Jim Cole and Spectral Voices
The harmonic singing technique used here is similar to Tibetan, Mongolian and Tuvan harmonic overtone singing. Using the naturally occurring harmonic series, the singer changes the shape of the mouth and throat to control the harmonic. This technique enables the singer to produce more than one note.
Recorded in a 120 foot tall water tower, Jim Cole and Spectral Voices continue and extend a tradition of harmonic chant as used by David Hykes and Tim Hill in the Harmonic Choir and Michel Vetter (as well as the previously mentioned Tibetan, Mongolian and Tuvans). One singer is a group, a duo is a choir. Higher harmonics sound like a second person is whistling. Sub-harmonics resemble the gruff chant of Tibetan monks. The resonant water tower adds to the direct to digital audio tape recording, a natural reverb that enhances the music.
Spectral Voices are: Jim Cole and Alan Dow with Berk “Deepak Throat” Meitzler, Sharen Baker, Sylvia Halkin and Florentin Traista. Except for a tambura on Blue India and percussion on Heartbeat to Avalon, only voices are used on this recording. No synthesizers or studio wizardry.
Of course, since we’re dealing with the harmonic series, these musicans are working with just intonation – intervals based on whole number ratios. For example, 7/4 (the seventh harmonic) or 9/8 (the ninth harmonic) are whole number ratios.
Harmonic singing is too beautiful. In all the other traditions of singing, there’s nothing like it, a true spiritual experience.
Originally published on line at Juxtaposion Ezine.