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interview

Tenzin Choegyal

Artist

Tenzin Choegyal is one of the world's finest musicians with Tibetan lineages. Tenzin is a Tibetan/Australian artist, composer, activist, musical director and cultural ambassador.

While proudly continuing his nomadic lineage which is central to his music, Tenzin also embraces opportunities to take his music into more contemporary, uncharted territory, both in the studio and on stage. 

Tenzin has nine independent albums, three of them with his fusion band Tibet2Timbuk2, and regularly performs with Camerata Brisbane’s acclaimed Chamber Orchestra. His collaborative albums include The Last Dalai Lama? with Philip Glass and the 2021 Grammy-nominated Songs from the Bardo with Laurie Anderson and Jesse Paris Smith - a moving interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Tenzin Choegyal

Where are you based?

Brisbane, Australia

Where do you work? What do you do?

A self-employed Artist, Activist, Musician, Composer and lover of collaborating. Director of Festival of Tibet, Himalayan Film Festival. Ambassador for Australian Himalayan Foundation. Work everyday to amplify Tibet stories.

What are you listening to?

Tibet2Timbuk2, Philip Glass, Songs from the Bardo and Monique Clare and right now I am listening to some poets of Tibatn diaspora.

How do you discover new music?

Going to music festivals, concerts & friends recommendations, and lots via online and social media. And through being open to collaborating with any genre.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

I listen to music in all formats. “Music is like drifting clouds that fly freely over the man-made geographical borders in this infinite space of possibilities.” so, I listen to them in all formats.

Last time I listened to a cd? Just in my car today. Still buy cassettes? No but I would buy them though. I listen to both vinyl and digital.

“[I discover new music] through being open to collaborating with any genre.”

Where do you do most of your music listening?

At home and in the car whilst on tour. At Music Festivals and Concerts

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

Pre-release music shared by other musicians and friends.

I send my own pre-release tracks to a small group of my close friends as well for their comments during the creative process.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

No real frustrations.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I don’t really keep track of everything I am listening to. At times, if the music that I encounter really moves me, then I listen to it in high rotation. Music is life for me.

Discover the #HowWeListen Playlist

Listen to the #HowWeListen 2021 Picks playlist. Curated by this year’s interviewees.

Listen on Spotify

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Yes I do, by sharing them on my socials or while having a coffee during conversations.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Tibet2Timbuk2, Songs from the Bardo Team, Camerata Chamber Orchestra, Monique Clare, Tibet and it’s stories. Local records. RVR

“Music is like drifting clouds that fly freely over the human-made geographical borders in this infinite space of possibilities.”

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