08 December 2012

A Cautionary Tale

I assume most folks who stop by here have heard of Tuvan throat singing, but in case you haven't, it's this:

It's a type of what's called overtone singing, where the human voice operates something like a bagpipe -simultaneously producing both a constant drone note and overtones that carry a melodic line. It's also found in some Tibetan Buddhist chant.

Anyway, it's neat stuff, and while I don't speak the languages nor do I know the exact technique, it is fun to try to play around with the concept. I can usually get a little bit of a harmonic going, too, though nothing approaching the high, whistling overtones the Tuvans can belt out.

So this evening while making dinner, I was singing to the dogs and generally being silly, and once I was done with my prep work, I decided to sit on the floor to serenade them. I'd been trying to sing a song - I don't remember which - in a low bass, but on the low note I kept ending up well sharp of where I needed to be. The dogs seemed particularly interested by the low notes, though, so I decided to start in with a low drone and tried adding in some overtones.

Theo got in close, but then jumped back, not quite sure what to make of it. Chauce stood and watched me for a bit, but all of a sudden he decided he couldn't hold in his excitement and sprang forward, the top of his head slamming into my upper lip and driving it against the edge of my teeth.

There wasn't as much blood as I feared there would be, but it stung when I taste tested the stew I was cooking, it stung when I was eating, and because it's still rubbing against the edge of my teeth, it stings right now. If I wake up tomorrow with a noticeably swollen lip, I'm telling everyone that David came home drunk and slapped me around.

Which will make anyone who knows David pee their pants laughing.


Lisa/knitnzu said...

What fun! It's different than, but similar to, what I was thinking about. Try doing that into another person's mouth... it sounds kinky, but isn't. You're cheek to cheek with another person, and you tip your face around a bit so that the sounds run in and out of each other's mouths. It's kinda crazy. One can go low, one higher, and when you hit a harmony it really resonates. I forget where I heard about it, but I'm thinking some Inuit thing. When Nick was little, we'd do it, but nobody else will, and he certainly won't anymore (he's 17 now).

kmkat said...

Plan B: you could tell everyone that Chaunce came home drunk and slapped you around.

Tuvan throat singing -- it's not for amateurs (or, apparently, dog owners). Hope the lip feels better today.

laurie said...

I dunno, I hear that singing, and see future vocal cord surgery. Or at least need for future vocal cord surgery. I am as ruined as your lip. And kmkat's comment was best.