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Emergence of Neo-Tibetan Music
By Email[Friday, February 22, 2008 17:33]

Tenzing Jigme
Tenzing Jigme
Musical adventure within the Tibetan exile community has been amply productive. Both the musicians and the audiences are to be credited for its modest flowering. We intermittently find ourselves tapping our feet and swaying our heads and hips to the newly released Tibetan contemporary music. However, most of the Tibetan contemporary music produced in exile communities comes to resist any severance from the norms of our traditional Tibetan music. Hence many artists are found encapsulated within the Tibetan Pop Music genre which was initiated decades ago by the rightful king of Tibetan pop music, Tsering Gyurmey. The rarity of aesthetic experimentation in Tibetan music has shrunk the possible fruition of distinctively individualized music of contemporary Tibet. Majority of songs hover in and around the influences of the trend established by Tsering Gyurmey. Nevertheless, handful of musicians deserve critical applause for being avant-gardes. They take their share of risks with musical experimentations, fuse eastern and western musical trends and eventually challenge the audiences with their newly found music. Like a true artist they do not sell their souls but put it in their artworks.

One amongst such musicians is Tenzing Jigme, who graduated with a degree in music from the University of Colorado at Denver and founded a band called Freak Street Project in which he played bass guitar.

His recent musical venture has been the release of the album, Rise, Resist and Return, which in itself is a testament to his creative intelligence paralleled by an immense musical talent. This album literally pronounces the emergence of neo-Tibetan music. The creative attempt of transliteration and transduction of the much popular western generic music into the steady pool of Tibetan music is laudable. This album is a rich cocktail of bloody Marry wherein one finds hip-hop to soothing rock, punk punch to bullet rap along with some soft and light icy numbers. Though most of the track numbers assume the podium of Tibetan politics, there are few that are light at ears but morosely blue to heart, particularly the song about the musician’s mother who had recently past away. This is an album I personally reckoned to be one of the most unique and brave musical adventure of our recent years. All Tibetans, specially the young ones must partake in this adventure. If any of you guys are available on Feb 23rd 2008 then you have the opportunity to see him perform live in New York at the Queens Palace along with other equally talented Tibetan artists such as Amchok Gonpo, Tsering Dolkar and Yarlung Rolyang group. To know more, you can visit www.myspace.com/tenzing07 wherein you will also find additional information on the album, Rise, Resist and Return.

--Contributed by Tenzing Rigdol
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