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Arts and Entertainment

Vocalist Tanya Tagaq at Grand Performances Tonight

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If Inuit throat singing is your thing, then you need to head to Grand Performances at the California Plaza tonight at 8 pm for a free concert by Tanya Tagaq. She'll be performing with drummer Scott Amendola and violinist Jesse Zubot.

So what, exactly, is Inuit throat singing? The LA Times'Mark Swed probably described it best:

Inuit throat singing began as a game between women in Nunavut, the vast Canadian territory that stretches to the Arctic Circle. Two women competitively chant into each other’s mouths, exchanging breaths, sharing vocal cavities, discovering mystic overtones, building rhythmic patterns that become physical convulsions. Sessions often dissolve into laughter. The technique developed as entertainment by women in a spectacularly cold and lonely region whose men were often out hunting. It is probably the closest two people can be without practicing sex.

The singer, who sings and moves on stage from an almost primal place, has gained notoriety from her work with Björk and the Kronos Quartet. Love it or hate it, it's definitely something different. Tagaq's vocal stylings--a mix of guttural sounds, high-piercing shrieks and Enya-like chants--are unlike anything you'll ever find on KIIS-FM.

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Tanya Tagaq @Grand Performances; Tonight at 8 pm; Free