Blues, Folk, & Country, World, Latin, & Reggae

Huun Huur Tu

When: Tue., Feb. 26, 8 p.m. 2008

Tuvan quartet HuunHuurTu plays some of the most starkly beautiful and eerie music on the planet. They play instruments seldom seen in America, including igil, a two-stringed violin; chanzy, a three-string violin; doshpuluur, a Mongolian banjo-like instrument, and a rattle made from the bones of a sheep enclosed in a bull's scrotum. The band wears colorful traditional costumes, and practice a vocal discipline called xöömei (throat-singing), a method of producing two or more tones at the same time, usually low rumbling bass notes and a high, whistling upper register full of harmonic overtones that carries the melody. Their music is a way of recreating the natural world around them, so the sounds of galloping horses, rivers gurgling over rocks, and the cries of birds and animals are incorporated into their songs. Due to their geographical isolation, Tuvan music has remained pure, although Soviet attempts to dilute the style has left a mark. You've never seen or heard anything quite like it. Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the GreatAmericanMusic Hall (859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco). 8 p.m., $25.

j. poet

Price: $25

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