The voice is the most primeval of instruments, from grunts to gasps, sighs to shouts, and ululations to utterances, emotions and the rhythms of life can be conveyed without the absolute need to bang or blow, scrape or strum.
For some, it’s a cultural thing, from the Tuvan throat singers of Mongolia to convicts on a chain gang singing a work song such as the recording by John and Alan Lomax of a man identified as Lightning and a group of his fellow black inmates at Darrington State Prison Farm in Texas in 1934.
Then there are the scat and vocalese singers, and a-capella groups who take the place of and/or add their voices to ‘traditional’ instruments to ‘imitate’ missing instruments.
Choirs, such as the ensemble of Japanese bank clerks, teachers and children assembled by Geinoh Yamashirogumi, are more communal (and more expensive) than solo singers who play with themselves via multi-tracking.
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01. Bobby McFerrin – Wailers
02. Boris Savoldelli – Crosstown Traffic
03. Jacob Collier – Flintstones
04. Petra Haden – Psycho Main Title
05. Ella Fitzgerald – Little Jazz
06. Flying Stork w. Norma Winstone – Mother Lou
07. Maria João – Fábula
08. Lightning – Long John
09. The Persuasions – There’s A Train
10. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Ulepa
11. Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Khwishi Khwishi
12. Sonam Chungjung & Sonam Lamo – Natar yulgay namkar
13. Trilok Gurtu – Trilok’s Solo
Kvitretten – Whowhatwhenwhere?