Saturday, January 7, 2012

Huun-Huur Tu: My Son Busts His First Dance Move to Tuvan Throat Singing

As I was writing a recent post I noticed this one was sitting in my drafts! It's from back in February, but I think the timing is actually good, as my son is now a dancing machine, and it's strange to remember a time when he was not.

When I decided to start writing a blog about working my way through the 1000 recordings I think part of the reason was my son. I know he is going to be influenced by Top 40 radio and probably try to rebel and listen to whatever he thinks we won't approve of (I think I'm making that part tough on him, though, by liking a wide variety of music), but I want to foster in him a love of music.

I think my love of music stems from my dad. My dad's love of music isn't quite as obsessive as mine, but he plays music loudly in the car, he dances with reckless abandon when the mood and the music hit him, and when he has a few drinks he sits in his leather chair with a big set of headphones and a huge collection of CDs. I remember him telling me once that Grand Funk Railroad's "I'm Your Captain" was the song he listened to before he went to bed every night for months as a kid.

That's the kind of appreciation I hope is something I can foster in my son, because while my wife enjoys music and has her favorite songs and loves going to concerts, she just doesn't really care that much. She has no idea what the words are to any song, usually doesn't know song titles, and, most importantly, only listens to it once in awhile, whereas I prefer to have music on at all times. If this sort of connection to music is genetic, my son has a shot, but if it's learned behavior, I am trying to provide him with the right tools.

With that in mind, I still never expected his first dancing would occur to the strangest music I've ever heard.

Artist: Huun-Huur Tu
Album: The Orphan's Lament
Recording #413

I had heard of Tuvan throat singing before in reference to Howlin' Wolf's intro to "Howlin' in the Moonlight," but I still wasn't prepared for the weirdness I got from Tuva's most famous band, Huun-Huur Tu. At first I wasn't that impressed with the throat singing part, but I did enjoy the harmonies and the chant-like style. By the time I got to the song "Aa-shuu Dekei-oo," though, I was thoroughly engrossed. This upbeat song is the one that caused my son to stare at the speakers, smile, and then start shaking his money maker. The best part about it is that it seems he, Tom Moon, and I are the only ones who can stand it: my brother, wife, and office mate all asked me to turn it off. For sure, this album isn't for everyone, and I don't think I'll be pulling it up often, but it's definitely a good one to have in my back pocket when I really want to weird someone out or just need to get outside the norm. I hope you are one of the few who enjoys it like I do.

Buy this album at Amazon
Read Moon's Entry

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