Kulning Technique (for Aurora)

Kulning is a spectacular vocal technique that was used by shepherds (primarily women) of the Sámi culture to call home grazing cattle over great distances. It is used in my choral work Aurora, where – although there is no expectation that the soloists will becoming experts in kulning technique – they are encouraged to listen to examples of the style and draw upon the timbre as much as they feel comfortable doing.

An audio example of kulning by Jennier Tiderman-Osterberg

Kulning was taught orally. Young women learned from the old, imitating the songs of their elders and slowly adding individual flair and vocal ornamentation.

Susanne Rosenberg, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-kulning
Maria Misgeld – Kulning tutorial
An example by Maria Misgeld of a traditional herding song in kulning

“Life for the fäbod women meant developing their own customs and traditions that were passed down from mother to daughter through the centuries. In this way, they created their own definition of womanhood. They developed their own musical language.”

Jennie Tiderman-Osterberg, https://folklife.si.edu/magazine/kulning-swedish-herding-calls
With the utmost gratitude to Bea Sider for her help and advice on kulning as used in Aurora.