MuOM is a Barcelona vocal group which uses overtone Singing Techniques, with each singer producing two tones at once. They creates their own wordless music, often without any accompanying instrumentation.
The overtones work by superimposing the two planes of the voice and it’s harmonics to create slowly shifting harmonies with delicate overtone melodies overtop.
The sound is highly immersive and can often be quite calming. There is something in the drone of the multiple voices that seems to connect with notions of trance, ritual and spirituality. Whilst I was expecting the hippy tranquillity of David Hykes Harmonic Choir, MuOM have multiple strings in their bow, utisling percussion, didgeridoo, violin and multiple overtone and singing traditions such as Mongolian throat singing or approaches reminiscent of Indian classical music and Eastern European folk music. They’re influenced by ancient music as well as minimalism and avant garde music and as a result many of the pieces feel like a myriad of traditions and worlds colliding.
Their use of dynamics and density is particularly effective. There can be a single voice quietly intoning one minute and the next a chorus of long drawn out drones. You never know what your going to get. There are fascinating cross cultural exchanges occurring within the one song.
‘Terra’ is Muom’s fourth album and the first in the ‘Elementalia’ series, which will consist of four albums, each dedicated to one of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water).