By Tenzin RigdolWhen the fingers are in unison, fists make the loudest punch!
Melong Band’s debut album, Notes in Exile
seductively captures the core cultural experiences of being a Tibetan vagabond. The songs take its cues from the inchoate arrays of Tibetan socio-political phenomena and musically sculpt it into a poignant portrait of our exilic experiences. All of the eight original songs are like the eight auspicious emblems or Tashi Takgay,
summoning everyone to rethink, reinvent, and redefine the Tibetan Contemporary Music. The allure of their creative fluency; ushered by their ample appetite for experimentations, could be realized when their songs effortlessly sow its rhythm in our disenchanted mind. Seldom do we come across such an album where one need not press the next button on the remote to skip songs---if the first song is Ali than the next song is unmatchable Tyson.
The distinctive character of the album lay in the band’s ability to decipher and deconstruct our mundane experiences. Tibetans today live in a constant flux of cultural milieu wherein cultural paths crisscross and evolve; providing us with the opportunities to enrich our wealth of cultural heritage and Melong (in Tibetan-mirror) aesthetically reflects on those transitional cultural experiences in their first album. The smearing sound of electric guitar contrapuntally coupled with the short-lived, dagger-like sharp plucking on the fretless Tibetan lute, laudably accomplishes a marvelous union---especially in songs titled, Crazy, Bhulon gi-shin-kham and Soul Melody
. A melodiously composed legato piece titled Reason to Love
will definitely find shrines in the soft chambers of youthful hearts. Above all, Pride and Ari Visa
are exceptionally well composed and written, and will probably become Melong band’s iconic trademark, especially the song Pride
Tenzin Nawang, the lead vocalist of the band has sung all of the songs with extreme elegance. The clarity, the malleability and the beauty of his voice enchants the listener throughout the album. He imbues his mystical voice in his wide array of vocal ranges; leaving us in a dignified awe.
The members of the rock band comprises of many ingenious musicians and it includes: the guitarist Tenzing Jigme (a graduate from the University of Colorado with a degree in music), the vocalist Tenzin Nawang (a graduate from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts), the bassist Jampa Choephell who had formerly worked with the renowned Yak Band, the drummer Gorge Dorjee Marich and the Keyboardist Tashi Phuntsok. If you wish to personally experience the Melong thrill then you must attend their live performance on September 5th at the Circular Espanol Hall, New York--- I bet that you would come up with a better review than this one.
Finally if you cannot attend the event then at least support all the Tibetan musicians by purchasing their original CDs. They need our support and we need them more than ever--- you know it!