A few months ago I came across a video of Shina Nova learning throat singing from her mother Kayuula. Shina shares her videos on TikTok to bring the traditions of the Inuk and Inuit Indigenous culture to the masses.
Whenever I hear music like this or see videos like this I get goosebumps and sometimes tears come to my eyes. It touches me deeply to see and hear how music connects souls and how different musical traditions and cultures exist in the world.
During my brief studies in musicology, I already dealt with the topic of the voice as an instrument and gave a lecture on various singing techniques, and I remember the excursion into throat singing, which fascinated me. For years now I have harbored the desire, if I can finance it, to travel to different countries and go to the school of masters of their style of singing. Be it throat singing, the various chants of the Asian continent, yodeling, scatting, or beat-boxing. There is something wonderful, healing, and unifying about traditional music see the following video of two sisters from Canada traveling the country to share their singing with people! Look at the faces of the listeners:
Historically, Katajjaq was performed by women (although there are also men who practice it) while the men were out hunting. The singing style, was traditionally used to sing babies to sleep. However, it can also be performed as a game in which two Inuit women face each other to see who can outlast the other. As for the contest itself, one singer leads and controls the tempo, and the other follows with either the same sound (albeit offset) or a complementary sound. The leader later increases the tempo to see if the follower can keep up, and they usually laugh when they mess up. The sounds are primarily related to what they hear outside in nature. Themes of nature, animals, and love, mostly play a role in the songs, making them a meaningful and heartfelt representation of Inuit culture.
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