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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibet concert brings world renowned performer to Taipei

December 11, 2008

Culture, music and short movies on offer at free event in Da'an Park
By Catherine Thomas
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2008-12-10 01:07 AM    
This evening offers a chance to experience Tibetan culture right in the heart of Taipei in Da'an Forest Park. Three organizations, the Taipei Association for Human Rights, Students for a Free Tibet and the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Taiwan have worked together to put on the Tibet Freedom Concert 2008.
The event offers a broad mix of live music, short films and brief talks all revolving around the theme of Tibet. One of the organizers, Klaus Liu, explained that the purpose of the event was simply to give people the "chance to understand more about Tibetan culture."
The musical aspect of the event promises to be excellent, featuring performances from local Hakka musician Chen Yong-tao and headlined by the internationally-acclaimed Tibetan musician Techung.
Tashi Dhondup Shazur, or Techung, is a Tibetan exile who grew up in Dharamsala, where he studied music and traditional performing arts at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) for 17 years. After this he moved to San Francisco in the late 1970s and realized while there that he harbored a passion for promoting Tibetan culture.
Techung plays an impressive range of traditional Tibetan instruments from the Drangyen (lute), Piwang (violin), drums and flute as well as vocals. The band consists of Techung plus Ralph Rodriguez on bass, Michael Tyabji on drums and percussion and Brian Valisco on keyboards.
The band performed at the Penang Festival World Music Festival in May of this year and recieved rave reviews, being praised for their powerful simplicity and the moving quality of Techung's 'spellbinding' vocals.
The band will perform two sets, one of an hour between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and a shorter one to round off the evening after the showing of 'Leaving Fear Behind' a documentary made by Tibetans in Tibet.
Techung hopes to offer "a sense of both the past and present sounds of traditional (Tibetan) music" and promises that the traditional pieces include "one or two foot-stomping dances" and that his original compositions feature both low-key songs and "some elements of energetic courageousness and high spirtedness."
The short films to be shown cover the historical, the religious and Tibet today. Their compact nature (at around 7 minutes each) promises a tantalizing introduction to a culture which Tibetan Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said is in danger of "dying at the roots".
The speakers, who will speak variously in Tibetan, Chinese and English include Tashi Tsering, the leader of the local Tibetan Youth Congress (who will also sing the Tibetan National Song) and the leader of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Liu Jing-yi. Again the speeches are to be brief, at around 7 minutes.
As Liu says the intention isn't to lecture, but rather to give an introduction to Tibet and he hopes that through mediums such as Techung attendees will be "touched by the music" and inspired to explore Tibetan culture further.
To that end, those who provide the password "Free Tibet" at the booth this evening will be given a free Techung CD to take home.
When: This evening, 6.30 - 9.30 p.m.
Where: The Pyramid Stage, Da'an Forest Park, Taipei
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