July 12, 2010

Memories of Rocking GM Place, Tibetan style...

This is kind of an update to an ancient post I made back in 2006.

On Sunday, July 11, 2010, my wife and I attended a Tibetan Fundraiser at the Van Dusen Gardens. There was a silent auction, Tibetan food, lots of jewelry and CDs on sale, and the place was place was jammed with people. Coloured flags inscribed with little messages hung from the ceiling and everywhere, and even though we were shoulder-to-shoulder, standing room only, in over 30 degrees of heat, there were a lot of smiles to be seen.

In the main meeting area, there was a stage, and on it, a variety of live performances of music and singing, mostly children or young people who appeared to be teens and pre-teens singing folk music. We watched two monks playing those looooooooooong Tibetan horns, which was pretty neat.

But, for me, the day was made by this one boy playing his three-stringed Tibetan guitar. He twanged away on his guitar-thingie in time with the beat of the song, and in time with the little boy who was enthusiastically singing the melody. Then, in a space between verses, there came a guitar solo, and something about his playing seemed familiar to me. The kid began rocking out on his Tibetan folk tune: I watched him lean way back on his hips like Jimmy Page, with the body of his instrument way down below his hips, and the neck pointed up high. There was a familiar and distinct air of confidence in his posture. He was rocking out, Tibetan style, and having a great time!

After a moment, I became convinced that I'd seen this kid play before. I am sure I saw him at GM Place, playing the same way when the Dalai Lama came to Vancouver in 2006. And boy - that time, he was on the big screen in front of tens of thousands of people, and his Jimmy Page posture really caught the attention of the crowd.

He rocked GM Place with his three-stringed Tibetan guitar solo. Right on kid.


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