Documentary by Stefan Schwietert
‘Echoes of Home’ makes a strong case for this high, wide and lonesome sound expressing the soul of the alpine landscape, beautifully captured by the aerial camera work.
It centres on three virtuoso performers, all bent on extending their range: a middle-aged man from a family with a yodelling tradition, a woman raised in America before returning to a small Swiss village, and a young mystic-obsessive right out of a Werner Herzog movie, who travels to Tuva to study with Mongolian throat-singers.
The film sees yodelling as “tapping into the sound of the landscape”, an expression of isolated people living among echoing mountains to which they respond in song, whether they be cowboys in Wyoming, nomadic drovers in Mongolia or lonely goatherds in the Alps.
Yo-dell-ayy-hee-hooo! Actually, if you¹ve always reckoned yodelling to be among the most ridiculous ways of wasting a human voice, this labour-of-love documentary will give you pause for thought.