Tuesday, September 9, 2008


After a few minutes of rest and a good hot shower, we put on some clean clothes and head downstairs, where everyone is gathering, about to board the bus. We get on, and off we go!

Omar has made reservations for us at a cultural center/theater, and has told us a little bit about what we can expect there. The highlight of the show will be a performance by a Mongolian Throat Singer. What on earth is that?? Well, we found out, and it's really an unbelievable phenomenon.

Certain people, somehow, seem to have the physical ability or the talent or whatever you may choose to call it, to produce more than one tone at a time. We all talk, sing, yell or whatever by producing one tone, modulating it as needed to form words or change pitch. The tones can be raised and lowered up and down the scale at will, but there's only one tone to a customer, ordinarily. These throat singers can somehow produce two tones at the same time, each on a different pitch.

Have you ever stood in front of a fan and hummed, talked, sang or whistled into the breeze the fan creates? Sure you have. Every child discovers this at some point in his life, and every adult worth his or her salt has played with the discovery again when no one is watching. If you haven't, you need to conduct a search for your inner child, and liberate him or her.

Anyway, I think most of us know about the "double sound" that's produced when we do this. Well, that's what these throat singers sound like, and I have no earthly idea how they do it. It was fascinating. It sounded like two voices, but there was only one man singing. The question immediately arises - was another voice being transmitted from a microphone somewhere? Of course, that was possible, but I don't think so. The throat singers are famous in Mongolia, and I'm sure if it was a hoax, someone would have exposed it by now. I do know that it was beautiful, and absolutely fascinating.

We went to a lovely restaurant, had a delicious meal and returned to the hotel to rest and get ready for our flight back into China in the morning. We will be spending three days in Beijing. We're going to the Great Wall! We're going to the Forbidden City! We're going to shop! Uh-oh!

1 comment:

samraat said...