Woo-dra set to woo music lovers in Thimphu
Ever wanted to grasp your local favorite singers and musicians together, performing acts to woo you at the same venue and on the same day?
This is exactly what the Woo- dra, a show scheduled from 4- 6pm at Changlimithang Stadium on February 22, will feature for the ardent music lovers in Thimphu.
The musical show which is also called ‘ Best of Bhutan’ will feature a total of eight locally well- known and promising singers/ songwriters. They include Ugyen Panday, Zhaw ( Tshering Tashi), Pema Deki, Kinley Wangchuk, Bonz ( Kencho Wangdi), Tandin Wangchuk of Misty Terrace, Supe ( Kunga T Dorji) and Jigme Drukpa.
Kinley Wangchuk, the co- founder of Thimphu International Music Festival, said the Woo- dra will showcase popular and some of the best Bhutanese singers and musicians.
“Woo- dra is a Dzongkha term that means popular, resounding, most happening, and etc. It has been named considering the congregation of singers and musicians we have here,” he said.
As expensive professional sound system was hired and a stage built for Lucky Ali’s Concert on February 21, Kinley Wangchuk said they might as well provide the same platform to the local musicians and let them experience a world class stage with professional sound system.
He explained that Changlimithang Stadium was the best option for Lucky Ali’s Concert, considering the organizers’ aim to entertain as many people as possible. “So we planned out a concert that could host about 5,000 people, the biggest concert so far. It made sense that Bhutan International Festival should organize such a concert, so as to stand out from the other gigs we had so far in the country,” he said.
However, for a concert venue to house 5,000 people, Kinley Wangchuk said, “The audio system requirement assessed by a professional sound engineer from the UK worked out to be of an intensity that has never been installed in Bhutan before. It worked out to be very expensive, but we decided to go for it, and give the best of what audio technology can offer to the people of Bhutan. It’s a year that calls out for celebration.”
He added, “I am eagerly looking forward to Woo- dra. I am certain that there will be a lot of improvisation on the arrangement of the singer’s popular songs and this will be a perspective that I have been craving for a long time. Some singers are more known for covering popular western music, but imagine a touch of Bhutan from Jigme Drukpa’s instruments.”
The eight singers/ musicians, meanwhile, will be backed up by three musicians, who are respected and known for playing their respective instruments and are band members of a newly established fusion band ‘ Drembaa’. The three musicians comprise Phaksha ( Sonam Tshering) on the lead guitar, Tej Narayan on the bass guitar, and Saajan Sherpa on the drums.
The Woo- dra in Changlimithang Stadium is a paid concert, with tickets costing Nu 500 for a seat in the front gallery and Nu 300 in the back gallery.
“It’s not very much. This concert also gives us an avenue to raise some revenue to offset the cost of production of the concert. We are praying that enough people will come,” the co- founder of the music festival said.
Meanwhile, plans are also there to make Woo- dra an annual event or activity.
“We are going to make this a prestigious event and this is to inspire local musicians to work on their crafts and excel in what they do. And through this concert we would also like to acknowledge and honor people with passion, talent and discipline. Translating Woo- dra into a prestigious platform would also inspire musicians to excel in their craftsmanship,” the co- founder of the music festival said.
Meanwhile, Woodra is the last event or the closing program of Thimphu International Music Festival, an event running as part of the first annual Bhutan International Festival ( BhIF) from January 14- 23 this year.
BhIF is a brand new collaborative arts festival in Bhutan. It’s a non- profit annual event – working to build a new vehicle for the ongoing funding of creative arts in Bhutan.