Because I don’t have a car here in Bucharest, I end up spending a lot of time walking. (Some days, in fact, I feel like that’s *all* I do.)
While I do some intellectually-stimulating things (like practice speaking/thinking Romanian, listen to Romanian preachers), some spiritually-strengthening things (like listen to preaching form the U.S., pray in tongues, meditate on Scripture, talk with God), and some mind-numbing things (like get annoyed at the slow-walking people, complain about the weather, hurry), I also do one thing that really doesn’t fit into any category: I practice Tuvan overtone singing. 🙂
It’s probably one of the most difficult and useless skills I hope to develop while in Bucharest, but it really sounds awesome when it’s done right. (Trust me, it does!) Unfortunately, I don’t do it right. (Trust me, I don’t!) Fortunately, since I often walk along some pretty empty streets, I’m the only one who hears my pitiful attempts.
A few years ago, though, I first heard overtone singing and thought, “Dear God, what sort of powers have so possessed that man’s throat that he sings with two voices at the same time?!?!” I could see no answer short of a supernatural one, and it was probably demonic.
But, apparently, anyone can learn to do it. You don’t have to be from Asia. You don’t have to be a monk. You don’t have to invite demons to speak through you.
And so, while I walk to and from the subway, I’ve been practicing Tuvan overtone singing. I can get a tone, but that’s about it. Still, if I practice, who knows, maybe I’ll be the only guy in all of Europe who can Tuvan throat sing. 🙂 And we could have the only worship team in Bucharest that does Romanian songs in bad American accents while overtone singing.
Uh… Maybe not… (But I know in heaven I’m gonna go look for those few Tuvans who love Jesus, and I’m gonna go worship with them for a few hundred years.)
Anyhow, if you wanna learn how to do it, check out youtube. There are a few good tutorials out there. Also, I found this site useful: http://tarbagan.net/nodo/how/how.html. But there’s not much out there so google “throat singing” or “tuvan overtone singing” or some combination of those words, and you’ll get what’s out there.
And if you’re in need of some inspiration (because somehow, maybe, there’s a chance you don’t automatically think “Dude, this stuff is awesome!”), check out the Alash Ensemble. They’re not the end-all, be-all when it comes to throat singing, but they’re awesome and a great place to get a quick introduction. And, since I don’t understand anything they’re singing about, they work great to play while reading the Bible.