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Arts & Entertainment Master throat singers to perform Oct. 16

Alash EnsembleThe Alash ensemble from the Tuva Republic in Central Asia will offer a unique look at the power of the human voice through a performance featuring the ancient tradition of throat singing at Western Carolina University on Wednesday, Oct.16.

Tickets for the show, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center, are free to students and $5 to all others.

Throat singing is a technique that involves singing multiple pitches at the same time. In Tuva, nomadic herdsmen developed the art generations ago as they mimicked sounds and harmonies in nature such as birdsong and wind. Newsweek has compared the sound to “a human bagpipe – a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally – by the same person, at the same time.”

Trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood, Alash’s members formed the group while students at Kyzyl Arts College, where they practiced a basement. The group began to weave western styles into its throatsinging performances and today performs a range of musical genres, including classical chamber music, jazz and bluegrass fusion.

In addition, the musicians accompany their singing with a variety of string, percussion and wind instruments made from natural resources and designed to produce a multi-textured sound. The ensemble tours regularly in Europe and the United States, and has performed on four albums, including as guest artists on the Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Grammy Award-winning holiday CD “Jingle All the Way.”

The performance at WCU is part of the 2013-14 Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series.

For more information about the ACE series, visit or contact Rotimi Ariyo, associate director for University Center programs, at (828)227-03751. For tickets, visit the Bardo Arts Center box office in person or online at, or call at (828)227-2479.

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