Yungchen Lhamo

The journey from Lhasa in Tibet over the high Himalayas to Dharamsala in India has got to be one the most testing and physically gruelling exploits that anyone can undertake and yet hundreds of Tibetans do just that each year in search of freedom.

Yungchen Lhamo walked this road to exile as a teenager back in 1989. Her musical gifts had already been recognised in Tibet where her name, which means ‘goddess of melody and song’ was given to her by a holy man.

Yungchen moved to Australia in 1993 where her first CD release Tibetan Prayer won an ARIA award and she has been touring the world ever since, sharing prestigious platforms such as the stage of the Carnegie Hall in New York and London’s Royal Festival Hall with rock stars and famous faces. She is now based in New York.

In later years she released three acclaimed albums on Real World Records, Tibet Tibet, Coming Home and, in 2006, Ama, which features duets with Annie Lennox and Joy Askew.

The diminutive and yet visually arresting Yungchen has a voice of astounding clarity and purity. Her songs are intimate tales of love for her homeland and her people and her story is an emblem of courage, perseverance, devotion and musical genius.

Further reading

Debut EP by Montparnasse Musique out now on Real World X

Featuring collaborations with Kasai Allstars, Konono Nº1, Basokin and Mbongwana Star.

Announcing Palabras Urgentes: the new album by Susana Baca

Afro-Peruvian icon Susana Baca celebrates 50 years in music with this forceful musical statement.

Track of the day: ‘El Gamra’ by Bab L’ Bluz

The track is taken from their award-winning debut album Nayda!

A Lantern and a Bell: Track by Track

Emil Svanängen a.k.a. Loney dear and producer Emanuel Lundgren discuss the new album.