A IS FOR AUSTRALIA, J IS FOR JAPAN and T IS FOR TIBET
A bansuri is a side-blown flute that is mostly used by musicians around Himalayas. On this album, however, the master of bansuri is Japanese, Tero Terahara, considered to be one of the world’s experts on the instrument. His participation adds an extra layer to the already complex arrangement of instrumentals, chants and mantras by the Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal, exiled from his homeland as a child and currently residing in Australia. It’s not the first foray into merging cultures for Tenzin: he had previously collaborated with Philip Glass, chamber orchestras and even didjeridoo players. But despite the adventurous nature of his creative process, this album is pure Tibet, blending the country’s rich musical history and Tenzin’s own variations on the subject. I found it to be exceptionally good, both as casual listening that let me abstract myself from the hustle of NYC and its ever changing summer weather into the breezy sounds of the bansuri and Tenzin’s throaty vocals, and as sound therapy that has been excellent for anxiety reduction, meditation and sleep work. I have long considered world culture to be healing, and this album shows that proof is in the delicious, holistic pudding.
Tibet: The Awakened Heart by Tenzin Choegyal and Taro Terahara
Released by Laughing Buddha Records in 2011
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