About Tibet2Timbuk2

Tibet2Timbuk2 members: Richard, Marcello, Tenzin, Shen
Tibet2Timbuk2: Richard, Marcello, Tenzin, Shen

A Country & Eastern offering from the EthnoSuperLounge stable, world music group Tibet2Timbuk2 takes you on a journey from the meditative to the joyous with Tenzin (Tibet), Shen (tabla), and Marcello (African guitar & further west), with special guests. Afro-Asian galloping tunes!

Tibet2Timbuk2 has an eclectic repertoire including group arrangements of Tenzin’s Tibetan songs, Marcello’s English songs, collaborative songs and instrumentals and even classical tabla solo.  The overall sound is full and organic, with all three musicians sharing bass, percussion, harmony and melody roles to create a solid yet easy groove.

Audiences have the chance to hear long-time solo performer Tenzin’s songs with band accompaniment, and to hear him using the dranyen in completely new ways as a kind of “world music bass”.

Likewise Shen is using tabla in new ways, including playing bass lines on the bayan and adapting traditional Indian rhythms with African and reggae influences.

Singer-songwriter Marcello harmonises with yet another range of influences including African, reggae, country and rock.  Well-known from Brisbane band The Toothfaeries, his songs match the organic-acoustic sound of Tibet2Timbuk2 perfectly.

Their debut CD Music is Life takes listeners on a sonic journey from Tibet to Timbuktu, including 2008 QSong BEMAC World Music Award winning piece, Crane Song.  The title track is a collaboration with kora player and Guinean griot, Lansana Camara.

Their long-awaited followup CD “Apo Gaga – Little Boy” includes new member Richard Grantham (viola), who brings beautiful classical and folk sensibilities to the band’s arrangements.

Tibet2Timbuk2 have performed at numerous festivals around Australia including Bellingen Global Carnival, Woodford Folk Festival and Queensland Multicultural Festival. In 2017, they performed in front of 40000 people at the Dhaka International Folk Festival.

Since Tibet2Timbuk2’s formation in 2008, the group has formed the core of a number of innovative projects at Festival of Tibet and other events, collaborating along with guest musicians to accompany Tibetan performers including spoken word artist Tenzin Tsundue, live painter Karma Phuntsok, and renowned Australian sketch artist Michael Leunig.

While T2T2 basically performs as a three-piece, we do like to invite soloists to join us for a song or two and have a regular roster of guest artists including

Despite the eclectic influences, this world music garage band blends with complete harmony and groove and is guaranteed not only to put a smile on your face and a tap in your feet but to engage your mind and soothe your spirit.

Media quotes

“…not so much a performance by highly talented artists, but more a meditation that would be remembered long after the evening finished…  The band members Tenzin Choegyal, Marcello Milani, Shen Flindell and Taro Terahara were in perfect harmony with each other, joking in a relaxed way about Karma and Lamas. Tenzin Choegyal, the lead singer, sang with such control and strength it was as if he was calling the spirit of Tibet into our presence. His voice was powerful and vibrant…  An evening not to be forgotten.” (Albert Falzon, The Daily Lama, concert review Bellingen Jan 2012)

“One of the most astonishing things about “Music is Life” is the fundamental simplicity of the parts played by, in particular, the guitar and dranyen. Mostly uncomplicated and repeated phrases, they nevertheless combine with the tabla to produce an extraordinarily interesting and detailed sound that is intensely hypnotic and enchanting. This is a combination of Africa, India and Tibet, that, for all its unlikeliness, has resulted in a musical masterpiece.” (Mike Raine,Indie-CDs CD review 2009)

“This album is a masterpiece. A joyous fusion of the sounds of India, Tibet and Africa, it is beautifully produced, technically superb and yet honest and unpretentious. Uplifting tabla, bansuri, guitar, kora, flute, trumpet and voice come together in a glorious soundscape from haunting mountain flute to danceable afrobeat. Fusion at its best.” (Amazon MP3 review, Sep 2010)

“…an incredible band called Tibet2Timbuk2…  I’m absolutely in love with this entire album, please get yourself to tibet2timbuk2.com and check out the album.  This is spectacular, this album is absolutely amazing, it cheers me up, it makes me feel wicked and I cannot promote this strongly enough for you guys.” (Queerninja, music review podcast May 2009)

Tenzin Choegyal

Tenzin Choegyal draws on his traditional Tibetan roots to create music which expresses his thoroughly modern life. Since his world music debut ten years ago, Tenzin’s cantering rhythms, soaring vocals, flute and poignant stories have enchanted audiences around the globe.

Recent collaborations such as Tibet2Timbuk2 allow Tenzin room to experiment with rhythm and structure, to challenge deeply entrenched Tibetan musical norms and find a place in the complex tapestry of global sounds.

Tenzin plays the dranyen (long necked lute), lingbu (transverse flutes) various ritual objects and is well-known for his extraordinary vocal ability.

Marcello Milani

Marcello Milani is a singer, songwriter & guitarist.

Ask anyone who has seen Marcello live, and they’ll tell you that here is an artist whose songs and voice are filled with those rare attributes, honesty and integrity.

Marcello has performed at many festivals including Woodford Folk Festival, Livid Festival, Big Day Out & the National Folk Festival to name just a few. He is best known to many as the voice of Brisbane icons, The Toothfaeries. Arguably one of the most acclaimed and popular bands in the city’s recent history, The Toothfaeries, with Marcello out front, not only helped inspire the growth of Brisbane’s booming music scene, they influenced a small army of artists who have emerged in their wake.

Marcello also performed and recorded with amazing Afro/Roots groups Zimbira & Masala Music and is now thoroughly enjoying Tibet2Timbuk2, his collaboration with Tenzin Choegyal, Shen Flindell and friends.

Shen Flindell

Shen Flindell started learning tabla in Melbourne from Sri Debapriya Bhattacharya in 1994 and soon went to the holy city of Varanasi in India to study under Pt. Kaviraj Ashutosh (“Ashu Babu”) Bhattacharya, a great tabla master of the Benares Gharana and senior disciple of the legendary Pt. Kanthe Maharaj. Since then he has become a well-known figure in Indian classical and world music circles, not just in Australia but also in Japan and of course Varanasi, India.

Since the first EthnoSuperLounge concert in 1998 (also featuring Tibet2Timbuk2 cohort Tenzin Choegyal), Shen has facilitated many successful cross-cultural collaborations, of which the latest is Tibet2Timbuk2. EthnoSuperLounge is all about union and transcendence through music and with Shen’s clear, beautiful tabla sound, his easy grooves and intuitive accompaniment there is always a free-spirited and open communication between all concerned.

Richard Grantham

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Grantham is a jack of all musical trades whose compositional and performing experience stretches from orchestras to bands to solo improvisation, encompassing an exceptionally broad range of classical, folk, popular, cabaret and experimental styles. He has created music for festivals, films, theatre, spoken word, and burlesque, as well as for the concert hall. His solo improvising act The Viola Cloning Project uses a loop recorder and other effects pedals to turn his customised five-string carbon-fibre viola into a one-man string and percussion orchestra, and has performed all around Australia.

Taro Terahara

Taro Terahara - bansuri Taro Terahara is one of the leading musicians in the thriving and highly competitive Indian classical music scene in Japan. His beautiful bansuri (Indian bamboo flute) soars, swoops and transports listeners to realms of pure sound, both engaging the mind and touching the heart. He first appeared in Tibet2Timbuk2 as a guest artist on his first ever Australian tour in 2006, where he was also one of the hits of the Woodford Folk Festival with his wonderful Indian classical bansuri, including the New Year’s Dawn Hilltop Concert.

Sangeet Mishra

Maestro Sangeet Mishra is a talented musician and capable exponent of Indian music in the Benaras tradition. Sangeet comes from a long line of sarangi masters from India’s holiest city, Varanasi, and has performed with leading artists in India and around the world.

He first learned to play sarangi from his father Pandit Santosh Mishra, received advanced training from his grandfathers Maestro Bhagwan Das and Maestro Narayan Das Mishra and was considered by his seniors and gurus to be a child prodigy. “I wanted to learn Tabla but my father encouraged me to play sarangi. And today, I see how right he was” he recalls.

Sangeet has endeavoured to revive ancient musical styles by acquiring both the tantrakari and gayaki forms of playing the sarangi. An innovative musician, he also successfully employs a contemporary approach to playing the sarangi without compromising its traditional purity and essence and is at ease playing styles ranging from the nuances of pure classical Indian to modern contemporary music.

Presently based in the city of Mumbai, Pt. Sangeet maintains a busy schedule as a professional musician and has performed on numerous musical platforms both in India and overseas. Apart from performing in prestigious Indian festivals such as Sawai Gandharwa (Pune) and Sangeet Natak Academy, he has performed in the India Festival (Japan), Woodstack Festival (Poland), Royal Theatre (Australia) and for movies in Hollywood (Saint Dracula) and Bollywood.

A highly versatile performer, Sangeet has collaborated worldwide with musicians from various genres and styles to create a new musical language. He feels fortunate to have accompanied vocalists including Smt. Girija Devi, Pt. Channulal Mishra, Miahra bandhu, Ustad Raza Ali Khan, and many well-known dancers including Padmashree Vidushi Sitara Devi, Padmavibhushan and Pt. Birju Maharaj.

When asked, what it is like accompanying other artists he said, “I am so blessed. … You not only learn to play and to be careful and ready to improvise on stage but also how to be a true artist”, adding, “…artists like Pt. Birju Maharaj and Sitara Devi are like saints. They are so down to earth though so high in their art.”

Peter Hunt

Peter HuntPeter Hunt is a singer, trumpet player and composer. He often plays by the river and on the street raising his point of view to and through one of song and dance. He harmonises with a diversity of musicians and has a gift for translating feeling into melody. He writes and plays with jazz-reggae groups kooii and ruby blue.

Peter plays trumpet on 3 tracks on “Music is Life”Lotus Born, Little Things and Dawey Wola.

Menaka Visvanathan

Menaka VisvanathanMenaka Visvanathan is a young local artiste who started learning classical Indian music from a tender age of 5 in the Sri Krishna Music Academy in Brisbane under the tutelage of her mother and principal of the school, Mrs. Vijaya Visvanathan. Through the music her mother has imparted to her, Menaka has experienced the beauty of divine love and surrender and endeavours to share these experiences with others through her vocal music. Menaka is also an exponent of Bharata- Natyam, or south Indian classical dance, graduating from this divine art in 2004. She has sung and danced at many community events, including Woodford Folk Festival, Sacred Music Festival, numerous charity events and has collaborated with many artistes, including Tenzin Choegyal.

Menaka has performed with Tibet2Timbuk2 on numerous occasions, notably at the CD Launch of “Music is Life” at Brisbane Powerhouse, 15th November 2008.