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Yodeling

fending's picture

It's been quite a production to get these online, understandably because of the obvious technological disconnect. But here they are! When you buy the Listening Station, you get a Listening Station block with links to each yodel added to your screen (top left) when you're logged in. That access expires after 14 days, but it's well worth the listens, I think.

Having a music background myself (I intended a career in music before Technology lured me away to its cave...), these yodels proved a fascinating listen. The first yodel, with a cadenza by Joe, is just fabulous in its harmonic complexity. I found myself straining to listen to a single voice, but whenever one of the other voices came in a little before or after the beat, or at a lower note, I was too fascinated to pick it apart and instead listened to the whole. That, it proves, it where the multiple listenings come in handy - if you can do the aural equivalent of unfocusing one's eyes (fuzzy ears??), the whole thing is really quite moving. The "echo" verse toward the end is particularly nice, and Joe's solo to round it out lends a nice touch.

The duet is a bit of a blur (in that it goes by all too quickly!), but benefits from the same consideration. Gone are the children's sometimes-meandering voices and you're left with beautiful, wide-open harmonies that beg you to sing along. The whole project reminded me of ethnolographer Alan Lomax and his wonderful field recordings. 

Of course, there's also Kevin Williams' innovation of offering the yodels for various prices, a sort of "pay as you can" or, more to the point, "pay as you care you support" model.  I was skeptical at first, but hope it takes off as well as we hope it might.


Re: Yodeling

I have read your column in our "Town Crier" for a long time.

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