Bart Plantenga is the author of the novel Beer Mystic, and Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World (Routledge); he also compiled the CD Rough Guide to Yodel. He is currently working on Yodel in HiFi, a documentary on yodeling, and two new yodel compilations.
Yodeling as Secret Weapon
Tim Burton’s over-the-top 1996 film Mars Attacks, about menacing Martians conquering a globe of naïve earthlings, features the yodel as the vocal equivalent of a secret PsyOps weapon that ultimately saves the earth from Martian domination. At a climactic instant, the headphones of an eccentric old lady who’s always listening to her favorite yodeler, Slim Whitman, suddenly slip off her head, exposing the Martians to Whitman’s histrionic yodeling-crooning: "When I’m calling you-oo-oo…" Yodeling’s high notes shatter the Martians’ helmets and their heads explode in great bursts of green cerebral goo.
Yodel-Spotting: Lapsed-Mennonites, Yodeling Truck Drivers, Japanese Carnivores in Lederhosen, and Soft-Core Tyrolean Yodel Pornby Bart Plantenga
Dogs go through life following their noses from dog truffle to urine tag. I careen through life from yodel to yodel. Call it research, audio hallucination, or hyper-sensitivity, but I hear everything—anti-terrorism, the olympics, pop music, politics, sirens, “Bee-ah hee-ah” vendors at Yankee Stadium—through the ears of a yodel “expert.” Fixations, phobias, and zealotry give “purpose” to our wanderings.
Cyrill Schläpfer is one of those possessed artists, a bent ethnomusicologist veteran of many journeys into the Alpine countryside.
Masked avengers are a strange, lonely breed: Batman, the Lone Ranger, Zorro, Wonder Woman. They operate as one-person operations, alienated from society and paperwork, at once heroic and existential.
I dont know how it happens, but things evolve of their own accord in life, shoved along by ones own preoccupations and interests.