I’d like to tell you about to two special upcoming events that I’m lucky enough to have a small part in.
The first is the Tibetan Film and Arts Festival, which opens on Thursday. The work of two good friends, Tenzin Choegyal and Tenpa Dugdak (The Tibet Effect), this is the most ambitious Tibetan event of its kind in Australia for many years and comes at a very important time in the Tibetan world.
The festival kicks off with a concert and forum at the Sydney Opera House.
I’ve always been a fan of Tenzin Choegyal’s efforts at blending traditional Tibetan nomad music with a wide variety of other musical styles. Over the years I can recall him teaming up with Japanese, Mongolian, Indian and western musicians at different times, in addition to building a strong career as a solo performer. In the process he has brought Tibetan culture to many new audiences and created some fabulous and innovative music along the way.
This time he’ll be joined by a classical guitar virtuoso and a tabla drummer. What a combo! I love both classical guitar and tabla but at the moment just can’t imagine what this going to be like – an intoxicating mix of sounds or a jarring cocktail of incongruent styles. Can’t wait to find out!
After the concert there’s a forum with Tibetan activist Tenzin Tsundue. Have never met Tsundue before but have long known of him as an inspirational figure to Tibetans in India and internationally. Often polemical, sometimes controversial and always insightful, have no doubt his visit to Australia will inject some new energy into the Tibet movement here.
After the opening night, the festival moves to Manly Cinemas for a series of films. On Saturday, Kyinzom and I will be speaking at a screening of Summer Pastures, described as “an intimate glimpse into the experiences of a young Tibetan family struggling to reconcile their traditional way of life with a rapidly modernizing world”. Am yet to see the film but have been looking forward to it for many months. And it will be the first time (I think) that Kyinzom and I share a stage together. Think we’d better block aside an hour or two later this week to prepare what we’re going to say!
Looking forward to catching up with many of you over the course of the festival. It will be a wonderful few days and the culmination of months of hard work by Tenzin Choegyal, Tenpa Dugdak and the team at The Tibet Effect.
The second event, the week after, is the 11.11.11 Earth Concert, organised by My Heart Space. But rather than bury the details of this at the bottom of this post, I will upload a separate blog piece in the next day or so.
Bye for now!