Global Fusion In Brisbane – Tenzin Choegyal Wants To Transport Audiences

Tenzin Choegyal
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Brisbane's newest cultural hub, the Thomas Dixon Centre, is playing host to a number of 'Global Fusion' events – set to exemplify many cultures and transport attendees across the globe.

Next in line is 'Global Fusion – East Asia & Tibet': 'Be The Mountain'.

The event will aim to take audiences on a magical journey, through performance and cuisine inspired by ancient worlds. It stars Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre Producer and renowned musician Tenzin Choegyal.

Joining Tenzin will be Hong Kong violinist Chi Lui Flora Wong, Japanese koto master Takako Nishibori performing as duo Gen 絃 with guitarist Phill Wilson. . . Plus Japanese Taiko drummer Kaya Tominaga performs with UQ Taiko drumming ensemble, Hong Kong violinist Chi Lui Flora Wong, Taiwanese-Australian musician and composer Matt Hsu also perform with traditional Chinese dancers from the Queensland Dance Centre.

Queensland Ballet Creative Associate and Global Fusion Curator Rani Luther also choreographs a new work for former Queensland Ballet dancer Sarah Thomson.

There's plenty to see and do at the 'Global Fusion' events. We learn more about the 'East Asia & Tibet' one, from Tenzin Choegyal.

First of all, tell us a bit about you!
I’m a Tibetan artist, composer and cultural ambassador. I feel a particular connection to the music of the Himalayan plateau. I play lingbu (bamboo flute) and dranyen (three-stringed Tibetan lute) but I’m best known for my vocal ability. I have performed worldwide. As both traditional performer and musician, I take an experimental approach to sound and instrumentation, expressing age-old wisdoms in a very contemporary way.

And what does it mean to you to be involved in something like this?
I especially enjoy working in collaboration with other artists and I'm delighted to be part of this new project at the Thomas Dixon Centre. For me, ‘Be The Mountain’ is an exciting opportunity to bring together artists from diverse backgrounds, each of them a world class performer in their own right. I take joy in collaborating. The freedom to experiment through improvisation and blend with diverse genres gives rise to new music and sounds not explored in the past.

Tenzin GlobalFusion DavidKelly
Image © David Kelly

Why do you love music so much?
The power of music affects us all in many subtle ways and I firmly believe it’s impossible to not love music. Music in all its forms exists everywhere in life and in everything around us – in the natural world and our everyday experiences – and is an integral part of life and death. Likewise, music worldwide has the power to bring people together, cement friendships and create special memories. Music is a universal form of communication and cultural exchange and a powerful medium to tell one’s own story, the communal story and the story of humanity.

What does this event entail, for those new to it?
The 'Global Fusion' audience will meet artists from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Tibet, each of them holding their own unique lineage. Their music is a creative response to recent worldwide upheavals, using the metaphor of the mountain as a source of inspiration and a reminder of the deeper emotions of strength, fearlessness, resilience and perseverance.

How are you hoping audiences will respond to what you’ll be presenting?
A performance such as ‘Be The Mountain’ can create space for contemplation, inspire new thoughts, and stir shifts in perspective. If I am enjoying myself, hopefully the audience is taking their own journey as well.

Tell us a little bit about who else is involved in the performance.
I’m looking forward to joining my friends Takako Nishibori, Kaya Tominaga, Flora Wong, Matt Hsu and traditional Chinese dancers from the Queensland Dance Centre. Also incorporating the element of ballet is a new work based on my song ‘Heart Strings’, choreographed by Rani Luther and performed by Queensland Ballet’s Sarah Thomson. Brisbane has a very beautiful, inclusive music community. I am very grateful that I have been able to collaborate and experiment with some amazing Brisbane artists from many different genres.

Describe the performance in three words.
Magical musical collaboration.

'Global Fusion – East Asia & Tibet' takes place at Thomas Dixon Centre (Brisbane) on 30 September.

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