Feathered Sculpture - Virgil A. Walker

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Khoomei

Pheasant, chicken, partridge   57" x 40" x 11"


Khoomei is the throat singing of the Tuva herders that inhabit the southwest extremity of Siberia, near the Mongolian border. Scientific American explains, Tuva is like a musical Olduvai Gorge -- a living record of a proto-musical world, where natural and human-made sounds blend to interact with and represent their aural environment.

By controlling the vocal and false folds they can create two distinct tones. By adjustments in the mouth, they are capable of adding harmonics that paint acoustic images of waterfalls, wind, animals and their movements, and can express complex emotions as well as psycho-spiritual awareness. Similar use of sound in Tibetan chanting has been found to directly harmonize brainwave patterns.

In a modern acoustic environment predominated by nasal and pelvic fixations, and in popular culture where sound waves are used to clean dentures, excavate mines, and produce new weapons (all important activities), there is certainly room for a more individualistic, personal effort at producing our own harmonic sounds. Hum a little tune with an open heart.  

 

   Photo:  Richard K. Webb

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