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Melong Band's debut album -- a music review

September 2, 2009

When the fingers are in unison, fists make the loudest punch!
By Tenzin Rigdol
Phayul
September 1, 2009

Melong Band’s debut album, Notes in Exile
seductively captures the core cultural
experiences of being a Tibetan vagabond. The
songs take its cues from the inchoate arrays of
Tibetan socio-political phenomena and musically
sculpt it into a poignant portrait of our exilic
experiences. All of the eight original songs are
like the eight auspicious emblems or Tashi
Takgay, summoning everyone to rethink, reinvent,
and redefine the Tibetan Contemporary Music. The
allure of their creative fluency; ushered by
their ample appetite for experimentations, could
be realized when their songs effortlessly sow its
rhythm in our disenchanted mind. Seldom do we
come across such an album where one need not
press the next button on the remote to skip
songs---if the first song is Ali than the next song is unmatchable Tyson.

The distinctive character of the album lay in the
band’s ability to decipher and deconstruct our
mundane experiences. Tibetans today live in a
constant flux of cultural milieu wherein cultural
paths crisscross and evolve; providing us with
the opportunities to enrich our wealth of
cultural heritage and Melong (in Tibetan-mirror)
aesthetically reflects on those transitional
cultural experiences in their first album. The
smearing sound of electric guitar contrapuntally
coupled with the short-lived, dagger-like sharp
plucking on the fretless Tibetan lute, laudably
accomplishes a marvelous union---especially in
songs titled, Crazy, Bhulon gi-shin-kham and Soul
Melody. A melodiously composed legato piece
titled Reason to Love will definitely find
shrines in the soft chambers of youthful hearts.
Above all, Pride and Ari Visa are exceptionally
well composed and written, and will probably
become Melong band’s iconic trademark, especially the song Pride

Tenzin Nawang, the lead vocalist of the band has
sung all of the songs with extreme elegance. The
clarity, the malleability and the beauty of his
voice enchants the listener throughout the album.
He imbues his mystical voice in his wide array of
vocal ranges; leaving us in a dignified awe.

The members of the rock band comprises of many
ingenious musicians and it includes: the
guitarist Tenzing Jigme (a graduate from the
University of Colorado with a degree in music),
the vocalist Tenzin Nawang (a graduate from the
Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts), the
bassist Jampa Choephell who had formerly worked
with the renowned Yak Band, the drummer Gorge
Dorjee Marich and the Keyboardist Tashi Phuntsok.
If you wish to personally experience the Melong
thrill then you must attend their live
performance on September 5th at the Circular
Espanol Hall, New York--- I bet that you would
come up with a better review than this one.

Finally if you cannot attend the event then at
least support all the Tibetan musicians by
purchasing their original CDs. They need our
support and we need them more than ever--- you know it!
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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