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TIBET


Natural Great Peace is a miniCD. A beautiful, surprisingly profound experience of quietness, peace, holiness. It is a brief teaching, lasting 4.42 min., inspired by a poem by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, and now spoken by Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the book "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying", and set to music. A beautiful experience which you will have an almost irresistable urge to share with many of your friends.

A lovely gift (perhaps for Christmas?). Small and elegant, it can be played on all regular CD players. Price 60.- Danish kroner.

Free shipping within EU and Scandinavia for 5 or more, and additionally 10% off for 10 or more .


You can read the following World Music reviews, in English, at the last part of the page:
Chris Hinze & Band with the Dalai Lama - Nawang Khechog - Chö

We have a number of fine recordings of the chanting of Tibetan monks. According to the monks themselves, listening to these sounds offers the possibility of getting into another, higher state of consciousness.

In my experience, listening to overtone sounds in general, always tends to have this kind of effect, and a Western way of understanding some part of what happens might be as follows: The monks often use overtone chanting, and just listening for the overtones requires an intensified state of consciousness. Then, in the attempt to be aware of what is going on sound-wise, it can be an extremely difficult task for our conscious attention, simultaneously to grasp and assimilate both the fundamental and the overtone in the chanting. So, in this way, our actual span of attention is challenged, and, depending on how successful we are, our consciousness can move into a stimulated state of expanded awareness - easily experienced as a higher state of consciousness.

However I do believe there's more to it than that.

MAHAKALA PUJA is a good example of what we've described above. It is quite varied, and has some of the clearest overtone song we've heard - it goes strongly in to the Hara chakra. Unfortunately only on cassette. MC 115.- (not available)

TANTRAS OF GYÜTO - MAHAKALA:
This is another good recording of overtone song with Tibetan monks. The traditional blowing of horns, the clattering and rattling of cymbals, and the beating of drums and other percussion, are also very prominently present. 169.- (not available)

FREEDOM CHANTS
is a fine recording, one we're pleased to recommend. It has a 28 minute long passage, with only the extraordinarily low overtone song of the calming, male voices. Then 27 minutes of mixed song and horns and percussion. And the recording closes with 10 minutes of New Age music, played by Kitaro, Philip Glass og Mickey Hart (the latter, who produced the recording, was drummer in the Grateful Dead) 159.-

TIBETAN TANTRIC CHOIR
is similar to Freedom Chants, and can also be warmly recommended. This recording has also a long section with only the deep, almost massaging overtone song of the monks, and then again a long, mixed passage. 159.-

NAWANG KHECHOG - KARUNA:
He is a Tibetan monk, and a multi-talent, musically speaking (here accompanied by Kitaro on two tracks). He sings in the deep, kargiraa overtone style of the Tibetan monks, but actually plays mostly flute, but also the didgeridoo, from Australia (his new homeland), and many other instruments, from Africa, Japan as well as from Native America. In other words, this is a world music journey using Tibetan folk music as its point of departure. The title Karuna means compassion. Very fine energy, meditative, but with a bite to it. 159.-

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REVIEWS

from DJEMBE, magazine for cross culture and world music

CHRIS HINZE / DALAI LAMA - NAWANG KHECHOG

CHRIS HINZE with Band & the DALAI LAMA: 'Tibet Impressions'

'Tibet Impressions' was sold by the arrangers of the two talks made by the Dalai Lama in KB Hallen, Copenhagen, May 1996. The basis of the material was recorded on a visit Chris Hinze made to Tibet in 1994.

The 77 minute long record is a kind of Westerner's journey through the country - a Westerner who brought with him a backpack filled with ambient rhythmic music, with a good, heavy bass, onto which he then pasted what he heard of Tibetan sounds:

The recording features a few short tracks with sounds and music from Barkhor, the market place in Lhasa, and of some folk singing and workers singing.

Otherwise we hear mainly religious figures in a number of different settings: several tracks with monks from Dharamsala and Tsurphu singing their remarkably deep, restful overtone chants; some places where they use their 2 - 4 meter long, growling horns, drums and other percussion instruments; and a short sample of the young 17th Karmapa at Tsurphu, also chanting, in his boyish 8 year old voice; and last but not least, we hear a couple of messages from the Dalai Lama, about the role of the artist and the musician in society today, about his belief in the basic gentleness and compassion in human nature, and about the need for each individual to work with self-control and calmness, as a means to changing the violence that is so prevalent on many levels of our society today (the "you're also responsible for what goes on" line of thought).

Most, but not all of this with Hinze's lazy but decidedly funky rhythms in the background. He's a Dutch flautist and keyboard player and band leader, whose music varies greatly, from the chaotic to the sublime, from posturing to authentic, creative and sincere, and from classical to what we hear on some of this disc, namely electric funk.

The record ends with a long section that has been through Hinze's re-mixing machine - resulting partly in monks chanting ambiently, partly in monks in a disco mileau, and last but not least a gently rapping Dalai Lama. All for the benefit of the younger generation of (decadents) we're bringing up here in the West?

Jack Donen

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NAWANG KHECHOG: 'Karuna'

'Karuna' - compassion - is at the heart of the Tibetan culture and its spiritual tradition. This feeling quality is so obviously apparent in what we meet of the country and its culture, on TV, in film or in real life, that it seems central to what has caught the imagination of the West, and made Tibet an important symbol today. A symbol of what we need to take special care of - in the political and social, as well as in our own, inner worlds.

Nawang Khechog is a multi-instrumentalist. He plays a lyrical flute, melodies that quickly find their their way into one's memories of things pleasant, that one can look forward to hearing again. The flute is his main means of expression, but by no means the only one, and on these multi-track recordings we're treated to what can only be called Tibetan World Music.

For a start, Khechog sings the deep kargiraa overtone song style, known to us from the Buddhist monks of his country. But besides that, he plays a large variety of ancient musical and percussion instruments from Tibet as well as from Australia (the didgeridoo), Africa, Japan and Native American culture. The music he creates, and the sounds he uses - sometimes live nature sounds - often make a powerful impressionistic effect. Perhaps more giving the impression of some not-very-far-off inner worlds, than of the outer nature of the country, Tibet.

The rhythm, when there is one, is usually a monotonous pounding of deep drums, whose purpose originally would have been shamanistically trance-inducing. Not surprising when one considers that present day Tibetan culture, and religion, is really a mixture - of the original Bön shamanism of the country, with the "newer" Buddhist teachings.

All in all, a softly melodic, though sometimes more powerfully driving journey - through a foreign world that proves itself to be not so foreign after all, to the open-minded listener.

Jack Donen

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CHOYING DROLMA AND STEVE TIBBETTS: 'Chö'

In the Tibetan tradition some women devote their lives to spiritual practice. But interestingly, both older and younger women can also spend just a period of their lives as nuns. A thought-provoking custom. One that might have meaning for all those newly divorced women, who threaten their friends and acquaintances with disappearing into a cloister.

The recording of these women's voices was made in a world-renowned Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Nagi Gompa, where about 100 nuns live, in the mountains near Kathmandu in Nepal.

The voice we hear leading the Chö ritual belongs to the young nun, Choying Drolma. She's a genuine artist, who expresses a beautiful, deeply devotional range of feeling. Her voice is soft and thoughtfully tender, and she weaves her way through the complex melodic passages with complete control over inflection and cadence.

Steve Tibbetts was the Western musician who "discovered" her, and recorded her together with a choir of eight other nuns. The sensitive accompaniment from his group includes instruments like the guitar, bozouki, cello, viol di gamba, violin, bass and percussion. Rather unusually for this type of fusion of cultures, the group supports the songs with a fine sense of their own meaning. In fact, it not only strengthens the singing, it also gives a musical substance to the songs, that can help a pair of Western ears accommodate more easily to the somewhat exotic ritual sounds - and it does this without being self-inflationary, and without tending to drown out the original expression.

If "devotional feeling" and "a female voice" are phrases that catch you, then it's likely you'll find this recording an experience well worth sharing.

Jack Donen

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