LAMA GYOURME was born in Bhutan (an independent kingdom since 1951 close to Tibet) in 1948 and was deeply attracted to spirituality and to monastic life at a very early age, showing exceptional qualities. His family placed him in the care of the Djang Tchoub Tcheu Ling monastery in Bhutan ahantt the age of four, and there he promptly revealed his aptitude for sacred music. He gained a permanent place at the monastery at the age of nine and grew up with a totally religious upbringing (sacred texts, scriptures), as well as being initiated to the traditional arts including music.
At the age of 20, he spent his first 3 years retreat (a mandatory rite of passage in the life of a lama) at the Sonada monastery in India. During this retreat, the title "Ouzme" (or Master of Music) was bestowed upon him by the Venerable Kalu Rinpotché. Following a stint at the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, he returned to Bhutan to complete his religious education and undergo many initiations before receiving his diploma as teacher of the Kagyupa tradition from His Holiness Karmapa the XVIth.
He has lived in France since 1974, at first heading the Kagyupa Centre in Paris (Kagyu Dzong), then, from 1982 to this day, the Vajradhara Ling Centre in Normandy.
Jean Philippe Rykiel was born blind in 1961 and taught himself to play the piano at a very early age. While he recognises that the prime influence on his decision to turn to music was Theolonious Monk, he acquired his passion for synthesizers and the limitless possibilities they offer upon discovering Pierre Henry. His mastery of this instrument and his musical genius soon won him recognition from his peers, opening the way for numerous opportunities and collaborations, both as a programmer (with Vangelis), session musician (with Steve Hillage, Jon Hassell, Didier Malherbe…), and composer (with Xalam, Salif Keita, Leonard Cohen, Youssou N'Dour, to name but a few…). In 1992, he co-composed and co-produced "Eyes Open" for Youssou N'Dour, and their collaboration has endured in the "Wommat" album released in 1994.
Aside from his numerous joint efforts, he has been conducting his own personal exploration of music, as evidenced by his first solo album, released in 1982, an in depth exploration of musicotherapy under the guidance of Dr. Patrick l'Echevin, and scores for musical performances and audiovisual works (such as the sound track of the film "Les Pierres Bleues du Désert", a part in the OST of "L'Enfant Lion", and an advert for Christian Dior…).
As he searches for what he terms, for want of a better word, the "spontaneous technology" that would enable him to instantly express his inspiration both in the studio and on stage, Rykiel never stops composing.
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