As It Happens

Video of German singer, Anna-Maria Hefele, hitting two notes at once goes viral

It's a job requirement for professional singers to hit the right notes. Two at the same time, however, that's a little above and beyond the call of duty. But that's what German singer, Anna-Maria Hefele can do, or at least appears to be able to do. And a video of her performing what is known as "polyphonic overtone singing" has...
Listen4:58
It's a job requirement for professional singers to hit the right notes. Two at the same time, however, that's a little above and beyond the call of duty.

But that's what German singer, Anna-Maria Hefele can do, or at least appears to be able to do. And a video of her performing what is known as "polyphonic overtone singing" has now gone viral.

anna-maria 2.jpg
German polyphonic overtone singer Anna-Maria Hefele (Photo: Anna-S. Foto Dresden)

Anna-Maria Hefele tells Carol the process sounds like it is two notes, but in fact it is more to do with how the ear hears the sound.

"It's just the normal singing voice and you can learn to filter some frequencies out until there is just one overtone left, and this one you can make it louder", Hefele explains to Carol. "It seems like you are hearing two voices because the brain is not used to hearing a voice in that filtered way."

Hefele says she has been studying polyphonic overtone singing for more than 8 years, but she believes anyone can pick up the technique.

"Well everybody can learn it. To sing overtones, and to hear them and enjoy them, it takes maybe one hour", Hefele tells Carol, "but to get them very loud, and clear, and controlled takes a lot more time."  

Watch the video below and listen to our interview to hear more of the bizarre sounds Hefele can sing.


Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.