Tashi Delek and greetings from Morocco.
First of all, we are enjoying our concert/research journey to Africa and we would like to briefly share with you about our journey.
After Techung’s concert at the Festival International of Wasullu FIWA and meeting with some renowned Malian musicians such as Oumou Sangare, Vieux Farka Toure, Habib Koité, and others, we took time to explore the surrounding areas. In spite of the conflicts in many parts of Mali, we were fortunate to visit the historical city of Segou and pay our respect to the Bambara Empire. The Segou region is located on the banks of the Niger River and it was the trading and political center of King Biton Coulibaly, who built this mud mosque for his mother despite being a follower of animism. The river is said to be home to the spirit of water. Half human, half fish, and who once granted power to the king as an offering of gratitude for having used the fruits of his mother's garden. Please check out all the photos in this update at this Link. Photo 1-3
In Segou we filmed a family of dancers and accomplished Balafon and percussion players. Photo 4
As always, surprises are part of the journey. Before we left Mali, we met a remarkable music producer, Paul Chandler from the organization - Instruments for Africa. He had dedicated many years supporting artists and producing festivals in this region. Check out Paul and his work https://i4africa.org/
We were lucky that while in Bamako, we attended a gathering of the hunters known as Dozo. The Dozo are traditional hunters in northern Côte d'Ivoire, southeast Mali, and Burkina Faso, and members of a co-fraternity containing initiated hunters and sons of Dozo, called a Donzo Ton. Sisa conducted an interview session about life, music and dance in their culture. Later we filmed their dancing and music too. Photo 5
Another impromptu event that Sisa came about was to organize a live streaming of musicians of Mali, Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia. Diva Oumo Sangare and the artists shared their music and learned about their culture. This was part of an initiative in collaboration with the Minister of Culture of Ecuador. We are optimistic that through this Oumo Sangare may be invited to Ecuador next year 2023.
Well, time is up to say goodbye to Mali and we are again in for another surprise. Oumo Sangre called us and she personally drove us to the airport to see us off. We accepted this with so much joy. THANK YOU!
We arrived in Morocco after a quite a long flight. After Mali’s heat, we were not prepared for the morning chills (the Atlas mountains still have snow on the top of the mountains; the winds are quite chilly) but we brought our upstate New York winter spirit and we endured the chill. We drove to Essaouira beach town about 2 hours from Marrakech. After a day of rest, we were introduced to a couple of local musicians through friends. Techung interacted with Omar Hayat, one of the elder Gnawa musicians who play a lute known as Gimbre. These musicians are known as the Gnawa and it is recognized by the United Nations as part of the Intangible heritage. We also filmed a group of Gnawa musicians and dancers the next day and interviewed them about the culture. Photo 5,6
The highlight of our stay here was to attend two nights of an annual sacrificial ritual known as Lila. This ritual ceremony always happens a week before the Ramadan but due to the pandemic, they canceled two past years. So this was the first one and we were able to see and appreciate the rituals that in many parts of the world had abandoned it but here it is still alive. The sacrificial part of the ritual is rather symbolic. It brought so many hidden memories of our own past and ancestral rituals that have vanished.
Our next journey is to the south of Marrakech, to some beautiful smaller towns that so much resemble Ladakh. Yesterday, March 30, we were in the town of Ouarzazate, which was the town where the film Kundun was shot. The guide said that this is the third largest film industry in the world. We were thrilled to see the set still standing after some 20 years.
On our way down we stopped at Telouet, a small historical town known for its Casba or castle and traditional music and dance. It was a very windy day and we could see the Atlas mountains in the distance covered with snow. We arranged to film a group of dancers known as ahwash. These dancers with long colorful dresses, songs and drumming brought the spirit of the past alive at this moment. For both of us it is shockingly similar to dances in the Himalayas. Learn more about Ahwash here. Photo 7,8
We visited the Sahara desert, Photo 9, and the next visit is Senegal. More photos and stories later.
Tashi Delek from Mali, Africa.
We arrived safely in Bamako, Mali. It was a twelve-hour flight from New York. And the weather is scorching 90 degrees hot but coming out of four months of winter, we are kind of enjoying the hot weather. We arrived on the first day of Losar, Tibetan New Year but there was no sign of celebration here. We missed it. After a day of rest, we drove four hours with our host, African Diva Oumou Sangare of Mali. Some of you may know about her - she is a Grammy winner musician, activist for the rights of women in Mali and a successful entrepreneur.
The International Festival of Wassulu is a homegrown festival organized by Oumo Sangare in her hometown of Yanfolila, in south Mali. She gathered over thirty bands from all across the country for three days music to celebrate life and community. Many of the singers come from the family of story-tellers known as Griots. We heard spontaneous narrations by poets and woman Griots to special guests.
Techung was to perform on the third day. After two nights of festival music and incredible spirits of music with love, pride, respect and peace, he was doing sound check and suddenly the sound person said to us that the concert had to stop. We asked why and they said that there were some attacks from extremists on Malian Soldiers and about forty soldiers lost lives. The government asked people to mourn for three days. It was a strict rule here and people must follow. We went to our common house and couldn’t believe what we just heard. After an hour around 7p.m. we heard people cheering and the festival is back again. The government made an exception. So this was the final day of the festival. Techung went on stage right after a ritual dance ceremony by local hunters, about twenty men, carrying weapons and sticks singing and dancing. Techung started with his flute and Khamlu, an acapella from Eastern Tibet. The audiences loved it. A designer friend of Oumo said it gave him goosebumps. Techung then jammed with local musicians on two traditional pieces. They played different traditional instruments: such as kamale ngoni, kalabasa and djembe. He also performed a short piece with a mask from Tibetan opera known as Lhamo. After the dance, he offered the Tibetan mask or Ngonpai Ba, which represents the protector of water, to Diva Oumo Sangare as a gift from Tibet. We were so proud to share our music and culture with the community here and make a small but significant contribution in connecting Tibet and Mali.
After the concert, we hung out with artists and exchanged contacts and took photos. Most artists spoke French and their local dialectic so not much information was exchanged but lots of smiles and music. There were a few media journalists who interviewed us and shared in their respective communities. After we left the festival and back in Bamako, today we arranged a meeting with Vieux Farka Toure', son of the late Ali Farka Toure', a renowned musician. Techung played his traditional instruments and Vieux invited Techung to record something together tomorrow. He took up the Dranyen and started playing a song in his language. We all laughed and enjoyed this meeting.
We are now ready to explore and meet with musicians in Segu, a town about two hours east of Bamako. After that we will continue the music journey in Senegal. Morocco and Niger following the Salt Trade Route.
So far our health is well and we are in great spirits. Although the situation in some areas of Mali is tense, we have been looked after and well taken care of.
Please click here for Photos by clicking this link.
Techung is touring Africa in this spring. Please check more updates at his facebook page.
It was fun to participate in a Global festival in Adirondack, New York. Check out the article here.
Tashi Delek! if you heard my interview on TibetTV and missed the free download of my album Repa-Songs and Dances, you have another opportunity to download. It will be available for five days from today. Click here. Enjoy!
བྱོན་པ་ལེགས། བོད་ཀྱི་བརྙན་འཕྲིན་བརྒྱུད་ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་ངའི་སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་གླུ་གཞས་ལ་ཐུགས་སྣང་དང་ཕབ་ལེན་གནང་འདོད་ཡོད་ཚེ་ཉིན་ལྔའི་རིང་ངའི་རོལ་དབྱངས། "རས་པ། གཞས་དང་ཞབས་བྲོ།" རིན་མེད་ཕབ་ལེན་གནང་ན་འདིར་ནོན།
I am thrilled to be asked to be on Voices of Tibet program, online interview, hosted by Karma Tensum, Executive Director Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation, based in Montana. I am a big fan of this non-profit organization. This interview will be in English.
I will be interviewed by Tibet TV, the main media service of the Tibetan Central Administration, Dharamsala, India. I will share about my interest in music, Importance of preserving traditional Tibetan music. I will be interviewed by journalist Yeshi Dawa. This will be in Tibetan language.
I am thrilled to be invited to collaborate with Emmy Award winner composer Dominic Messinger on a new documentary about His Holiness the Dalai lama and Desmond Tutu. Click Here for the teaser. Act Like a Holy Man
Thanks to the New York Folklore society, with the a grant from New York State Council on the Arts, I was able to undertake an apprenticeship program to teach traditional music to two young Tibetan-Americans. The apprenticeship program will have a final presentation in September.
My new album is out today. Download and Share!
དེ་རིང་གུས་པས་ རས་པ། ཞེས་པའི་ཟེར་སྡེར་འདོན་སྤེལ་ཞུས་པ་ཡིན་ནོ།
I hope this update finds you and your loved ones well and safe.
I also hope that during this lockdown period, my newsletter and music brings you a small joy and inspiration to your life. I have few new music videos to share with you, with gorgeous nature in the Adirondacks, in upstate New York where I live.
I will be appearing on the World Music Institute’s Free Online Event WMI PLUS At Home on Thursday, July 23 at 6 PM – 7 PM (EST)
The World Music Institute has presented renowned world musicians such as Zakir Hussain, late Nusrat Fate Ali Khan and others and I am quite honored to be asked to share my music and work. I feel honored and humbled. I hope you can join us.
Click here to attend the event:
A New Music Video Released!
On Saturday August 1st at 1.PM (EST) I will be launching a music video of a beloved traditional song White Crane-Nangma Ama Leho, which I filmed in Dharamsala last year. The song of this lyrics is written by the Sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso.
Click here to watch the music video: Techung- White Crane
སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་རོལ་དབྱངས་འགུལ་བརྙན་ཞིག་རིང་མིན་ ༢༠༢༠ ཟླ་༨ ཚེས་ ༡ རེས་གཟའ་སྤེན་པའི་ཉིན་གུང་་ཆུ་ཚོད་༡ སྟེང་༼ནིའུ་ཡོག་གི་དུས་ཚེས།༽དྲ་ཐོག་ཏུ་འདོན་སྤེལ་ཞུ་རྒྱུའི་གསལ་བསྒྲགས་སུ།
As part of the launching of this music, I will be organizing a discussion on Tibetan music and poems of the Sixth Dalai Lama. I will post the dates as it gets closer.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 85th Birthday Celebration Worldwide:
I released two music videos (traditional) tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 85th Birthday, which was on July 6th. The Tibetan communities and friends of Tibet around the world celebrated virtually and I must say it was a joyful celebration.
Click here to watch the videos: https://www.techung.com/videos
I hope you have a good summer! Enjoy the videos and stay safe.
I am reposting my interview with the New York Foundation for the Arts Newsletter in 2019. Read here.
2019 was a great year for my musical career. I had the chance to meet many influential people both in and outside the music industry, who have all impacted my life in a positive way. I am most grateful that in November, I was able to accomplish my crowd fundraising for Tibetan Music Preservation Project.
This year, I am happy to announce that there will be two major tours in North America and Asia. I am grateful to my wife Sisa Salgado who has been working hard on these tours. Please keep yourselves updated with us through my website. I look forward to seeing you in your city in a few months!
As always, thank you all for your continued support. This wouldn’t be possible without every one of you! Just a reminder, my music is all available by clicking here.
You can enjoy Nangma and Tosheys songs for free all while supporting the traditional music of my country. I have just uploaded two song for Losar! You can hear them here.
With immense gratitude,
༢༠༡༩ ནང་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་རོལ་དབྱངས་བྱེད་སྒོ་རྣམས་གང་ལེགས་བྱུང་སོང་། འདི་ལོ་ངོ་ཤེས་གྲོགས་པོ་ཐམས་ཅད་ནས་རོགས་རམ་དང་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་འོག་ལས་འགུལ་མང་དག་ཞིག་ལམ་ལྷོང་བྱུང་བ་དང་ལྷག་པར་དུ་སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་ནང་མ་དང་སྟོད་གཞས་ཀྱི་སྒྲ་འཇུག་ལས་འགུལ་ཐོག་དཔལ་འབྱོར་འསྡུ་རུབ་ཀྱི་ལས་འགུལ་དེ་དམིགས་ཡུལ་བཞིན་འགྲུབ་ཐུབ་པར་ཧ་ཅང་དགའ་སྤོབས་ཐོབ། འདིའི་སྐོར་ཞིབ་ཕྲ་འདི་ནས་གཟིགས་ཐུབ། ༢༠༢༠ ཟླ་བ་དང་པོའི་ནང་སྟོད་གཞས་གཉིས་སྒྲ་འཇུག་ཟིན་པ་དང་དྲ་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཞག་ཡོད་པས་ལྷན་རྒྱས་ནས་གསན་ཐུབ། རིང་མིན་ཟླ་རེའི་ནང་གཞས་༣-༤ སྒྲ་འཇུག་བྱེད་ནས་དྲ་ཐོག་ཏུ་འཇོག་འཆར་ཡོད། ༢༠༢༠ ནང་ཧ་ཅང་གཏམ་བཟང་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་ཞིག་ནི་སྟོན་ཀའི་ནང་བྱང་ཨ་རི་དང་དགུན་དུས་ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡ་བཅས་ནང་བོད་ཀྱི་སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་རོལ་དབྱངས་སྐོར་བསྐྱོད་ཀྱི་ལས་འཆར་ཆེན་པོ་གཉིས་དོན་སྨིན་ཡོང་ངེས་ལ་ངའི་བཟའ་ཟླ་སི་ས་ནས་དེའི་ཐོག་འབད་བརྩོན་གང་ཐུབ་གནང་བར་བཀྲིན་ཆེ་ཞེས་ཞུ་རྒྱུ། མྱུར་མཇལ་ཡོང་བའི་སྨོན་འདུན་བཅས། བཀྲས་ཆུང་།།
Happy New Year!
A Short video update on Tibetan Music Preservation Project
Hello from Dharmsala.
It is so much fun to be back here in Dharamsala, India to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), where I studied my art for severteen years. His Holiness the Dalai Lama attended the celebration and inspired all of us to keep alive and share our music and art all over the world.
Also filled with joy to reunite with few of our elder artists, few from my generation and lots of younger generations. Fortunate also to attend the International Tibetan Performing Arts conference and meet the scholars who are here to support the art through their academic research. Thank you all!
Enjoy these photos
In early March, 2019, I assisted my wife on a journey to Far East of Russia, also known as Chukotka, to research about the nomads there. We had been preparing for this trip for several months. The project was funded by her own money and we had to be very frugal. The nomads in this region are known as Chukchis and they have survived very harsh weather and political conditions. Life is tough there under very extreme cold temperature - it dips to minus 30 degree celsius, but these nomads are keeping it real and maintaining their culture and art with resilience. We were so blessed to hangout and be near their culture.
We finished our research trip in Far East and landed in Moscow. Our Tibetan host, Karma Tenzin-la who works at the Tibetan culture office with Telo Rinpoche, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was of immense help. We enjoyed our few days there and then flew to Delhi and then to Dharamsala.
In Dharamsala, I paid a special visit to our prime minister, Dr. Lobsang Sangye and Mr. Ngawang Yonten, the newly appointed director of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). I shared a few comments and concerns to them about Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts’ future as a former member of the institute. I made a point that they should consider a small group of former TIPA artists who are scattered around the world and consult with them in major TIPA decisions, and gather ideas for improvements of TIPA’s future. For so long we have repeated the same format of training artists mainly to perform on stage while in TIPA but nothing further than that. I think it is time to figure out how we can improve the standard of artists and their role at international level.
While spending as much time with my mother, I embarked on a music video shoot of one of my traditional songs from my Tibetan Music Preservation Project. This song is the famous poem written by the Sixth Dalai Lama. Check out some photos from the shoot here. I hope to get this video done in soon.
Summer is here and weddings are all on.
While in Dharamsala in April, I performed traditional and my own compositions at very close family friends Kelsang Dolma and Pasang’s wedding in Gangchen Kyisong. Kelsang’s family are all in Tibet and because of the travel bans for Tibetans, her family members were unable to attend the wedding. However, my mom is very close to her and we all made this wedding a very special one.
I was also very energized to do a concert in my hometown and was discussing with few friends and then suddenly His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s health wasn’t good and we postponed it. Then on April 29, a few days before leaving Dharamsala, my friend, poet and activist Tenzin Tsundue, and his friends organized the concert titled Remembering Homeland or Phayul Dhenlu in Tibetan. We did it at the small open space next to Bhagsu hotel and I must say, I was so happy to perform traditional and some of my original songs that I had recorded before but performed for the first time in India. Here are a few photos from the concert.
On June 1, my band Techung and the Windhorses got a special invitation from Phuni Meston and Edward J. Eames to perform at their wedding in Newton, Massachusetts. Phuni Meston is a kind and tough woman who had been through many challenges in her life but she is an amazing person. Read more about her life and her stories. Press release here. Phuni and her marriage to Eames was full of joy gathering of loved ones. A few months before the wedding, while in Moscow, I wrote a song for them. We performed the song “Phuni and Eddie” for them at the ceremony and it was an instant hit!
Wishing you all a gorgeous summer!