Tag Archive for: overtone choir

A Costly Final Chord

How Things Fall. He had little time to arrange his piece for Nordic Voices, says Koka Nikoladze, born in 1989 in Georgia, now living in Norway, composing and inventing instruments. How Things Fall and then spectrally spray, “How Things Fall,” 2021, performed by the Norwegian professional ensemble Nordic Voices, known for brilliantly handling overtone singing (from 1:44). Nikoladze keeps the final chord from us. He auctioned the final chord on ebay and realized $13,900. I love the Nordic self-irony, just right for lockdown times.

Sōmei Satō – MANDARA, Music for Tape (1982)

Sōmei Satō creates a multi-track overtone choir with his own voice and uses vowel overtone singing as an effect. I have heard something similar from Roberto Laneri’s “Two views of the Amazon” from 1981. At the beginning of the 1980s, this probably sounded more like electronic music to most listeners, as overtone singing was still virtually unknown in the West.

Premiere 1982. Tokyo.
Commitioned by Japan Foundation

European Overtone Choir

28.02.19 – 22h – DLF Kultur Radio Broadcast about the Europa Obertonchor

The Deutschlandfunk Kultur broadcasts on Thursday, 28 February 2019 from 22h to 22h30 a radio feature about the European Overton Choir. The EOC is an experimental project choir that once a year from Easter Monday invites interested singers for a week to experiment with the potential and new sound possibilities of overtones in choral music. Works will be sung by notes as well as improvisations developed with new methods.

DLF Kultur, Thursday 28. Feb 2019, 22:00 h

European Overton Choir, next project week 22.-28. April 2019

Overtones in Canon | Mundwerk

The Munich a cappella group Mundwerk sings Brother Jaques not only with voices in canon, but also with overtones. My student and master class graduate Oliver Zunker (now no longer with the group) sings together with his colleague Jens Ickert the canon exclusively with overtones. Oliver himself is an excellent overtone teacher, as you can hear. I think the whole choral arrangement is superb!

All tones of the melody are already contained in a single keynote (harmonic 6 to 13, cf. composing with overtones). So you can sing them on one fundamental note.

Here you can download the sheet music for free →

Sources & Links




La Grande Bellezza – with overtones to the Academy Award | Vox Clamantis

Die Musik zum Film “La Grande Bellezza” (Die große Schönheit, 2013) von Paolo Sorrentino bedient sich u. a. der Obertongesang-Interpretation von Pérotins “Beata viscera” des estnischen a cappella Ensembles Vox Clamantis. Beata viscera ist auf der CD Filia Sion enthalten.

Beata viscera ist ein Werk des französischen Komponisten Pérotin aus dem 12. Jh und gehört zur frühesten Mehrstimmigkeit in Europa.

Obertongesang verleiht der Komposition eine mystische Stimmung. Natürlich ist Obertongesang nicht Bestandteil der Originalkomposition von Perotin, sondern wurde von Vox Clamantis hinzugefügt. Mir gefällt diese Modifikation sehr, besonders deshalb, weil die Obertöne kontrolliert und musikalisch integriert werden. Sie bilden eine eigenständige Melodie und sind vermutlich nicht, wie weit verbreitet, Zufallsprodukte, sondern ganz gezielt gesungen. Obwohl manchmal die Dur-Terz der Obertonreihe mit der Moll-Terz der dorischen Melodie in Konflikt steht. Ich bringe meinen Masterclass-Studenten bei, diese Konflikte gezielt zu umgehen, es sei denn, sie wären ausdrücklich erwünscht.

Beata viscera hatte übrigens früher schon einmal das Hilliard Ensemble zu einer Neuinterpretation mit dem Saxophonisten Jan Garbarek angeregt (auf der CD Officium).

Bildnachweis: Beata Viscera von Perotin (Wolfenbüttel Digital Library) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


Aachen Overtone Choir in “The Life Of The Buddha” (BBC Documentary)

The Life of the Buddha. The London-based composer Glenn Keiles composed the film music for this 50-minute BBC documentary for the Aachen Obertonchor conducted by Wolfgang Saus in 2002. With a small group we recorded the choir part in a single day in St. Gereon in Giesenkirchen. Participants: Britta Blisniewski, Ellen Kreft, Helga and Wolfhard Barke, Chris and Tim Ellis, Ralf Malzkorn (and I of course).

Glenn brought the production manager and all the equipment from England, just to fly on to South Africa the next day. He must have mixed the pre-recorded solos and instrumental parts during the flight, because already in the evening the master was ready to listen.

Since we did not have an overall impression of the piece in advance and did not know the film, it was an exciting work to record the phrases according to the composer’s very precise sound concepts. The overtones were partly notated. In some cases there was room for improvisation. The fundamental tones were always precisely written down.

The reactions of Glenn’s fellow composers in London were very interesting: they wanted to know how he programmed such a natural and lively sounding synthesizer sound. In 2003 overtone singing in chorus was still largely unknown to composers.

International movie data base: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1806108/


Tag Archive for: overtone choir

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Tag Archive for: overtone choir