Tibetan Meditation

Tibetan Meditation

Lhasa
Lhasa
Dear reader. As promised in my comment on the article Zuozheng He I had to write something about original Chinese music. My choice has fallen on Tibetan Meditational music. This music is pure sound that is relaxing, meditative and transportive. The sounds of my choice is beautiful and faithful and is superb for relaxation, massage & bodywork, deep sound meditation, yoga relaxation and sleep inducement. It is an amazing sound of vibrations and perfect for deeply letting go. So here is one of my favourite performers of Tibetan music. Phil Thornton is not from Chinese origin but that did not stopped him making loveley meditational music. The compositions are sacred. They are significant parts of lengthy, colorful, elaborate healing ceremonies which attempt, through music and symbol, to magically open up consciousness to our inherent “Buddha Nature” of peace and compassionate wisdom……the healing rituals performed by the Shartse monks tap into the power of imagination, involving meditation and visualizations in which the divine forces of the inner and sprit worlds are invoked to transform pain and suffering.” For those who want to listen to the full album mail your adress to tibet @ mazalien . nl and I will send you a copy. (This also concerns you Parvez!)

Tibetan Meditation
Tibetan meditation

After working on the album ‘Initiation’ with Steven Cragg, Phil Thornton was inspired by the musical possibilities that were opening up. As they were both keen to try a full scale collaboration and he had acquired a Tibetan horn this became a natural starting point. In the end the album was 2 years in the making! No stone was left unturned in finding the right path for the music to follow. PhilI has a particular passion for albums with a ‘journey’ theme and this album remains a firm favourite. A distant temple bell sounds, as the unmistakable tones of the ancient tradition of meditational chant resonate, creating an ambience of meditative calm. Inspired by the very distinctive culture and music of Tibet, Phil Thornton has created an exceptional album that captures the very essence of Tibetan music. As you listen to the sounds of overtone chanting, Tibetan Singing Bowls, The Ragdung, Cymbals, Gongs and the Tibetan Thighbone, take time to reflect, explore and discover your soul.
Phil Thornton
Tibetan Meditation
09/30/2003
New World Music
Tibetan meditation – track listing
1 Meditation (4:58)
2 Welcome Return (9:31)
3 View from the Pass (5:23)
4 Mandala: Ascent (6:24)
5 Temple Valley (7:45)
6 Mandala: Equilibrium (4:01)
7 Lotus Dance (9:55)
8 Chant of Souls (8:37)
9 Resolution (8:48)


Tibetan meditation - Phil Thornton
Tibetan meditation - Phil Thornton
Tibetan meditation - Phil Thornton
Tibetan meditation - Phil Thornton


Tibetan meditation – album credits
Grant Young Fretless Bass
David Roberts Arranger
Mike Rogers Tibetan Thighbone
Al Jenkins Engineer
Harvey Summers Sound Design
Hanna Burchell Cymbals, Singing Bowls, Gong
Phil Thornton Keyboards, Singing Bowls, Temple Bells, Bamboo Flute, Percussion Programming, Producer

Tibetan Horn
Tebetan Horn

A kaleidescope of incredible musical invention that compels the listener along an inner and outer journey of spiritual awakening and attainment, across the ‘roof of the world’ – the Himalayan ‘abode of the snows’. From the primal initiations of Shamanic and Buddhist rites, be guided to the inaccessible summits, plateaus and glaciers of mountain Ashrams, following the ravines down to the sub-tropical jungles and holy lands of India. An authentic, outstanding experience of pure artistry, insight and deep, universal harmony. A keen sorcerer of sonic visions, Phil Thornton has written and produced over 20 solo albums – with sales of 1,200,000+ world wide – since beginning his musical odyssey in the early ’80s with the group ‘Expandis’ (a unique artists collective best known for their innovative use of electronic sound).
Album Details
Released 1993 by New World Music.
Bon – a clash of cymbals
(2:24)
Through The ‘Valley Of The Flowers’ (2:10)
Bon – reprise (1:20)
Solitude In Focus (3:23)
The Way (10:32)
a) Pilgrimage
b) Union
Prayer On The Wind (3:49)
Rivers Of Ice (10:17)
The Cave Of Amarmath (1:14)
Falling Into The River of Exile (10:47)
a) Deliverance
b) Rain Forest
c) Indus
d) Source
Instrumentation
Phil Thornton – Recorders, moog, keyboards, chimes, ambient sounds, programming and digital compilation.
Steven Cragg – Dong Chen (on Tibetan Horn), crystal bowls, didgeridoo,talking drum, rainmaker, gong, temple and finger bells, percussion, chimes, ambient sounds, programming and digital compilation.
David Voase – Tabla (on Rivers Of Ice)
Composed, produced and engineered by Phil Thornton and Steven Cragg.
Chinese Bamboo Flute Music
Bamboo flute

As requested by Parvez in his comment on Zuozheng He and as an contrast on the Tibetan Meditational Music, the sound of an Chinese bambo flute is quite different. Traditional Chinese musical instruments comprise a wide range of string instruments (both bowed and plucked), wind instruments, and percussion instruments. Traditionally, they were also classified according to the materials used in their construction. Chinese flutes are either played solo, or collectively in large orchestras (as in the former imperial court) or in smaller ensembles (in teahouses or public gatherings). Normally, there is no conductor in traditional Chinese music, or use of musical scores or tablature whilst in performance. Music was generally learned orally and memorized by the musician(s) beforehand, then played without aid, meaning totally accuracy and teamwork is required. But nowadays, music scores can be used, or a conductor if the number of musicians is large enough for that need. There are different kind of flutes :

Di Zi (??) – Transverse bamboo flute with buzzing membrane
The Di Zi (??, pinyin dí zi), is a unique kind of Chinese transverse flute. It is also known as the Dizi, or simply the Di, and has varieties including the Qudi and Bangdi. It is sometimes also known as the hengdi.The di zi is a major Chinese musical instrument, popular not only in Chinese Folk Music, Chinese Operas and Chinese Orchestras, but also used in music exported to the west. The di zi has a deep, rich history, and a lasting appeal. Traditionally, the di zi has also been popular among the Chinese common people, since it is simple to make, easy to carry, and of course, beautiful when played.
Xiao (?) – End-blown flute
The xi?o (? or ?; also spelled hsiao) is a Chinese vertical end-blown flute. It is generally made of bamboo. It is also sometimes called dongxiao or dong xiao (?? or ??), dong meaning “hole.” The qin xiao is a version of the xiao which is narrower and generally in F-key, used to accompany the guqin. The Japanese shakuhachi and hocchiku, and the Korean danso (also spelled tanso), are descended from the xiao.
Paixiao (Traditional Chinese: ??; Simplified Chinese: ??) – Pan pipes
The paixiao (traditional: ??; simplified: ??; pinyin: páixi?o; also pái xi?o, pai-hsiao) is an ancient Chinese wind instrument, a form of pan pipes. It is no longer used, having died out in ancient times, although in the 20th century it was reconstructed.
Chi (?)
This is a very ancient Chinese flute.
Xindi (??)
This flute is a modern transverse flute with as many as 21 holes.
Dongdi (??)
“Dong” means hole in chinese. The modern type is often made from a nine joint black bamboo, has six finger holes, five at the front and one at the rear, and 2-4 air holes at the lower end.
Koudi (??) – Very small transverse bamboo flute
The koudi (Chinese: ??; also spelled kou di) is a very small Chinese flute made from bamboo. It was invented in the 20th century.

Listen to Jie Bing Chen from the album Spirtit on two strings with the song On the way home :

Zuozheng He
Zuozheng He

Photography is a good way to dive into life, to record life, says Leng Bai, a clerk at the First Northeast Electrical Power Engineering Company in Tieling City, China, who has been taking photos for more than 20 years. He captured this shot of 80-year-old musician Zuozheng He in Yunnan Province in the city of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most of Lijiang’s residents belong to the Naxi ethnic group. He is playing traditional music on the Chinese lute. “Naxi ancient music is a precious asset to China,” explains Bai. “Since today few people can play the music, I am worried about its future. That’s why I wanted to use the camera to record the image.” (Hasselblad 503CW, 50-80mm zoom lens, Kodak VS100 film.) Prize courtesy of the Guatemala Tourist Commission. The Nakhi or Nashi (simplified Chinese: 纳西族; traditional Chinese: 納西族; pinyin: Nàxī zú; endonym: ¹na²khi) are an ethnic group inhabiting the foothills of the Himalayas in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province, as well as the southwestern part of Sichuan Province in China. The Nashi are thought to have come originally from northwestern China, migrating south toward Tibetan populated regions, and usually inhabiting the most fertile river-side land, driving the other competing tribes farther up the hillsides onto less fertile land. The Nashi, along with Bai and Tibetans, traded over the dangerous overland trading links with Lhasa and India, on the so-called Tea and Horse Caravan routes. They were brought to the attention of the Western world by two men: the American botanist Joseph Rock and the Russian traveller and writer Peter Goullart, both of whom lived in Lijiang and travelled throughout the area during the early 20th century. Peter Goullart’s book Forgotten Kingdom describes the life and beliefs of the Nashi and neighbouring peoples, while Joseph Rock’s legacy includes diaries, maps, and photographs of the region, many of which were published in National Geographic. The two were friends and left the region together when the Communist troops came in. The Nashi form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China. The official Chinese government classification includes the Mosuo as part of the Nashi people, although neither ethnicity support this categorization. Although both groups are descendents of the Qiang people, together with the Pumi and Yi, and notwithstanding very striking resemblances between their respective languages, the two groups are now understood to be culturally distinct, the Nakhi more influenced by the very patriarchal Han Chinese culture, the Mosuo more influenced by Tibetan culture and their own matriarchal family practices.