Woo-dra set to woo mu­sic lovers in Thim­phu

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter/ 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.

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