If I suggested to you that I enjoyed a film that focused on the Swiss musical tradition of yodeling, what would your reaction be? Behind the everyday comedy and clichés there has been something quite miraculous and beautiful taking place. You only need to watch the clip in this post to appreciate there is more to yodeling than most of us ever imagined and it’s not just about singing, it goes much deeper…into the sub-consciousness?
Echoes Of Home is a documentary directed by Stefan Schwietert and it focuses on three performers who are on a musical journey in exploring the depths and heights of yodeling and uncovering its very soul. The landscape around us plays a huge influence on song and voice, more than we probably realise. When you begin to consider other mountain nations and their vocal traditions you begin to hear a common influence. When the Mongolian Throat singers meet Christian, the main character, the results are compelling and entertaining. The understanding and interplay of voice and instrument flow as if they have been performing together for half their lives.
The documentary also focuses on the traditional side of yodeling. Even this vocal form was so far removed from what I expected. I was transfixed by what has got to be one of the most compelling documentaries I have ever seen. There is no narration, just the voices of the characters telling their stories and their inner most feelings about this form of music they love.
The cinematography is beautiful. It adds a whole air of mystery to the film that draws you ever deeper into the psyche of the characters. All of this goes way beyond words. You simply cannot portray the depth of meaning in these old forms which sound just as at home in a traditional setting as they do in a contemporary and experimental one.
There isn’t another film like it.