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Audio CD, April 18, 2006
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The journey from Lhasa in Tibet over the high Himalayas to Dharamsala in India has got to be one the most testing and physically gruelling exploits that anyone can undertake and yet hundreds of Tibetans do just that each year in search of freedom. Yungchen Lhamo walked this road to exile as a teenager back in 1989. Her musical gifts had already been recognised in Tibet where her name, which ... Read more in Amazon's Yungchen Lhamo Store

Visit Amazon's Yungchen Lhamo Store
for 5 albums, 8 photos, and 3 full streaming songs.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real World
  • ASIN: B000E41KFQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,874 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ranzen
2. Gebu Shere
3. Om Mani Padme Hung
4. Tara
5. 9/11
6. Look Down On Us
7. Nyebe Nilam
8. Someday
9. Fade Away
10. Lhasa

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Among the world's great singers, a rare few become the voice of their nation. After years of international touring with the blessing of the Dalai Lama, Yungchen Lhamo has truly become the voice of Tibet. This third album for Real World (the first in 8 years) is infused with the quiet spiritual power of Tibetan Buddhism but now features Yungchen's own original songs with the striking production of Jamshied Sharifi and pan-global instrumentation to make a much more modern and indeed much more personal record than before. Ama means "mother" and Yungchen dedicates this album to her own mother who suffered greatly and raised her daughter amidst the violence and persecution of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Themes of struggle, loss, peace and forgiveness run through this magical recording. The icing on the cake are the guest appearances from two incredible, incomparable singers Joy Askew and Annie Lennox.

Yungchen Lhamo is a new kind of Tibetan, one who was not only forced out into the world at large, but who embraces all its possibilities. Born and raised in Lhasa, she never knew a Tibet that wasn't under Chinese rule. She fled the country in 1989 and now resides in New York City. It's at this cultural crossroads that Ama is born. Except for a raucous version of "Om Mani Padme Hung," this isn't a chant album, but original songs sung in Lhamo's native tongue. Produced by Jamshied Sharifi, an Iranian-American musician who is a master of global sounds and voices, Ama has a transcultural aesthetic, mixing traditional Tibetan chanting and singing with Middle Eastern percussion, fuzzed guitar, Chinese erhu, and African kora, among other instruments. Sharifi has probably listened to Steve Tibbetts's productions with the Tibetan nun Choying Drolma. Although he doesn't have Tibbetts's penchant for abstraction, their approach shares a certain austerity and atmosphere that makes the voice the central focus. "9/11" sets Lhamo in a multitracked choir, echoing distant chants with a simple mournful cello reflecting her sadness. Other tracks are more richly designed, like "Ranzen", which features growling fuzzed-guitar ambiences and Jon Hassell-like trumpet from Norway's Arve Henriksen. Much will be made of Annie Lennox's appearance on "Fade Away," but her performance seems overwrought next to Lhamo's restrained spiritualism. --John Diliberto

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on April 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a masterpiece from the Tibetan singer, whose voice carries more pure unaffected spirituality and soul than any other singer in any other discipline in the world. For my meager punts, this is likely the best CD I'll hear this year, even if Huong Thanh releases a new CD.

For those weaned on American radio, this is the voice that comes from that place primordial in your deepest heart of hearts. I can not imagine that anyone who listens to Lhamo will not come face to face with what moves them most profoundly.

As to this specific release, the aesthetics espoused by Real World are all in place. Real World, like ECM or ACT, is known for its sound, regardless of the culture. Here you'll find a certain acoustic quality that generates a reverb and a space for the lower register of instruments and the rhytmic texture to flow, without flooding the voice, and it is the voice thattranscends the mix. Overall, the CD is dedicated to her mother, who sacrificed enormously to get Lhamo and her family out of Tibet and away from the Chinese oppression. The CD also expresses grief at the tragedy of 9/11, not just for those who lost loved ones, but for the state of the human soul that so much suffering was flash lit by those planes, that so much deception and lies and avarice have had free reign in the aftermath of the collapse. Joy Askew and Annie Lennox join in at different points to underscore the Tibetan plea for peace and forgiveness. Compassion requires both parties to bring an open heart to the crises.

You are not likely to find a more compelling album in the racks and bins by anyone this year. If you care about the quality of the human heart, this is a CD for the ages.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. F. Barratt on August 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is very inspiring sacred music. Yungchen has a gift of opening our hearts. The modern electric backing is sensitive, and enhances rather than intrudes. Beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cordell L. Klier on July 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
..this disc makes me cry. Their is just a presence in her voice that shakes my soul. There is a science in her spiritual output that subtly places all my demons to rest. From the opening track to the end of the disc I find myself relaxed and contented, but filled with a joyfilled teary-eyed wonder.

My only real hang up about the disc are the poppier edges.. although I know most people will find them delicious, as I usually would as well, I personally find them unnecessary in her work. All in all though... Yungchen Lhamo is great at what she crafts. And i thank her for this disc.
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By steel_bob on September 6, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The music and voice are captivating. And as many times as I listen to it, I hear something new each time.
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