Soname: Plateau (Harmonia Mundi)

 |   |  1 min read

Soname: Mother and I
Soname: Plateau (Harmonia Mundi)

Latterly it seems that the world is resigning itself to having a Tibet in the absence of Tibet: holding the notion of Tibetanism and that country being kept alive by the diaspora, even if the country doesn't exist as it used to.

Most people in the West have a misty-eyed Lost Horizon/Shangri-La view of that country as a place of deep mysticism and benign lamas, but that would deny the punishing theocracy which ruled the place before the young Dalai Lama fled over half a century ago. This is not to suggest that the Chinese army of occupation has "liberated" the poor, just to acknowledge that things aren't quite as clear cut as many would have us believe.

Certainly many Tibetans in exile keep the spirituality, religion and culture of that beleagured place alive, although we must also wonder how the second and third generations born in exile in places like Switzerland and the United States feel.

Soname Yangchen's second album is perhaps typical of much of the Westernised Tibetan music we are used to: it is scrupulously produced but retains elements of Tibetan chants, but she also has her own spin behind her wafting vocals.

On her journey to London she spent time in India and so incorporates tabla drums and flute in her music (pretty good actually) and this grounds it a little more.

It wafts away in places when the Western orchestration comes in, but otherwise this is interesting enough although it will appeal to Enya fans more than those used to more guttural and gutsy Tibetan music. 

Incidentally, before Soname found fame as a singer she wrote Child of Tibet about her years in virtual slavery before fleeing her Chinese-occupied homeland at age 16. It is a grim but ultimately quite an uplifting story.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Golden Awesome: Autumn (M'Lady's)

The Golden Awesome: Autumn (M'Lady's)

Having been very impressed by the Amazing (although rather underwhelmed by Gold Medal Famous) I am a sucker for a band that doesn't under-sell itself on the naming front. Toad the Wet Sprocket... > Read more

Tweed: High-Brow Blues (Southbound)

Tweed: High-Brow Blues (Southbound)

Although this Auckland-based trio bill themselves as alternative-folk, grey-haired Anglofolk followers will hear in them something which was once mainstream acoutsic folk, back in the days when... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; JIMMY CLIFF INTERVIEWED: The outsider

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; JIMMY CLIFF INTERVIEWED: The outsider

Jimmy Cliff – who cut such classic reggae singles as The Harder They Come, Many Rivers to Cross and You Can Get It If You Really Want It back in the Sixties and Seventies – says he... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TEX WITHERS: Country'n'Western from the East End

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TEX WITHERS: Country'n'Western from the East End

The more you try to find out about Tex Withers, the more confusing it can become. One thing everyone agrees on however is that this country music singer in London – who insisted he had... > Read more