Throat Singing by The Gyuto Monks of Tibet • Pure Sounds • Mandala Offering – New Earth Records

Throat Singing by The Gyuto Monks of Tibet • Pure Sounds • Mandala Offering – New Earth Records

Published on Nov 30, 2010

A sample track, “Mandala Offering”, from the 2011 Grammy-nominated album Pure Sounds in the Traditional World Music category. Purchase Pure Sounds at… Listen on Apple Music:… Listen on Spotify: The Gyuto Monks of Tibet are masters of a deep harmonic overtone chanting, also known as throat singing. The sound has been compared to the resonance of a drum or digeridoo and is believed to have a transformative effect — removing impurities and clearing the path to enlightenment. Pure Sounds: Gyuto Monks of Tibet CD Total Album Time: 55:51 Pure Sounds – Gyuto Monks of Tibet Product Reviews “After having collaborated with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet on Kamal’s Zen Mama, we realized the importance of the pure sounds, the in-transient overtone chants and the vibration of the voices of these monks. So we decided to embark on the project of having a CD of the Gyuto Monks of Tibet without any background music whatsoever. Therefore the title Pure Sounds. It can be challenging for the Western mind to listen to and absorb directly these chanting sounds without musical accompaniment. The chanting vibrational sound is intended to bypass the mind. In Eastern culture it is recommended to listen to the sound 108 times, which is the number of beads of the mala. When you are able to listen to a mantra for 108 times, it is believed that you will reach a transformation state that is embedded in the sound and the meaning of the mantras themselves. “You really have to be deeply into chant or this is going to be lost on you entirely – especially if you have some ethnic background where you had to spend long days at your house of worship hearing non-English stuff rattled around by the old timers that looked at you sideways for not keeping up. Chant fans, this is the unsweetened, real deal.” Chris Spector Midwest Record “It’s strange to think about the music of the Gyuto Monks of Tibet being recorded and performed today. This Buddhist sect has been practicing the entrancing form of overtone-singing heard on Pure Sounds since the founding of the Gyuto monastery in the late 15th century, and the words they chant are even older. For music this age to survive both the effects of time and the political struggle that have kept the Tibetan Buddhists in exile in Dharamsala, India, for the past 50 years, it must have some special power. For those listeners who do not chant, the six Buddhist prayers on Pure Sounds retain an undeniable power. The four monks that chant on the album layer their froggy voices in undulating patterns that rattle and shake; it’s as if their voices flow straight from the center of the earth. On opening track “Mahakala,” soloist Tenzin Jigme issues a stream of syllables that are concentrated around a single pitch. His voice is grainy and percussive, as he slides diphthongs and soft consonants and large breaths into a single, gravelly flow that changes tempo imperceptibly. Every now and then a ghostly overtone can be heard shadowing his pitch an octave below. Jigme continues his mesmerizing work for 23 minutes, but it could be two hours, or three days, or an eternity; the meditative work is bound not by time or space, but by the ancient spirit that imbues every utterance. When Jigme is joined by his fellow monks, the effect of their massed drones is astounding. Four fundamental pitches, almost too low to be heard, rub against each other abrasively. They diffuse any semblance of melody across a roughshod surface. But that surface constantly shifts, like the scaly skin of some slow-moving beast. As single syllables stretch into lengthy diphthongs in dissonant harmony, words turn into texture. The pulsing vibrations that make up “Dalai Lama Long Life” submerge the ego of the single vocalist into the expanse of the collective. A heady air of spiritual sustenance lingers long after those ancient-sounding voices drop out and fall off during the track’s final seconds.” DailyOM “The Gyuto Monks are a world-renowned ensemble of Tibetan vocalists whose music acts as a window into Tibetan Buddhist spiritual tradition. The monks chant using a method called overtone chant—a deep, guttural sound with drone elements. To the novice, the chant may sound unusual. However, if you empty your mind and let the primal drone wash over you, you’ll find that the sounds are very hypnotic and mesmerizing, not unlike the multi-faceted drone of a didgeridoo. The chants are designed for healing and purification, removing internal impurities and helping one focus during meditation. Pure Sounds was named as such to reflect the fact that there is no accompanying music, this is authentic overtone chant performed by this accomplished group of monks.” Music Design

Author: tranquanghai1944

Ethnomusicologist, composer and vietnamese traditional musician

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