What is Overtone Singing?

Overtone singing in the west (not to be confused with Central Asian throat singing), involves splitting one voice into 2 distinct pitches at once. The lower pitch is the fundamental from which the natural harmonic series is generated. The singer uses special techniques to isolate individual harmonics and make them clear above this lower pitch. It is possible to move these 2 pitches in counterpoint with each other.

Online overtone singing course

Kiva created a comprehensive online course for beginners through advanced learners. It consists of 12 streaming videos (3.5 hours total), loads of downloadable written material, special notation, exercises and more. The course begins with exploration of the voice in the healing aspects, then takes the singer way beyond these 'automatic' elements into the realm of practical musical applications and several innovative variations. Besides being a fascinating skill on its own, it may enhance almost any style of singing.
If you have any questions about the course, please use the form in the Contact page.
Private SKYPE sessions may be arranged at any point.
To purchase the course, please scroll to the bottom of this page.
How does Kiva use overtone singing in her music?
Since beginning this vocal style in 1989, Kiva has become recognized especially for incorporating overtones into genres not commonly associated with it, such as jazzy pop/ experimental/ world/ alt singer songwriter and new classical. You might say 'non-esoteric'. Some of her works feature these techniques exclusively, whereas others use it judiciously as the 'special spice'. She has developed numerous variations on her own, which show up in surprising ways. Sometimes it shows up as specific parts in songs that otherwise have lyrics. Words sung in a 'natural' way can move into overtones in a single breath. Other times, it serves as a basis for improvisation. Usually it is accompanied by her own keyboard playing, with some tracks including percussion, stringed instruments and others by various accomplished artists. The vocal techniques can result in passages that are smooth and dreamy or very rhythmic and hypnotic in nature.
Mouth within mouth
Besides the overtone singing in her three solo CDs, Kiva has created a substantial body of work for SATB overtone choir, with complex arrangements. Every member learns the skill at an advanced polyphonic level. She established her own such choir 'Auralia' in Prague. 
Overtone choir AURALIA at the Prague Overtone Festival 2010 directed by Kiva Simova, with special guest Wolfgang Saus (second from right)

Overtone choir AURALIA at the Prague Overtone Festival 2010 directed by Kiva Simova, with special guest Wolfgang Saus (second from right)

"Kiva uses overtone singing as kind of a natural synthesizer to add almost electronic sounding vocal effects to her music. Her songs are most creative, touching and a very unique combination of songwriting/pop and overtone singing. There are less than a handful of singers out there who use overtones in this new way."- Wolfgang Saus, overtone singing master

The following audio consists of excerpts from 11 tracks. To view the full list of track names, please click on the SoundCloud icon in the top right corner.
 



Workshops

When Kiva tours, she includes the option of a workshop of 4-6 hours, usually the day before or after a solo concert. Check the Schedule page for workshops in your area.
If your organization wishes to book a workshop, please Contact Kiva with your proposal.
 
Workshop in the Pool of the Black Star- Manitoba Legislature

Workshop in the Pool of the Black Star- Manitoba Legislature

Quotes from workshop participants

"Kiva is a creative musician whose work is also very spiritual. She teaches her unique skills in over-toning to individuals and to groups in a way that is encouraging and inspiring. She opens the door to new ways of hearing and creating sounds, and has people feeling as though they are truly hearing sounds within sounds and beyonds sounds - all at the same time. She is a true professional on her own journey to deeper meanings in music."- Hollie Andrew, President, Keepers of The Sanctuary, Winnipeg, MB

“I first met Kiva during an overtone singing workshop she taught in Toronto about 12 years ago. I was excited to finally have the opportunity to learn how to create these amazing sounds with the voice. During the 2 days, we covered a wide range of techniques, including the opportunity to sing at close range with a partner, experiencing the interplay of the overtones between the two voices. Because of Kiva’s masterful way of guiding us through the process, I was able to experience this somewhat mysterious technique and was delighted with how these ethereal sounds came flowing out of my voice with such ease. More recently, I had another opportunity to work with Kiva in one of her workshops, both deepening my own skills, and being introduced to how she is evolving this style of singing. In my own work as a composer and vocal soundhealer, I am always inspired when I encounter unique ways of working with the voice. I have had the privilege of working with recordings of Kiva’s distinctive style of overtone singing voice in one of my film soundtracks, and in one of my own compositions, and the overtone techniques she taught me have benefited me greatly in my soundhealing work. I believe we have much to learn about the healing power of this ancient technique of singing and Kiva’s work is poised to bring this tradition and her own experimentation with it to a wide audience. I’m excited to see what will unfold as she moves her work forward and encourage anyone with a desire to experience the profound experience of working with overtone music to connect with this powerful and exceptional teacher and performer.”- Wende Bartley
Overtone singing course (online)

Overtone singing course (online)

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Full 3 part course/ 12 videos/ 12 lessons from beginner to advanced for all vocal ranges. Includes 3.5 hours of video instruction, extensive downloadable written materials, exercise mp3s, special notation, songs. Upon payment you will receive your password to enter the 'Online Course' page for your lesson materials.

*Please note that by purchasing the course, you are in agreement that you will not share your access with others, or re-distribute the materials by any means, and understand that there is no refund for digital products.

Attention Choir Directors! Click here for 8 FREE original overtone choir scores.
* Your questions and/ or feedback regarding these scores are much appreciated, especially notification of performances. Coaching may be provided to any members for the overtone parts.
 
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