Lotus Festival review

Whole Lotta Lotus

Bloomington Independent    September 30, 1999

First choice on Friday night was Choying Drolma and Steve Tibbetts.  Truly enlightening in many ways, their performance fused ancient sacred Tibetan chant with cosmic embellishment from Tibbetts’ guitar and Marc Anderson’s percussion, gongs, and samples.  Visually it was quite a sight too: three Tibetan nuns washed in the soft light of candles, flanked by electric guitar and a percussion array.  Deep stirrings I can’t even begin to discuss here were triggered by the sound of Chö, and from the response I felt from the audience, it wasn’t just happening to me.

This ensemble’s bluster of atmosphere and rhythm was coded with enlightenment. Based on texts devoted to the practice of inner release from attachment to fixation, the collective chants, rhythms, bells, drones, and space-guitar melodies all interlaced profoundly.  Choying Drolma glowed radiantly.

--Jim Manion