Saturday, November 08, 2003

They Might Be Whistling a Tuvan Polka

So I've been listening to a lot of They Might Be Giants recently, mostly thanks to Miriam, who has supplied me with just piles of the stuff. They've got a lot of interesting songs, but I find them highly variable. The ones I like, I've been listening to repeatedly for the last week or so, but I don't really give a second thought to the others. Oh well. That's the beauty of making mp3 playlists out of them.

At Friday Night Waltz last night, Joan played "Lucky Ball & Chain," which is a great polka (though I think it's a bit slow for its energy). I've danced to it before, but not for a little while, and I felt like I knew it better than I used to, for all the TMBG that's been going through my head, and that made it even more fun to dance to. I found myself matching parts of the music that I didn't even consciously know were coming up (like the extra measure that's tucked away in the middle somewhere). That was cool.

"Whistling in the Dark" is another one that been a real earworm for me lately. I haven't even figured out why exactly I like it so much, but something about it makes it really addictive. Then last night I was driving home and for some reason started making a Tuvan throat singing arrangement of it in my head. I've still been listening to what Tuvan stuff I can find, and trying to do it myself, and this seemed like an interesting place for it to collide with TMBG. John Linnell in the studio version of "Whistling in the Dark" sings the verses very low, so I started imagining that in kargyraa, which is the really low, growling sort of Tuvan throat singing, that I can't do yet. And then the instrumental breaks (or the simpler parts at least) could be done in sygyt, which is the drone-with-whistling-overtone that I've been working on. Anyway, overall it would probably come out pretty weird, but I was amusing myself.

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