Our Man from Thimphu: Tashi Dorji


Tangka by Purba Namgay

Tangka by Purba Namgay

Here’s a name for you. Bhutan.

What conjures in your mind?

Mountains? Tibetan monks? A land where everyone smiles and they measure success in Gross Domestic Happiness?

Maybe, if you’re Indian, you’ll remember that Namo chose that country as his first international trip.

And if you’re Bhutanese, you are disqualified.

Now let me ask you. Name one, just one, Bhutanese person.  And don’t say, the King. That doesn’t count.

Stuck?  Well, let me give you a name that you should never forget.  Tashi Dorji.

Mr Dorji, is one of America’s great unsung musicians.  In particular, he plays a guitar like nothing you’ve ever heard. He makes the strings sound exactly as if you were in a Himalayan monastery, joining in on a Buddhist prayer session.   There is that wispy, slightly atonal drone that flutters with the wispiness of a prayer flag.  It hesitates and gets going again but never really stops.  Dorji uses his  guitar as a drum too, an old trick. But to make it sound like a Tibetan hand drum is something fresh!  You can’t help but feel the cool breeze coming up the khud and being transported into an otherly world space.

Tashi Dorji

Tashi Dorji

Dorji is not a boffin, someone who only wants to see what weirdness he can produce from his instrument.  This is music that flows from a very unique place; not just the Himalayan kingdom but from Tashi’s own hidden country, deep in his soul. It’s as if he is making the music up as he goes, the sense of adventure is palatable.


Mark my word, dear readers. This is one man you’ll be hearing more about in the future. Just remember you read about him here first!


Here’s a nice article/interview with the man from Thimpu.


Track Listing:

01 Iron Cloud

02 April

03 Macula

04 Sunder

05 Take Shape

06 Moves Southward


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