I can't help suspecting that this book was written directly after Tepper read Anne McCaffrey's "Crystal Singer" (1982), was horrified by its portrayal of the exploitation of alien worlds, and said, "I'm going to show a different perspective on this!"
Both books feature an alien world of harsh yet dramatic aspect, covered with large crystals that respond to sound (esp. singing), are extremely sharp and dangerous, prone to slicing up people, but yet have an elite/apart group of people (singers) to work with them. But in McCaffreys book, the 'Crystal Singers' sing to shatter the crystals in specific ways for mining, and in Tepper's the 'Tripsingers' sing to *avoid* shattering the crystals, allowing caravans and other travellers to pass through them unharmed.
It fits with Tepper's usual ecological awareness.
Of course, there are other elements on the planet: governmental, corporate, and religious, who would just love to destroy the unique crystals, for their own immediate profit... which of course leads to much dramatic conflict.
Published in 1987, this book is not quite as adeptly written as many of her more recent books, but, if one can disregard the distracting resemblance to the earlier book, it's a pretty good sci-fi thriller with an action-filled climax.