Tibet Tibet: Yungchen Lhamo
Tibetan musicians who can appeal well beyond the realm of strictly devotional music are scarce. So Yungchen Lhamo's wavering voice is especially startling on Tibet, Tibet, where she unwraps her mid-range vocal roll across wide-open fields. She also sings through the low-end fog of monastic chanting, replete with the clanging cymbals and fundamental rumble. An astonishing smoothness arises from Yungchen and the monks' combined voices, and even when she's soloing, which she often is, Yungchen keeps herself both silken and sharp. Many of the songs on Tibet, Tibet are from the traditional repertoire, but Yungchen's voice broadens the genre just as Enya broadened Celtic music to a popular audience. A laborer until she escaped from Tibet under duress, Yungchen has studied at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and supports a foundation in her name that seeks to aid women in escaping human rights abuses.