Search - Choying Drolma, Steve Tibbetts :: Selwa

Choying Drolma, Steve Tibbetts
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Folk, International Music, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Over the past few years, the music of Tibetan monks has gained a massive audience, with Western listeners finding refuge from the rat race in the songs and chants of the East. Those same medicinal qualities are at the cor...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Choying Drolma, Steve Tibbetts
Title: Selwa
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Six Degrees
Release Date: 8/31/2004
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Folk, International Music, New Age, Pop
Styles: World Dance, Traditional Folk, Far East & Asia, Meditation
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 657036110427


Album Description
Over the past few years, the music of Tibetan monks has gained a massive audience, with Western listeners finding refuge from the rat race in the songs and chants of the East. Those same medicinal qualities are at the core of this breathtaking collaboration between veteran guitar wizard and ECM recording artist Steve Tibbetts and Choying Drolma, a Buddhist nun whom Tibbetts met and recorded at a monastery in Nepal. The highly anticipated follow-up to their acclaimed first release, 1997?s Cho, Selwa is a beautiful sound tapestry of haunting songs that evoke a sense of peace that cuts through any language barrier. Tibbetts has one of the most recognizable guitar styles in the world and his subtle arrangements mixed with percussion from his long time collaborator Marc Anderson perfectly frame Drolma?s unforgettable voice.

CD Reviews

More like Celtic New Age than Cho
N. Caine | Los Angeles, CA | 02/21/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I'm a big fan of Steve Tibbetts. I own all of his cd's, which is a rare thing for me, but I find his music has a lasting quality -- I can almost always put on Big Map Idea or Cho and I'm immediately happier and more productive and more peaceful. If I feel like some emotional, wild guitar, I find Exploded View never fails to center me. Selwa is the first cd of his I've ever been really disappointed in. There is no question that something about Selwa, possibly its production values alone, or perhaps ill considered percussion, make it sound decidedly like new age Celtic music. I find it quite different from Cho in this regard. For example, frequently the guitar and singing are not complementary here. Try track 6: a fast chant line (almost chipmunkish) is accompanied by an almost too typical Tibbetts soft meandering, and it might even work, but for some reason the fast chant is accompanied by an overproduced clacking percussion, which is nothing if not grating. The album gets stronger and more Cho like at the end, which is welcome if you can get that far. Tracks 9 and 10 are very beautiful, as good as anything on Cho, and not surprisingly they lack the added percussion. It's a shame that the whole album couldn't be at that level.

If you like New Age music in general (I don't -- I'm more of a Frisell, Eno, and Tibbetts guy, than a New Age and Tibbetts guy), and some of the Celtic singing New Age stuff (which often finds its way into climactic Hollywood movie scenes), then I think you really will enjoy this album. If you're more of a guitar or art-music or jazz appreciator, I think you'll find this album grating until track 9, even if you found Cho transcendent, as I did."
Tibetan Heaven
Travis W Evans | New Jersey | 09/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Steve Tibbetts has always found a unique way to create music that transcends itself into different cultural and spiritual environments. Steve has the incredible ability to record the natural sounds of Indonesian beats, Tibetan chants, or traditional West African sounds creating strikingly original albums with vast contributions from his long time band members. Steve's natural instruments of choice on many of his albums have been Kalimba, Mandalin, Guitar, Bouzouki, Voice, Pianolin, etc. While Steve's ECM albums have been focused on a more or less robust musical point of view, fusing a profound classic rock sound or American folk with heavy Eastern and African influences, he has marked his territory well in the "World Music" category with Rykodisc related projects such as "A","Cho", and now "Selwa". Steve has worked well with traditional sounds of the Norwegian fiddler(Knut Hamre) to the traditional chants of Choying Drolma. The common ground is Steve's sensuality and high respect for other peoples musical cultures.

While the successful album, "Cho", is a beautiful collaboration of Steve's westernized sounds and the Tibetan chants of the young Choying Drolma and her sister nuns, "Selwa" is more. Steve and Marc are less shy here and they contribute more of their trademark sound without distorting the natural spiritual quality of Tibetan music. There is something more musically spontaneous on "Selwa". "Selwa" represents some of Buddhists practices that support the notion of "spontaneous expression" and luminosity that also spawns creative music and thought that is unlike any other. This is a beautiful album full of ambient sounds, guitar, and percussion, and Choyings' haunting chants. "Selwa" is very musical, spiritual, peaceful and a pleasure to listen to. I feel that "Selwa" overall is stronger than its predecessor.

I highly recommend "Selwa".
The Contemporary Sound of Ancient Chanting
Juan Mobili | Valley Cottage, NY USA | 09/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Selwa" is the second stunning collaboration between Steve Tibbets and Choyin Drolma, and the long wait many of us endured -their first CD came out in 1997- has certainly been justified.
To many of you, Tibbets may be far from a new name. Along with Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell, he belongs to a generation of virtuoso guitar players who have expanded their Jazz roots by incorporating a number of genres, to create distinct and impressive personal styles. Where Ribot explored Cuban music and improvisation, and Frisell -well, Frisell has explored almost everything successfully- Mr. Tibbets concentrated on studying Eastern forms and mining certain possibilities of Electronica into a very singular identity.
His ECM catalog -where he's recorded most of his solo work- shows the depth of his playing and compositional prowess, a musical vision that fits perfectly this Tibetan sacred music
Choyin Drolma, unlike Tibbets, is not primarily a musician in the traditional sense of the word. Since she was very young, she has been a Tibetan-Buddhist nun pursuing chanting as a form of spiritual practice.
This album, very much as their first collaboration, sees Tibbets providing traditional chants sung by Drolma, with a subtle and evocative palette of sounds where guitars, loops and percussion -played here by his longtime collaborator Marc Anderson- add haunting and meaningful sound layers to Drolma's voice.
The results are stunning, whether you have ever been interested in Eastern religions, contemplative music or meditation, you may find playing this album on "repeat" and being infused by its calm wisdom.
Yet, for those people who are not familiar with anything I mentioned as their interests, this album -it has been my personal experience-is likely to move you, to seep into your mood and flood you with images you may have not recalled in years.
Like "Cho" -their first album- the quiet intensity of this album's melodies is remarkable, fierce and peaceful at once, and always honoring of its ancient melodies. Unlike the former, "Selwa" finds Tibbets expanding his musical contribution although never imposing himself on the sacred nature of the chants.
All in all, "Selwa" is as moving and likely to transport you to some essential region of contemplation on yourself and the deep beauty of what's surrounding you right now, whether it's a tomato plant bending under the weight of ripe offerings, a dog playing with a tattered ball or the rhythms of car horns in heavy traffic. This an unusual yet fitting example of the best music that came out this year."