Tuesday, 25 September 2007


Tuvan throat-singing, or khöömei, is a remarkable style of traditional music where, using harmonics, one vocalist sings with two voices simultaneously. It's beautiful music and anyone who's listened to it rarely forgets the first time they heard it. But for anyone who hasn't yet had the opportunity to hear this style of singing, I'm tempted to post a recording of Bingley's version!

Bingley rarely barks for attention; but recently he's taken to sitting by the baby gate and singing his own version of khöömei, with a deep chest resonance overlaid with a breathtakingly pure high tone harmonic. It really is quite remarkable! I'm a huge fan of experimental music, so I'm used to hearing beautiful sounds appear from the most unlikely of sources: as a consequence poor Bing is there singing his heart out and yearning for a cuddle, and I'm just sitting back thinking: wow, this is amazing!

Of course he gets plenty of attention really, and we've been having some good fun on our walks. I wish that I'd taken the camera along this afternoon if only to capture his blackberry picking skills! We're now having daily off-lead romps on our little grassy hill, and as he's gaining confidence he's beginning to explore more of the area by himself. Today he discovered the blackberry bushes just beyond the hill, and with the expert eye of a practised jam maker he began picking off the ripest berries. So my next training challenge is to get him to drop those berries into a tub, rather than chomp on them with a very satisfied look on his face.

He also dug his first hole and found his first stick. Actually, I think that he dug the hole simply in order to create a pile of grass behind him, because having done that he then promptly spun round, lay down and ate it all up! The stick, which he proudly came back to share with me, he chewed on in the sun for ages. Simple things; and life affirming. Just like Tuvan music in fact, which often deals with basic issues such as the love of a favourite horse. Maybe Bingley’s khöömei is like that: perhaps he’s singing about the breeze blowing over his grassy hill, and his little stick lying amongst the blackberries?

Or maybe he just wants me to go play tug-and-throw with his Wubba!

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