The famed multiphonic singers of Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery, whose sellout performances in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center have received national acclaim, will perform “Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing” at UMass Dartmouth’s Main Auditorium on November 2 at 6 p.m.
The concert will be the highlight of a week-long celebration of the Mystical Arts of Tibet. The celebration will begin Monday, October 31 at noon at the Claire T. Carney Library with opening ceremonies for a Mandala Sand Painting exhibit. The sand painting will take place in the Library Living Room early in the week and the exhibit will remain through Friday, ending with a 4 p.m. closing ceremony.
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 film 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.
The event is co-sponsored by the following UMass Dartmouth organizations: Frederick Douglass Unity House; Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership; Center for Religious and Spiritual Life; Health Services, Health Education & Promotion; College of Arts and Sciences; International Student and Scholar Center; Chartwells Food Services via Campus Services; and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.