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Tibetan monks to bring distinctive performances to Texas State

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
January 10, 2013

Tibetan monks

The multiphonic singers of Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery will visit Texas State University Jan. 28-Feb.1.

The famed multiphonic singers of Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery, whose sellout performances in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center received national acclaim, will perform "Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing" 7 p.m. Jan. 31 in Evans Auditorium on the Texas State University campus.

The event is one highlight of the monks' week-long visit to campus Jan. 28-Feb.1. The monks will also stage an opening ceremony Monday, Jan. 28 at noon where they will begin creating a mandala sand painting at the LBJ Student Center paseo. Their visit will conclude with a noon closing ceremony Friday, Feb. 1, which will be followed by a procession to Sewell Park and a blessing of the San Marcos River.

Sponsored by the Common Experience and the Organization of Student Social Workers, these events are free and open to the public. These events are part of the 2012-2013 Common Experience theme, A Global Odyssey: Exploring Our Connections with the Changing World.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet international tour is co-produced by Richard Gere Productions and Drepung Loseling Institute, the North American Seat of Drepung Loseling Monastery, India. Endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the tour has three basic purposes: to make a contribution to world peace and healing; to generate a greater awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization; and to raise support for the Tibetan refugee community in India.

The sacred dance performance features multiphonic singing, wherein the monks simultaneously intone three notes of a chord. The Drepung Loseling monks are particularly renowned for this unique singing. They also utilize traditional instruments such as 10-foot long dung-chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals and gyaling trumpets. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the exotic splendor.

The monks of Drepung Loseling have a distinguished modern-day musical history. On past tours they have performed with Kitaro, Paul Simon, Philip Glass, Eddie Brickell, Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, to name but a few.

In addition, two of their recordings achieved top-10 listings on the New Age charts: Tibetan Sacred Temple Music (Shining Star Productions) and Sacred Tibetan Chants (Music and Arts Program of America, Inc.). Their most recent recording, Compassion (Milennia Music), pairs them with the Abbey of Gethsemani Schola in an encounter of Gregorian chant with Tibetan multiphonic singing.

The Common Experience is a year-long initiative of Texas State designed to cultivate a common intellectual conversation across the campus, to enhance student participation in the intellectual life of the campus, and to foster a sense of community across our entire campus and extended community. For more information, visit www.txstate.edu/commonexperience/ or contact Pam Wuestenberg at (512) 245-7908 or via email pw05@txstate.edu. Anyone requiring accommodations due to a disability in order to participate should call (512) 245-7952 at least 72 hours prior to the event.