth with the help of a blade of grass and its buzzing in the mouth is dissolved into overtone melodies like a jew’s harp. (The film in this video has nothing to do with the Dani).
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