Belfast Telegraph

Tibetan monks sign record deal

Hey hey, they're the monks ... a group of Tibetan holy men could be bringing Nirvana back to the charts after signing a global record deal.

The Gyuto Monks, whose oldest member is 78, have landed a record contract with Decca and have been invited to perform at Glastonbury Festival next month.

The group are based in Dharamsala in northern India, home of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and have performed on stages around the world.

They last performed in the UK in 1973 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, but over the years have been seen at New York's Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and toured the US with veteran rock act The Grateful Dead.

The oldest member, Lobsang Tsering, was among 80 Gyuto Monks when he fled his homeland along with the Dalai Lama in the wake of the upheaval in Tibet in 1959.

Their album, Chants: The Spirit Of Tibet, has been recorded at their monastery in the Himalayan foothills by UK producer Youth who has worked with U2, Sir Paul McCartney and Depeche Mode among others, as well as playing bass in Killing Joke for many years.

He said: "Their voices are commanding and powerful. When they sing they put every fibre of themselves into it. They believe that just by listening to these special tones you can actually come closer towards enlightenment.

"To me they seemed like they were in the engine room of the world, diligently turning these huge invisible karmic wheels with their voices and mantras."

Their Glastonbury performance coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Tibetan Declaration of Independence and will see them conducting a traditional ceremony in the Green Fields. They will break off from a tour of Australia with the Dalai Lama to make their appearance on June 27.

The Gyuto Monks' album is released on July 8.

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