Maybe you've heard they can shatter glass with their voices. Maybe you've heard that, if they sing a certain note incorrectly, they can kill themselves with the reverberations. Maybe those rumors are true, maybe they're not, but either way, the Huun Huur Tu Throat Singers from the Russian republic of Tuva will stage an interesting show Friday night in Kresge.

Throat singing is a unique vocal technique which involves manipulation of the throat, mouth and diaphragm. Through this manipulation, singers can hold notes for an extremely long time or even produce multiple notes at once. The throat singers screen almost all overtones that are produced when they sing a note, isolating a few that come out as distinct, audible notes. Their throats become tiny slits, able to produce the note for a long period of time.

Tuva, which borders Mongolia and the eastern part of Russia, is home to several types of throat singing. They include khoomei, kargyraa, sygyt, borbangnadyr, and ezengileer. The styles tend to vary by region, and the members of Huun Huur Tu perform a few of the styles.

Huun Huur Tu, which means "sun propeller" in Tuvan, consists of four artists: Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, Sayan Bapa, Andrey Mongush, and Alexei Saryglar. All the artists embarked on musical paths at a young age. Khovalyg taught himself how to sing as a child and worked as a shepherd until age 21, and Mongush learned throat singing at age 13. Khovalyg and Mongush both perform the khoomei styles, and Khovalyg provides his own version of kargyraa. Bapa also sings in the kargyraa style, and Saryglar specializes in sygyt. Though their voices are the main instruments, Huun Huur Tu also plays acoustic guitars, percussion, and traditional Tuvan string instruments. Two members of the group received musical training outside of Tuva: Bapa played fretless bass in a Russian jazz-rock band, and Saryglar joined the Russian State Ensemble to play percussion.

The group has toured all over the United States and Canada, including Hawaii, where they looked slightly out of place with their furry Siberian-style hats. Americans first heard Huun Huur Tu thanks to the efforts of Richard Feynman, who was part of the Los Alamos project. Feynman had collected stamps from Tuva, and always wanted to visit to hear the traditional throat singing. Feynam died in 1988 before he could get a visa to visit Tuva, but many heard of Feynman's desire to hear the music and took the trip in honor of him.

You may not have a Tuvan stamp collection, but it will be worth it to stop by Kresge on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. to experience the exotic sounds of throat singing. Then, you'll see if they really can shatter glass.