|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
The Sacred Ceremonies series began in 1989, by recording artist David Parsons, when he traveled to Dharamsala, India to experience the mystical sounds of Tibetan ritual music. He was received by the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery School and given permission to incorporate his DAT recordings of their rituals into his 1990 album of original music, Yatra (18072). In return for the monks’ kindness, Parsons decided to release selected Dip Tse Chok Ling ceremonial performances in their original state. The results were first released in 1990 on Sacred Ceremonies: Ritual Music of Tibetan Buddhism (17074). When Parsons returned to Dharamsala in 1990 as part of a documentary film crew, he found that the Dip Tse Chok Ling monks had been practicing for another album. He was amazed at the difference between the two recording sessions. “The first time, they didn’t understand why anyone would want to listen to what they did,” Parsons recalls. “I also had to explain a lot about the recording techniques, and we had to keep rearranging the instruments to get a nice stereo image. It took three months to get the right recording. This time, the monks didn’t need to be told anything. They set up completely by themselves. I just went down there, turned on the DAT and recorded Sacred Ceremonies 2 (17079) in a couple of hours.” And so, this new tradition of recording the ancient ceremonial sounds of Tibetan Buddhism continues. In their third album, Sacred Ceremonies 3, the monks of Dip Tse Chok Ling selected prayers to honor the memory of Lama Tashi Gyaltsen, founder of the present day monastery, and the Dalai Lama, in celebration of his 60th birthday. They also honor and dedicate this volume to all Tibetan people.
Sacred Ceremonies – Volume 3. Ritual music of Tibetan Buddhism: Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery
CD review by Andy Busuttil
There’s something about the chanting songs of monks, be they Tibetan or Gregorian, that touches the soul and soothes the spirit. It’s a strange yet absorbing convocation of such vastly divergent religions. In the ear of the listener, a conciliation occurs that would be theologically improbable, yet the conciliation occurs nonetheless. I first came across Tibetan monks at Woodford Folk Festival a number of years ago. The Gyuto monks were typically good humoured and generous and oh-so human in their spirituality. The multi-octave harmonic resonances achieved by a single voice blew me away. The monks chanting on this album are of the Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery and if you enjoy the deep, rich tones of the Gyuto monks, you’ll love these guys. This CD, entitled Sacred Ceremonies Vol 3, is another of the fascinating David Parsons projects. It’s a strangely beautiful CD. Knowing the recent history of Tibet and the unbelievable tragedy of the violent dissolution of a mind-blowing and ancient culture gives this recording a sense of urgency that alone totally justifies its production and purchase. This CD is spellbinding, awe inspiring, beautiful, terrible in a quasi-biblical sense and I’m grateful to have it in my collection.
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