Tibetan Musician / Festival and Musical Director
In 1997, Tenzin Choegyal came to Australia with little more than a bag, his Dranyen and a voice full of passion for Tibet. His raw talent soon caught the attention of the directors of that country’s largest folk festival, Woodford Folk Festival where he still plays to packed audiences each year. Over the years, Tenzin has created a successful international career as a musician, playing at such prestigious events as the WOMAD festivals as well as several Concerts for Tibet at Carnegie Hall, New York.
In addition to his much loved solo performances, Tenzin has been an avid collaborator with musicians from diverse cultures,traditions and genres. From classical, contemporary to ancient traditional, Tenzin embraces opportunities to take his music to uncharted territory both in the studio and on stage. Tenzin has six independent album releases, and his much anticipated new album will be launched at this year’s Woodford Folk Festival (2014-15).
In 2009 Tenzin founded the annual Festival of Tibet which showcases Tibetan culture through music, film, art and discussion. Tenzin was musical director for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2011 and 2013 and has written and performed soundtracks for numerous TV shows, films and documentaries. Through his music and cultural activities such as the Brisbane Festival of Tibet, Himalayan Film Festival and Women with Wisdom concert series (Sydney Opera House, Federation Square) Tenzin has increased the profile of Tibetan culture and the struggle for self-determination amongst people throughout Australasia and beyond.
Singer songwriter Tenzin Choegyal draws on his Tibetan roots to create original compositions which uniquely express his cultural lineage and the contemporary challenges faced by his people.
Tenzin was born to a nomadic family in Tibet, escaped the Chinese occupation with his family in the early 1970s and was raised in a Tibetan refugee community in Dharamsala, India. There, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama actively encourages his people to preserve their culture, Tenzin first began to explore his musical talents.
Tenzin feels a particular connection to the music of the wandering people of his homeland. He recalls his father’s mastery of the lingbu (bamboo flute) and his mother’s beautiful singing, and attributes much of his musical passion to those early influences.
Tenzin’s award winning songs have found a place in the complex tapestry of global sounds while collaboration with numerous Australian and international performers have allowed him to experiment with rhythm and structure and challenge traditional Tibetan musical norms.
Tenzin Choegyal plays the Dranyen (Tibetan lute) and Lingbu (transverse bamboo flute). His most outstanding instrument, however, is his voice. His music has been described as beautifully evocative, healing, and transcendent.
The Workshop in Tibetan singing
Tenzin Choegyal offers a thoroughly enjoyable workshop which explores the Tibetan style of vocal projection and spans a range of techniques unique to his musical lineages. He draws his inspirations from the wandering storytellers who performed musical parables and homage songs and shares this knowledge of stories told through songs, while leading participants on a musical journey from the joyous to the contemplative.
Tenzin will also share his knowledge in Mantra singing – energy-based sounds which produce vibrations within the universe – was revered as a powerful tool for meditation. The word “mantra” is derived from two Sanskrit words – man meaning mind and tra meaning “to protect or to free from”.
Come along prepared to sing your heart out!