Yesterday I went to the Taipei National University of Arts (TNUA) in Beitou for the presentation of the DVD The Dao of Overtone Singing. The DVD contains the teachings of German performer-vocalist Natascha Nikeprelevic earlier in 2009 in Taipei. The second part is a registration of the live performance of All-Ein, her major solo piece, also made at the TNUA.
It is high time that a female performer gets a platform to show what is possible for women in overtone singing, since in my experience there are always so many women at workshops! Natascha is probably the person best suited for the job: her method and explanations, taken from Michael Vetter’s groundbreaking work as a performer and teacher during the last 30 years, are lucid and effective.
The DVD gives a concise version of several days of workshops by Natascha, highlighting the most important instructions. She explains them clearly in English, and there are Chinese subtitles.
The producer of the DVD is professor Chung Mingder, dean of the Theatre Faculty, who has been promoting overtone singing starting with my first live performance in Taipei. He somehow remembered that that was exactly six years ago yesterday! Time really does fly…
Professor Chung kindly invited me as a VIP and asked me to give my comments after we watched the first public showing of the film. I gave a wider context for this kind of medium (DVD) on the subject and also for the place of overtone singing in the oeuvres of Nikeprelevic and Vetter, who have much more to offer artistically.
After that I gave a workshop, starting from Vetter’s materials used by Nikeprelevic. There were people part of the regular group of practitioners and a few that were new to overtone singing. It is always interesting to hear the latter comment on their first experiences of these sounds. One of them compared the sounds to a typhoon: they were twirling and whirling inside her body and around her.
The DVD itself is a non-commercial enterprise primarily meant as a documentation of an ‘excellence in teaching’ program of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. It captures the teachings plainly, without additional takes, without special lighting or audio recordings. It will mainly be used internally, as instruction material for students to learn about making and perceiving harmonics, aspects of performance, language, etcetera.
My first impression is that the DVD does an excellent job in what it is meant to be. It gives justice to the unique approach of Vetter and Nikeprelevic and shows how people are taught. At the beginning a quote from Vetter tells that The Dao of Overtone Singing means that you have to let the sounds teach you: you do not need a guru.
Despite the fact that the DVD is not commercially available, we are curious to know if you have interest in it. You can let me know through email (info at fusica dot nl) and I’ll pass on the message.