August 31, 2016

Yungchen Lhamo - Coming Home, 1998

Beautifully sparse downtempo album by Yungchen Lhamo, celebrated Tibetan musician and cultural ambassador whose birth name literally means "Goddess of Song." Lhamo fled her home country by traveling across the Himalayas in 1989 and has been living in exile in New York ever since. Her work has been met with worldwide renown, winning awards and performing with the biggest artist of the 90s: Annie Lennox, Billy Corgan, Peter Gabriel, and Michael Stipe, among others. More information can be found on her foundation's website

I came across Coming Home by way of Listen To This favorite Hector Zazou, who produced it. Released on Peter Gabriel's Real World Records (Gabriel also provides drone on the release), the album features Lhamo singing her own compositions, as well as traditional Tibetan chants, in her extraordinarily expressive voice. The majority of the vocal backing consists of an ambient soundscape with light percussion and Tibetan stringed instruments, mellow with scattered moments of intensity, and full on trip hop. Please consider buying this record.

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