By Callum Ludwig
A fan favourite at Yarra Valley ECOSS is returning for an upcoming concert on Friday 24 November.
Tibetan artist Tenzin Choegyal will be taking to the stage from 6pm, joined by the Little Yarra Ensemble.
Mr Choegyal said one of the best things about music is that you don’t have to be bothered by any geographical conditions that are put on human beings because everyone can relate to it.
“Music is like clouds, where they just drift from one place to another and then occasionally brings about beautiful harvest for the farmers or sometimes beautiful rainbows or sometimes storms like music brings emotions,” he said.
“I love sharing that and connecting to those things.”
Mr Choegyal was born in Tibet before leaving for Nepal. While in Nepal, his father died and Mr Choegyal got admitted to a school in Dharamsala, India called the Tibetan Children’s Village, which was established in 1960 for orphans, destitute and refugee children from Tibet.
In 1951, Tibet was occupied and annexed by China while the Tibetan government was absolved in 1959 following a failed uprising and the subsequent fleeing of the Dalai Lama and the government to Dharamsala.
Mr Choegyal moved to Australia in 1997 and set about establishing himself in the music scene, curating events such as the annual Brisbane Festival of Tibet and the Himalayan Film Festival as well as presenting several Women with Wisdom events at Brisbane’s Powerhouse,
Sydney Opera House and Melbourne’s Federation Square, alongside toher efforts to promote and celebrate Tibetan culture and tradition.
Mr Choegyal said his affinity for music stemmed from his childhood with his parents.
“During my childhood, I was always listening to my parents singing and as they were doing their daily chores so probably through listening to my parents and elders I formed an affinity to the music,” he said.
“It’s always special to share songs, stories, human emotions and the love for nature and all those things, which I do with ECOSS.”
Mr Choegyal performs with traditional Tibetan instruments the lingbu (bamboo flute) and dranyen (3-stringed lute) while singing folk tunes, utilising spoken word or powerfully performing melodic mantras and mastering the art of droklu, the nomadic songs of his parents.
A Tibetan ‘Taste of Culture’ demonstration will be held at the event, with traditional Tibetan food available to purchase for dinner.
Mr Choegyal said he has also formed an affinity and friendship with the Warburton area, including Yarra Valley ECOSS and Little Yarra Steiner School.
“One of my first gigs in Warburton was with the support of the Steiners School kids, we were just doing workshops and I made a few friends from there,” he said.
“I formed quite a number of friendships and I like visiting down that way and it also has a very beautiful community of artists, not only musicians.”
Mr Choegyal was nominated for a Grammy in 2021 for Best New Age Album for his album ‘Songs from the Bardo’, a modern interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, on which he collaborated with Laurie Anderson and Jesse Paris Smith.