Needing to make a quick trip up to my apartment in Xining, I met my friend Anne on the road and together we hired a car. Surprise! The one we found was being driven by one of Amdo's most famous singers, the one-and-only "Sherten" (short for Sherab Tendzin, I later found out). Sherten was headed to Xining on his way to his first international appearances - performing in cities throughout the US. (Maybe you saw him?) His father, a very sweet leprechaun-esque kind of fellow, also joined us on the trip. He didn't quite know what to make of me and Anne, maybe the first foreigners he'd ever spent time with.
The road was long - two days of travel. Several times we stopped in the middle of nowhere so that Sherten could meet mysterious people bearing Tibetan instruments he intended to buy and bring to the US. All four of us took turns singing in the car. It was especially fun to hear Sherten sing some of his most popular songs, accompanying himself only on a small Tibetan mandolin, without the pumping up of studio effects.
Here are two of Sherten's music videos - both traditional Tibetan
singing style as opposed to his more contemporary pop hits: Video 1 Video 2
When we finally arrived, Sherten had one free evening before heading out to the US. We got together and ate, sang, and listened to each other's music - sharing ideas for possible future collaboration. Rumor is that when he returns, he and I may record a music video CD together. Who knows if that will pan out, but stay tuned...
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