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The Northern Road to the East

Being fascinated with throat singing, I recently took an introductory class with Raphaël De Cock. More than the subject itself, I got to know Raphaël, a multi-faceted musician with a passion for unconventional singing techniques, and a PhD in sciences: Raphaël is a fireflies and glow-worms specialist! He has a lot in common with our friend Rëmi Decker, and plays the bagpipes in the same band, the Griff Trio. Meeting Raphaël is like opening a door to a world of vocal cultures, with a particular leaning towards the most eclectic ones.

This first collaboration takes its inspiration from the varied singing techniques used by northern nomads. Kargyraa is among the Tuvan throat-singing techniques. It offers the deepest sound; almost a growl. Katajjaq is a traditional Inuit face-to-face performance, where one singer challenges the other in a syncopated rhythm. And then we have Raphaël singing a Yoik mantra, a shepherd's lament that could have been sung by one of his ancestors - perhaps a Sëmi - in some remote place where the vast steppes meet dense Nordic forests; where Europe becomes Asia.

Published on March 9th, 2020

User Stories

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  This soundscape reminds me to northern lands and seas which I sometimes visit as an ichthyologist. When working there and beholding the severe northern landscapes, I think how harsh is the life of the native people and how different is it from our life in a busy modern city. There I keenly feel the Presence of God and pray: "Signore Gesù Cristo, Figlio di Dio, abbi misericordia di me peccatore!".

  Finding this led to a wonderful adventure. Noticed that an earlier review mentioned the Mongolian heavy metal band "The HU" and, intrigued, followed up. This led to a trip to Monterey to see the band as they tried their very best to blow the roof off The Golden Gate Theater. Roof held but I swear the mezzanine shifted an inch or two. Big plus? Righteous old-school mosh pit!

  Wow! I've been trying to start meditating for years now but I could never find something that helped me focus and get into a trance state. This has been my fourth attempt listening to this whilst meditating and it's absolutely crazy! For the first time in my life when I meditate to this I feel the entire world drift away and I am transported into a Siberian hunter-gatherer village. Thank you.

  Lovely throat voices and so tuneful. Can't help wondering how it would be to collaborate with this singer!

  Amazing! I combined it with Sleeping Dragon and Forest Breath.

  This is wonderful! Very close to Heilung, and my ancestors. Thank you!

  Combine it with Sleeping Dragon. It's absolutely amazing.

  This soundscape brought tears to my eyes within minutes. I can't explain why, but truly appreciate the feeling of awe and deep respect that this has evoked in me.

  I can feel the ancestors!

  It sounds beautiful! It changes a lot as well. I have never really liked listening to throat noises, but this is nice and calming.

  Reminds me of a new band my roomie found, the Hu. I like it.

  I spent a magical six months in Yakutia, Russia, among the Sakha people. This takes me right back. Love it. Beautiful work with so much talent on display!

  This turned a good day into a great day! These sounds are pure joy, thank you, thank you!

  Thank you so much for adding this sound! I have also been fascinated with throat singing, and have been wondering if you would have this sound available at some point. So soothing!