The celebrated multi-phonic singers from Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery share their centuries-old sacred traditions. Playing traditional Tibetan instruments — from 10-foot long dung-chen horns to gyaling trumpets — the monks perform ancient temple music and dances that are believed to promote world healing. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the exotic splendor. The monks of Drepung Loseling have a very distinguished modern-day musical history and have performed with Paul Simon, Philip Glass, the Beastie Boys, to name but a few. Tickets: $25
ABOUT THE MANDALA SAND PAINTING: September 10-14
SANDPAINTING SCHEDULE IN THE BATTE ROTUNDA: Free
Mon, Sept 10: Noon Opening Ceremony
1-6pm Sand Painting
Tues, Sept 11: 10a-6p Sand Painting
Wed, Sept 12: 10a-6p Sand Painting
Thur, Sept 13: 10a-7p Sand Painting
Fri, Sept 14: 10a-11a Sand Painting
Noon Closing Ceremony
From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite.
During this 5-day residency, visitors are invited to stop by The Batte Rotunda and watch the fascinating process of mandala construction by the lamas. Featuring geometric shapes and ancient symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecratingthe earth and its inhabitants.
The first day of work begins by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform. The following days see the laying of the colored sands, which is effected by pouring the sand from traditional metal funnels called chak-pur. Each monk holds a chak-pur in one hand, while running a metal rod on its grated surface; the vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid.
MORE ABOUT THE MYSTICAL ARTS OF TIBET
The Mystical Arts of Tibet tour is co-produced by Richard Gere Productions and Drepung Loseling Institute, the North American Seat of Drepung Loseling Monastery, India. Endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the tour has three basic purposes: to make a contribution to world peace and healing; to generate a greater awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization; and to raise support for the Tibetan refugee community in India.
The performance features multiphonic singing, wherein the monks simultaneously intone three notes of a chord. The Drepung Loseling monks are particularly renowned for this unique singing. They also utilize traditional instruments such as 10-foot long dung-chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals and gyaling trumpets. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the exotic splendor.
The monks of Drepung Loseling have a very distinguished modern-day musical history. On past tours they have performed with Kitaro, Paul Simon, Philip Glass, Eddie Brickell, Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys, and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, to name but a few.
In addition, two of their recordings achieved top-10 listings on the New Age charts: Tibetan Sacred Temple Music (Shining Star Productions) and Sacred Tibetan Chants (Music and Arts Program of America, Inc.). Their most recent recording, Compassion (Milennia Music), pairs them with the Abbey of Gethsemani Schola in an encounter of Gregorian chant with Tibetan multiphonic singing.
Their music was featured on the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack of the fi lm Seven Years in Tibet, starring Brad Pitt (Columbia Pictures) and they performed with Philip Glass in Lincoln Center in the live presentation of his award-winning score to the Martin Scorsese film Kundun (Disney).
In response to the September 11 tragedies, they had the honor of creating special mandalas and leading prayer ceremonies and meditations in New York and Washington. Organized in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, these events were dedicated to the healing and protection of America.
The Loseling monks have twice been featured artists at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, representing Tibetan culture, and in July 2003 enjoyed the rare honor of representing Tibet in the Cultural Olympiad of Greece, a pre-Olympic celebration of World Sacred Music and Dance. For this event the monks toured Greece and performed at venues that included the Acropolis and Ancient Olympia, the historic site of the original Olympics.