English | Dzongkha Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Hidden Kingdom World Music Festival begins tomorrow

Jul 27, 2021

Music is the universal language of mankind and transcends any geographical, language, or cultural boundaries. Transcending boundaries and bringing together musicians and artists from 18 countries is the Hidden Kingdom World Music Festival, which begins on Wednesday.

The first of its kind in the country, the Hidden Kingdom World Music Festival will present the rich and unique music and performing arts culture from across the globe. 24 bands from 18 countries will exhibit their talents virtually on Facebook and YouTube. According to one of the organisers, Ugyen Tenzin, the festival will promote original music and the original creation of all artists.

“This year, we just brought live musicians who play instruments and sing. And we are bringing bands who play originals”.

Though virtual due to the pandemic situation, the festival has attracted a lot of international artists’ attention. Fifteen international bands, along with nine Bhutanese bands, will perform during the four-day festival.

“We have different genres of music covered. Some are into jazz, especially outsiders, and some into blues. Here in Bhutan, they are more into pop-rock music. We also have traditional duet performers like Namkha Lhamo and Pema Samdrup, folk musicians. Folk fusion is quite new in Bhutan, which is interesting, and we can introduce this to the younger generation,” said Ugyen Pandey, one of the Organisers of the Hidden Kingdom World Music Festival.

The organisers say a workshop will be conducted during the festival so that local artists can exchange ideas and learn from international professional bands.

“As a musician myself in Bhutan, we have been playing for so many years, but we are still learning. We have so much to learn from the musicians outside. In Bhutan, we don’t have a history of professional musicians that we can look up to. And then there are no formal classes. So, the major impact would be that musicians from Bhutan getting to learn from musicians outside,” added Ugyen Tenzin.

The workshop will also introduce Bhutanese artists to going professional, which is making money from their artistic work.

The festival, supported by the information and communications ministry, plans to invite international artists in the country once travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic is lifted for future festivals.

Sherub Dorji

Edited by Sonam

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