Hysni (NIKO) Zela & Albanian Iso-Polyphonic Choir
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Hysni (NIKO) Zela & Albanian Iso-Polyphonic Choir

Tirana, Tiranë, Albania | INDIE

Tirana, Tiranë, Albania | INDIE
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"Albanian travelling by himself will be alone, two will quarrel, three will start singing for sure" - Albanian proverb.

The Albanian Iso-polyphony was proclaimed in 2005, a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.

M° Hysni (Niko) Zela is a living legend and the most important lead singers of the last 40 years that perform different forms of polyphonic singing. The Lab, Cam and the Tosk.
Granted by Albanian President "Great Master of Arts", the most important Order for an artist.
Lately he sings with Fanfara Tirana (the Albanian brass band).

Most of the choir singers are part of the Albanian National Ensemble. They have performed in all continents during the last 40 years.

Albanian Iso-Polyphony is a form of traditional music of Albania. Most of the villages have an iso-polyphony choir that is almost profesional but let's say that an Tosk or Lab or Cam (Cham) that do not is hard to find.
“Iso” refers to the drone accompanying the singing. Rendered principally by male singers, it is performed during social events (weddings, harvest feast, funerals, religious celebrations, festivals, etc.). It is practised in the south of Albania and is typical for two large areas: Toskëria and Labëria. If both Tosk and Lab polyphonic songs include ballads, historic songs, lyrical songs, etc, they perform the drone differently. The Tosks perform the drone continuously and sung on the syllable “e”, while the Labs sometimes sing the drone as a rhythmic tone.

Traditionally, iso-polyphony in the southern part of Albania has been transmitted form parents to children, but large-scale migrations due to economic hardship have caused the discontinuation of this mode of transmission.