Mark van Tongeren | Paraphony. Extended Harmonic Techniques

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Paraphony. Extended Harmonic Techniques

by Mark van Tongeren

A single human voice, in all its harmonic splendor, recorded on the mountains at the border of Mongolia, in a spectacularly sounding silo, in a former factory, and more .... Paraphony is a journey through resonance inside and outside the body.
Genre: World: Throat Singing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Great Realm Part I (Tuvan Khoomej)
5:12 album only
2. Genius Loca
3:04 album only
3. Outer Mongolia (Inner Magnolia)
4:46 album only
4. City Chess
5:36 album only
5. Swell Ground
0:59 album only
6. Do it yourself
5:05 album only
7. Dense
2:42 album only
8. Sonaglescula (Variation on Tuvan Borbannadir)
1:54 album only
9. Paraphony
5:37 album only
10. Ekmelia
4:14 album only
11. Gate Gate Paragate
11:11 album only
12. The Great Realm Part II(Tuvan Kargyraa)
4:57 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A detailed description of Paraphony can be found below. For more info on Mark van Tongeren, his book on Overtone Singing and other recordings check out


On Paraphony-Extended Harmonic Techniques, vocalist and music ethnographer Mark van Tongeren uses an incredible range of unknown and new vocal techniques. He effortlessly displays his mastery of Turco-Mongol and Western overtone singing, in which he truly excells, but also has a keen sense to response to each acoustical environment in a different and authentic way.

Van Tongeren traveled thousands of kilometers to find the best suitable spaces, and in all recordings one finds that his voice and the acoustical environment truly come alive.

The CD comes with a beautifully designed booklet with photos and a commentary for each recording site.

The following text is from the album notes provided by Mark van Tongeren himself:

"Not unlike the voice, spaces have a hidden sound spectrum, through their acoustic reverberation. Closed spaces in particular favor certain frequencies while suppressing others. They have a 'potential voice,' as it were, that one normally does not hear, but becomes aware of when projecting sounds into a space.

Polyphonic music of the Renaissance was sometimes considered as an ornament of the built space. The voice could make the sacred proportions of a cathedral audible, and bring its measures alive. Overtone singing is a very precise way of bringing to resonance the slumbering sound or voice of a resonant space, using the strict mathematical order of harmonics. The technique invites singers to set up a dialogue with their (acoustical) environment.

I devoted about a dozen years to explore oriental and occidental techniques of harmonic singing, and used every possibility I had to listen how external (environmental) resonance affects internal (voice) resonance, and vice versa. Time and again -and usually unexpectedly - I heard new details in the sound of my voice through the feedback of the surrounding space. The challenge in making this CD was to search for those acoustic environments that could best highlight the voices' colours and harmonics and the way they can be used musically."

One of the aims with these recordings was to show how Tuvan music, which many people have heard live and from studio recordings, sounds in the Tuvan landscape. On the last recording, 'The Great Realm Part II (Tuvan kargyraa),' he faithfully produces an extremely low type of Tuvan throat singing. He performed it on a hilltop overlooking the vast spaces where Russia and Mongolia meet, a place as silent and sound-proof as a recording studio or anechoic chamber.
Many western (overtone) singers, by contrast, look for places which will expand the voice's presence through acoustic reverberation or resonance, as van Tongeren does in ‘Paraphony.’ Here his solo voice is multiplied by natural means not in a churchg, but in a gigantic silo in Amsterdam, yielding sounds beyond what most conceive as humanly possible.

" of the most talented and beautifully effective harmonic singers in the world..."
- Randy Rainer-Reusch, Music Works

"When Dutch throatsinger Mark van Tongeren begins to sing, it sounds like a symphony of bees buzzing up from his gullet"
- The Evening Post, New Zealand

Mark van Tongeren also appears on
SPHERE by Parafonia ( and
ETOS by Oorbeek (



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