DHARAMSHALA, June 12: Tibetan Buddhist monks of the Gyuto monastery will be performing at this year’s Glastonbury festival in Somerset, England from June 26 to 30.
According to The Independent, Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has extended “full support” for the monks’ performance at Glastonbury festival, best known for its contemporary music.
The monks who are currently in Australia with the Dalai Lama will perform their chants in Glastonbury’s Green Fields on June 27.
The Guardian has reported that the event will mark the 100th anniversary of the Tibetan Declaration of Independence, and the monks will also build a sand mandala.
The monks of the Gyuto Monastery, which has its exile base in Dharamshala, north India, recently landed a record deal with classical music label Decca. They have already recorded an album called Chants: The Spirit of Tibet produced by UK based Youth, who has worked with artists such as U2, Sir Paul McCartney, and Depeche Mode.
Youth described the monks’ voices as “commanding and powerful.”
“When they sing they put every fiber of themselves into it. They believe that just by listening to these special tones you can actually come closer towards enlightenment,” said Youth. "To me they seemed like they were in the engine room of the world, diligently turning these huge invisible karmic wheels with their voices and mantras."
The monks’ album will release on July 8.
The Gyuto Monks were nominated for a Grammy Award in the best traditional world music category in 2011 for their album Pure Sounds.
The monks last performed in the United Kingdom at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1973, and since then they have performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and toured the US with veteran rock act The Grateful Dead.
The first Glastonbury festival was in 1970 and since then leading pop and rock artists have appeared as headline acts with thousands of others appearing on smaller stages and performance areas.
It is now attended by around 150,000 people drawing extensive coverage from television and newspapers.