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Album Review

Innovative guitarist Steve Tibbetts accompanies Tibetan nun Choying Drolma on sporadic guitar, synthesizer and percussion on chants for meditation, spontaneous songs of realization and teremas brought back from the other world. For much of the disc he lets long silences unwind behind Drolma's resonant vocals before adding a thoughtful chord of his own or feeding back to her a processed sample of her own voice-a often, you can't tell which is which because Tibbets' contributions tilt toward the abstract. Overall the match between the collaborators strikes a good balance, such as on "Kyema Mimin," where he surprises by wrapping a multi-tracked chant in cymbal taps and drums, and on "Shengshik Pema Jungney," which Tibbetts' acoustic alchemy transports to a Gothic Christian space.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s

The founder of the Arya Tara School, the first school in Nepal to offer traditional Buddhist and secular studies for Buddhist nuns, in 2000, Ani Choying Drolma is known for her command of ancient Tibetan Buddhist chants and songs. Recorded by Minneapolis-based guitarist Steve Tibbetts, in a small monastery in Napal, Drolma was brought to the attention of Rykodisc/Hannibal, after instrumentation was added to the original tape, and signed to a recording contract. The tapes were released as Cho in 1997....
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