SPIRIT OF AN OVERTONE                                  Approx. 2 1/2 mins reading time

Harmonic overtone singing, or toning, is a particularly wonderful and uplifting branch of Sacred Sound. It was originally developed by tribal people in Central Asia, notably the Tuvans, as throat singing. From there it passed to the Tibetans, becoming part of the spiritual observances of some Tibetan monks. It has been used in Shamanic ritual and ceremony for many centuries and has been a part of the practice of many Mystic Path Traditions.

To create overtones, a singer sounds a continuous fundamental tone that allows overtones to emerge as secondary voices sounding above the original note. This is done by varying the shape of the mouth parts and throat so that a number of distinct notes can be heard as fluting or whistling sounds creating their own melody. Vowel sounds have long been associated with accessing the Divine, and it is these that are used to create overtones. Although all the sounds produced by overtone singing are physically created, there is something intrinsically magical about it. Working with overtones is like singing with the angels. 

From a metaphysical standpoint, all music creates astral forms that are visible to the clairvoyant. The music forms associated with certain compositions generate small nature spirits who interact with the music, working with its ability to affect astral and etheric material. Some of the most exquisite of these small beings are associated with overtones. When the fundamental tone is sounded, a cloud of colour is created that emanates from the singer’s mouth on the breath. The colour is determined by the note chosen, the intention of the singer and the quality or refinement of the voice. As the overtones begin to emerge from the initial note, a melody stream flows out from the cloud in an undulating ribbon of light and colour. 

With each overtone, a small winged spirit pops into being, seeming to emerge from the colour of the melody stream itself. They are formed from silvery white light, touched with a variety of soft colours according to the nature of the overtone of which they are a part. Crowns of energy stream from their heads, interspersed with filmy, web-like structures that are instrumental in processing the sound. They are very detailed and clearly defined and are highly evolved for their size. 

By the end of the tone, a number of the spirits can be seen floating at regular intervals along the sparkling ribbon. They make a variety of slow and graceful movements, stretching and posturing as if basking in the sound. Their shapes and movements combine with the vibration of the sounds to condition and refine the nearby etheric substance, so that astral material flows through it in ways that are clearing, healing or refining, according to the intention held in the mind of the singer. The overtone spirits shimmer and vibrate in the air for some time after the physical sounds cease. Eventually they fade into the surrounding ethers. 

Where many tones are sung one after another, the melody streams containing the little nature spirits interweave and flow together, creating a display of light and beauty. Anyone viewing these spirits can be left in no doubt of the spiritualising effect of Sacred Sound and of overtone singing in particular. 

The overtone available as a sound file on this page is sung by Chris James, an extraordinarily gifted singer and talented teacher of Sacred Sound. His company is aptly named ‘Sounds Wonderful Pty Ltd’. Chris resides in New South Wales, Australia and teaches and performs in Australia and internationally. His voice is truly an instrument of the Divine. 

Many thanks to Chris for generously allowing us to use this overtone on our website. 

The wonderful ‘Spirit of an Overtone’ in the illustration is one of a stream of four accompanying an overtone sung by Chris. We observed them a number of years ago when Chris stayed in our home and conducted workshops for us and many of our students and friends. 

The entire series of these spirits will be featured in our book, ‘Spirits of Nature and Angels’ which we are currently writing and illustrating. 

To hear a recording of an overtone 
CLICK on the button.