PLATTSBURGH — Techung, a Tibetan folk and freedom singer/songwriter, and bandmates — Michel Tyabji, Kito Rodriguez, Sherap Wangmo and Rinzing Wangyal — will perform a “Tibetan World Music” concert Friday evening at SUNY Plattsburgh.
The concert coincides with Tibetan Uprising Day, March 10, which is marked the world over in commemoration of the 1959 uprising in Tibet against the Chinese government.
It was the year His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dali Lama, and more than 80,000 Tibetans fled into exile from their native land.
Friday’s concert also marks the band’s New York tour ending March 11 at Carnegie Hall where they will share a stage with Philip Glass, Iggy Pop and others.
Techung lives in exile between Atlanta, San Francisco and Dharamsala.
“I was born in a place called Sikkim, which used to be a kingdom between Tibet and India,” said Techung, who is visiting with friends Tenzin and Yangchen Dorjee, owners of the Himalaya Restaurant in Plattsburgh.
“The culture is very similar to Tibet and later on, they were incorporated into India,” Techung said. “So, my parents came from Tibet and stayed in that area for one or two years and then we came down to Dharamsala. That’s where I received my training at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.”
His voice and music have been featured on the soundtracks of the Imax film “Everest,” as well as “Windhorse” (1998), “Dreaming Lhasa” (2006), “Blind Sight” (2007), “What Remains of Us” (2004), “Dalai Lama Renaissance” (2008), “Fire Under the Snow” (2008), “A Good Day to Die” and “Living Wisdom with His Holiness the Dalai Lama” (2008).
“That was a really difficult transition from parents who came from Tibet where they have not much of knowledge of sending kids to school,” Techung said. “Because of the Dali Lama’s encouragement and persuasion, they sent most of the kids to boarding schools. They were run by Indians and Tibetan groups. For me, they talked me into the Performing Arts School just out of necessity. That’s where I landed and studied music and performing arts and stayed there for almost 17 years, performing and entertaining and also learning for our elders.”