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Ama

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 18, 2006
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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.

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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

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Product details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real World
  • ASIN: B000E41KFQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,126 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

on April 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
22 comments| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
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on July 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
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on September 6, 2012
Format: MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
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on August 12, 2015
Format: MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
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on November 17, 2014
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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on January 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD
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on March 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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