BBC Documentary chanting soundtrack
April 13, 2006 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Gutteral, musical throat chanting, used as a way of communicating - an actual language? Used as a soundtrack for a BBC documentary, and I need to find a specific piece. (much more inside)

I need to find the name of a specific piece of music used in a documentary, and the name of the documentary seems as good a place as any to start. A BBC documentary broadcast in the last 10 years about a German born US Airforce pilot in Vietnam, whose first inspiration to become a pilot was looking out his bedroom window in Germany and seeing a US pilot flying his plane regularly at a low level not far above his bedroom window, and waving to him.

The piece in question was overdubbed on a scene of American planes dropping napalm in Vietnam somewhere, and was effective and disturbing.

When I first saw the documentary I was already vaguely aware of this singing language, a unique form of communication that is not a member of one of the main language groups.

Any leads on the program, this type of chanting, or places where I could hear samples of this music/speaking online for comparison, are welcome. Sorry this is all so vague.
posted by fire&wings to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, Throat Singing is usually associated with Tuva, but it can come from other places in the world too.
posted by Laen at 4:47 PM on April 13, 2006

The documentary is Little Dieter Needs to Fly by Werner Herzog. I remember the soundtrack being Tuvan Throat Singing, which sounds like your description.
posted by jgee at 4:50 PM on April 13, 2006

Fantastic, thank you.
posted by fire&wings at 5:02 PM on April 13, 2006

If you are interested in this, you may want to also check out Bjork's last two albums, both of which feature this style of singing. "Medulla" came out in 2004 and her soundtrack to "Drawing Restraint 9" just came out this year.
posted by hermitosis at 5:41 PM on April 13, 2006

Yeah I have Medulla. Funny thing is that I have seen several other Herzog films since I watched Little Dieter Needs to Fly when I was younger, and I've been aware of it's existence recently without realising that it was the film I had seen with "that" music years ago.
posted by fire&wings at 5:47 PM on April 13, 2006

Björk music is usually beautiful & effective, but for me her use of Tuvan singing is not so impressive. Nothing compares to the real thing, and Huun Huur Tu is some of the best throat singing out there. They tour every year, so if you can you should see this stuff live... Also, a small note: Björk's music features Tagaq, an Inuit female throat singer (Tuvan ladies aren't allowed to throat sing, but Inuit singers are almost always women), while Herzog used Tuvan or Tibetan (the monks usually do it there).
posted by ibeji at 6:15 PM on April 13, 2006

[eek, I didn't mean to imply that Björk or Tanya Tagaq aren't "the real thing"! Just that HHT is the bomb. I'm not an asshole, I swear!]
posted by ibeji at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2006

The artist is Kongar-ol Ondar & Paul 'Earthquake' Pena. The song you heard is called Eki A'ttar (Good Horses).

Great use of a song it was.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 6:26 PM on April 13, 2006

Edited to say drop me an e-mail and I'll send you the mp3.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 6:29 PM on April 13, 2006

I've seen Huun Huur Tu live, and I can't wait to again. It was one of the most amazing concert experiences I could hope to have.
posted by agregoli at 7:31 AM on April 14, 2006

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