Hola Hu is a duet of 25 minutes composed by Myriam Van Imschoot for her teacher Doreen Kutzke. Sung in strict unison, this deconstructive vocal performance zooms into the acoustic particularities of the breaking voice as it occurs in yodeling while questioning the transmission of such vocal traditions.

Myriam Van Imschoot:

“Hola Hu is based on a well-known yodel phrase or tune from the Harz-mountains in former East-Germany, where Doreen is from. Approximate one minute and a half long, the tune gets repeated 11 times and along the way it gets decomposed with ever more increasing gaps of silence where there used to be sound.

Before becoming my singing partner, I took classes with Doreen Kutzke at her Jodelschule in Kreuzberg. Back home in Brussels, I kept practicing from cd’s that Doreen had recorded for me with teaching samples, sung by her once in the normal tempo, once in a slower version to ease the learning process.

I listened to these cd’s on my old cd-walkman, when running around in town. My movements inflicted shock upon the cd-play. I enjoyed those glitches and skips as they intensified something that had always attracted me to yodeling in the first place: the seemingly irregular leaps in the voice and the incredible technique that lies after every vowel production.

Hola Hu was the first duet that I composed based on this experience. I played the original version of the ‘mother phrase’ (the slow teaching sample) from the walkman, which I shook while it was attached to my computer. Thus I could simulate my walk-and-listen experience while recording the deviations that occurred. The result became the second ‘generation’ that I shock-treated again, resulting in turn, in a slightly more aberrant version. And so on… All versions got transcribed in colorful notations, which serve as our score in performance. In short, we reproduce with our voices the cd-glitches while yodeling. It is fascinating to see how alterations with their own random logic tickle a listening experience and refresh the auditory field. In every generation silences multiply, but sometimes also formerly unheard sounds come to the fore or new syllables emerge.

The piece primarily is a pure sound treatment and treat but we welcome the ‘ghosts’ on our side. Yodeling has many connotations. The taboos, fascinations, hesitations are not addressed in a frontal way, but hover in the space with us, tbrough the gaps and cracks.


Hola Hu at Walgenbach Art Books Rotterdam.



The Player from Rotterdam released a vinyl that holds a fragment of Hola Hu as it was performed during UOEIA#1: Global Glottis at the Opera Days. The sound art gallery Rumpsti Pumsti (Musik)(also a label and a store) prepares a cd with the entire version of both Hola Hu and Kucku and their respective scores. In Kunstencentrum Buda we performed the duet Hola Hu in combination with the video installation Yodel Portraits.

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