Did my heart lift when I saw a collaboration between a Western guitarist and a Tibetan nun in the post awaiting review? No, it did not. And yet, I feel curiously charmed.
Chˆying Drolma’s slightly nasal voice has a drone-like quality that lifts even the sceptical listener to a more ethereal plane while the accompaniment is simple and unfussy. Tibbetts shows an intelligent restraint on this record realising that, as in Buddhist teaching, less is very often more.
Selwa translates as ‘clear, luminous or awake’, the state the Buddhist attempts to enter in order to interact with the world. Perhaps that spirit has helped avoid the wishy washy trap of much music that sets out along a similar path.
Having said that, this is not going to rock a house party either. Selwa is just gentle, reflective but somehow genuine and deeply felt music.