Kulning is Beautiful

Kulning is beautiful. An ancient art of herding calls used in Scandinavia, it is usually used by women in order to call herds back home after a day of grazing.  Women were most often the ones tending the herds and instead of roaming the high mountain pastures, they could call out through the valleys with this most haunting of sounds.  The cows, sheep, or goats (each has a special call, as they react differently to the sounds) being called would make their way back home.

I was able to hear some live examples in the Royal Festival Hall a few weeks ago during the Women of the World festival.  Johanna Bölja Hertzberg and Ulrika Bodén gave a stunning performance of the high-pitched vocal art that is a part of the deep folk tradition in Sweden.  Their otherworldly singing washed over the entire hall in a way that I will never forget.

It’s a bit difficult to describe so I have attached below a youtube link to a short video of Joanna Jinton performing. The cows are lovely too.