Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

29 July 2013


In 1970, King Jigme Darje Wangchuck of Bhutan invited English ethnomusicologist John Levy to record & document the music of Bhutan. Levy was a British mystic, artist, & musician best known for translating the works of his guru Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, Atma Darshan & Atma Niviriti into English. He was born into a wealthy aristocratic family but at one point in his life gave up his entire fortune & went to live in India with only a loincloth & a begging bowl. Levy was an expert in Asian folk music, especially that of India, Nepal, & Bhutan.

These recordings are from the field tapes from Levy’s Nagra-S tape recorder taped in 1971. They have been re-mastered & released as a two CD set entitled, Tibetan Buddhist Rites from the Monasteries of Bhutan. Four schools of thought dominate the religious landscape of Himalayan Buddhism; they are the Gelukpa, Nyingmapa, Kagyu, & Sakhya orders. Each of the schools interact with one another & share similarities, yet they also differ in aspects of practice, certain teachings (philosophical & epistemological), & also musical traditions.

In Bhutan it was the Drukpa Kagyu (or more simply, Drukpa) order, a derivative of the Kagyu order, that took political hold. The religious & musical life of Bhutanese Buddhists is dominated by the traditions of both this Drukpa & also to some extent the Nyingmapa orders.

These recordings do well to present the clarity of Levy’s scholarship as well as the musical forms akin to both the Nyingmapa & Drukpa. The two CDs are divided into three parts, with the first presenting ritual music of the Drukpa. These songs were recorded in the towns of Thimpu & Punashka. They draw upon dominant religious forms found throughout Bhutan as well as folk elements particular to that region. The second section presents music of the ritual dances from both the Nyingmapa & Drukpa orders. Both monastic as well as public ceremonies from two separate annual festivals are presented in the third section.

While the music on the two-disc set is presented as Tibetan Buddhist Rites, it is distinctly Bhutanese. The opening track, a propitiatory rite, serves as an invitation to Genyen, a protector deity specifically associated with an area in Bhutan in the Thimpu Valley. "Chham gi Serkyem gi Yang” (Tune for Offering of Consecrated
Drink) also calls attention to the particulars of Bhutanese Buddhism: calling attention to specific protector deities of Bhutan & of Serkyem, a Bhutanese style on beer.

The recordings also serve to present a majority of the various instruments used in both monastic & non-monastic Bhutanese song. The music of the shawm (a double-reeded long horn), the silayen (cymbals), dramnyen (seven-string long-necked guitar), & zurlim (flute) are all represented. Yet the most spectacular musical element of this comes from the individual voices & polytonal throat chanting of the monks. The most compelling piece, in praise of the Nyingmapa scholar Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), is performed by a manip, or wandering ascetic.

Levy did a remarkable job here of allowing the music to be played & presented in its natural state, not as the project for recording, but as an extension of the performance of everyday life.

Levy died in London in 1976.

Various – Tibetan Buddhist Rites from the Monasteries of Bhutan, Sub Rosa 222, 2005.

CD1 or CD1 or CD1
Part 1: Rituals of the Drukpa Order from Thimphu & Punakha

1 In Praise of Genyen
2 Offering of ‘Golden Drink’
3 Exhortation to the Guardian Goddess of Long Life
4 Long Trumpets – ‘Throat Ornament’
5 Long Trumpets – ‘Two Notes Prolonged’
6 Invitation to Gonpo
7 Petition to Chakchen
8 Invoking Tshetro’s Blessing
9 Supplication to the Buddhas
10 Aspiration to be Reborn in Western Paradise
11 Petition to Dramar
12 Prayer for Lama’s Long Life
13 Large ‘Mani-wheel’ with mantra
14 – 16 Rite to Cure Disease, Chanted by nuns
17 ‘Tibetan Shawm’ Processional Music
18 Processional Music for Shawm & Percussion
19 Long Trumpets – ‘Auspicious Ending’

Part 2: Sacred dances & rituals of the Nyingmapa & Drukpa Orders from Nyimalung & Tongsa-recorded at the Nyingmapa Monestary, Nyimalung

20 Peling Shachham – Deer Dance
21 Dramitse Ngachlam – The Drum Dance of Dramitse
22 - 23 Lama Norbu Guamtscho
24 Ritual Dedicated to Padma Sambhava

CD2 or CD2 or CD2
Part 2 (continued): Sacred dances & rituals of the Nyingmapa & Drukpa Orders (Suite)-recorded in the Tongsa Dzong (from the Seven Supplications of Padma Sambhava)

1 Entreaty to the Three Buddha-bodies
2 Invitation to Padma Sambhava
3 Rise Up, Padma
4 Words of Prayer
5 ‘Tibetan Shawm’

Part 3: Temple Rituals & Public Ceremonies

Annual festival, Drubchen, great tantric attainment, in Nyingmapa Monastery at Kyichu

6 Myule Drelwa – Calling Down of Deities to Subjugate Evil Spirit & Kulwa,
                            its Death, Stabbed by Black Hat
7 Part of Junbeb - the Coming Down of Grace
8 Monks in Procession Playing Portable Instruments Followed by Chanting
                            of the Heart-Drop Teaching (recorded in Thimphu)
9 Dramnyen Choshe – Song of Offering, with Lute (dramnyen), Lute solo, followed
                            by Chorus, in Praise of Sons of Bhutan
10 Dramnyen Choshe – Chorus only, Song in Praise of Chinese Silk

Annual festival of Sacred dance, at Jampai Lhakhang (Temple of the Future Buddha in Bumthang District, East Bhutan)

11 - 13 Monks, a Clown, Crowds, & Instruments
14 End of Festival, with Temple Bell, Drums, & Trumpets
15 Wandering Ascetic (Manip) Chanting a Milarepa Poem
16 Wandering Ascetic (Manip) Chanting a Mantra
17 Cymbals (Silnyen) Played Solo
18 Cross-flute (Zurlim)-Folk-song from East Bhutan
19 Another Manip Chanting Milarepa Poem
20 First Manip as Story-teller



  1. Hi! I think this gotta be the most amazing music project in the last years...I feel I will come every day ;)I wanted to ask, do you think is there any chance of getting the "music of central asia vol. 7 - in the shrine of the heart" by Smithsonian Folkways? I saw that you had 1 or 2 albums of this series up here.....thank you very much in advance, this one is truly amazing would be great to see it up here. I own many Russian, Bugarian and other albmus, if you are interested...please let me know how you want me to send the links....Kind regards and keep up the good work

  2. I don't know how deadsnow2 was able to enjoy this posting. From the time you posted it, the link has not had an URL attached to it. For me anyway.

    I was also very upset that the posts from the day before and the day after did not work for me. I was going to blame you, but found that they work on Chrome. On Firefox, the address was being corrupted.

    On Firefox: https://mega.co.nz/?_escaped_fragment_=7MMiHTAJ#!7MMiHTAJ
    On Chrome: https://mega.co.nz/#!7MMiHTAJ

    When I fixed the address on Firefox it reverted to the same bad address. I will assume that this is a problem on my system since nobody else complained.

    1. Sorry about the confusion. Since there were two CDs with two separate links, the links are where it says CD2 & CD2. On my OS they appear in different colors than the regular script font color.

      As to Firefox, I have it also & since I started using MEGA I imitially recommended Chrome as working better with MEGA, but people didn't want to have to change browsers, so MEGA worked on the problem. All I can tell you is that they work on my computer with Firefox. Make sure you have the latest version, or reload Firefox, or on the Mozilla Firefox site in their add-ons & fixes they offer fixes for the problems with MEGA (particularly iMEGA 0.5.22 & MEGA Extension 1.0.3. Good luck with this & sorry, but right now MEGA is the only uploader that I trust with my files (for multiple reasons too lengthy to go into here.

  3. I have been able to download on Firefox before, although it took me a long time to figure out how to do it, and I had to use Chrome throughout the Africa posts Firefox asks to allow it to store files on my computer and told me to hit a button that doesn't exist within my browser.

    I eventually mastered the problem and had downloaded four or five of your posts before this new problem occurred. It now happens for every download I attempt from you. I prefer Firefox but also have IE and Chrome because each can do something that the other can't. I am willing to continue using Chrome but reported the error so that you know there may be a problem.

    Before I responded to your message, I saw the CD1 and CD2 links that I did not see before. Everything is fine now except that you have coerced me into downloading more music. I had intended to stop after Africa. I am insistent that I am going to stop after today's post. I really do not like all of that jangle-y music from Indonesia and Southeast Asia and I have enough Chinese and Japanese music to suit me. Well maybe I'll pick up Tibet, but that's it.

    1. Well, since you seem to have a plethora of browsers, here another suggestion. There is a browser Comodo Dragon, completely free, open-sourced, that is basically Google Chrome with out any of the Google crap, sleeker & faster, also allows anonymous browsing...you might want to check it out. You can do away with Chrome that way. Just a suggestion.

      As far as leaving this journey, I'll be sad to see you go. You have been a good friend & helpful in many ways. I will say that I have some fantastic music throughout southeast Asian, Japan, etc. Maybe you can just read the write-ups & maybe find something.

      As far as enough Japanese music, when is there ever enough???
      I think I'm going to have three or four days on Japan alone - The Mops, Blues Creation, Inu, Guernica, Jun Togawa, Boris w/Michio Kurihara, Hanayo, Kan Mikami, Chu Ishikawa, Hanatarash, Takehisa Kosugi, Karasyozoku, Koji Endo, Oi! of Japan...any of that sound like you might change your mind?

  4. I'll try out Comodo and see how it works out for me. It sounds interesting. I'll probably keep reading to see what you're up to, but I don't expect to be downloading until you get to South America. I really I have more music than I have time to listen to now.

  5. Of all the wonderful traditional world music that I downloaded from your blog this was the only one I had trouble using Mega - which otherwise is fantastic. However, there is now a plug-in for firefox so it works. I love Buddhist chanting and music, so this is a treat. Many thanks, Nathan!

    1. Glad you were able to get this. I mentioned elsewhere about two great firefox plug-ins for MEGA, now I think they have even more. Good you could get it worked out. If you ever have problems, just drop me a comment & I'll try to rectify it post-haste. I can always upload elsewhere when a problem occurs without really changing the original link. Thanks again for all you interest.

  6. Decryption key? Really want to check this out. Thanks! Fantastic music here!

    1. No decryption key needed. just click CD1 or CD2. direct link. thanks

  7. Both links take me to MEGA but still request a key. No problem with others

    1. Sorry about all the download bullshit. Read my latest MEGA MESS post for an idea. There are now two more attempts each disc above, one more MEGA & one Zippy. Good luck & to read MEGA MESS, all the addenda & comments as well. We're all going to have to deal with this together each in our own way. I can only do so much on my part...It’s war on all fronts. ‘Breakthrough in the Grey Room’ says Burroughs – he meant the Brain – ‘Total Assault on the Culture’ says Ed Sanders.

    2. Truly appreciate the new uploads and all the time/effort you've contributed to creating this blog. Will check out MEGA MESS now. Thanks again!