An Interactive Process

Careful listening is the key to improvised group overtone singing.  The recorded music of Spectral Voices is entirely improvised, each chord and melody unfolding in the moment as singers respond to each other and to the often surprising sound that emerges from the gathering of voices.

Recording Sky, Coalescence and Innertones

All the music on these three albums was performed in real time and created solely by human voice (except for two tracks on Coalescence). The music in the water tower was recorded in candlelit darkness using a stereo microphone and digital recorder, without any electronic manipulation, studio overdubbing, or other artificial enhancements.

What one hears on Sky and Coalescence (and the 3 water tower pieces on Innertones) is almost exactly what it sounded like inside the water tower as the music was being created.

Jim and Alan singing (with Tamboura):

Most of the tracks are just two or three people overtone singing in real time -- and nothing more. Much of the richness, complexity, and uniqueness of these recordings comes from the interplay between the reverberant environment, in which several notes linger for many seconds, and harmonic overtone singing (each voice singing 2 notes at once or more).