Native Tongue

by Yurt

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about

Harps in order of appearance: Hmong, Thai harp – Reeded Mouth Bow, American – Tuned Jew's harp, American –Temir Komuz, Kyrgiz harp – 3 tongued Dan Moi, Vietnamese harp – Kou Xiang, Chinese harp – Clackamore, American – Murchunga, Tibetan harp – Maultrommel, Bavarian harp – 2 tongued Dan Moi, Vietnamese harp – bamboo Kubing, Philopino harp

"The Jew's harp is known by many names throughout the world, in English alone it is called Jew's harp, jaw harp, juice harp, mouth harp & trump. Hundreds of cultures around the globe have independently discovered this mystical, and exceptionally unique instrument… unique because the mouth and throat serve as the resonance chamber for the metal or wood reed. The sound enters the body of the performer, the internal universe, before being "released" into the external world. Given this simple fact it seems unsurprising that Jew's harps (in their various forms) feature largely into much indigenous sacred music, and ritual from Mongolia to Peru.

I have been exploring these instruments for several years now. They are deceptively simple, usually featuring only one moving part, a single reed (although some have a few reeds). However, if you manage to truly open yourself to this marvelous tool you will find a deep well of fascinating sounds with seemingly endless subtlety – all controlled by the rhythm of the striking hand, the shape of mouth and throat, the movement of the tongue, the breath, and the spirit of the moment.

I have chosen the Runic symbol for harvest for the volume “number” of this edition of the Echomancy Tape Series (on Gnome Life Records), because I believe that these improvisations were harvested from somewhere ineffable, yet near by. It is this feeling of channeling, of interdimensional communion, of trippy travel that attracts me so profoundly to the Jew’s harp. I hope the ancient spirit of ceremony is also present with you as you listen. It is with great humility that I offer these recordings to you." – Fletcher M. Tucker

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released 16 April 2011

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