early June, 2001, my wife Bronwyn and I traveled overland
from Kathmandu in Nepal to Lhasa in Tibet the only way one
could that year: up the trans-Himalayan 'Friendship Highway'
in a small tour group.
because we happened to reach the Tibetan border on an
unusual day, our group was not immediately allowed into
Tibet by the Chinese authorities. As a result, we spent several
anxious nights in Kothari, a usually-untouristed border town,
patiently (and eventually successfully) pleading with the
border authority to let us continue.
sidetrips like this are the living heart of travel, and like
so many departures from agenda, this one was a blessing. A
blessing because we got plenty of time to hike, play cards,
and visit hotsprings with two of the more amazing friends
and fellow travelers we've met: Zack
Tripp and Kate Demong.
was a joy to spend the weeks following exploring Tibet with
them, and a pleasure to meet again in our then-common home
of San Francisco many months later.
was an ever greater joy, and a real honor, to be invited to
compose the processional for their wedding in Vermont on May
the other rooms
the other side
on top of the world
what the thunder said
san francisco sauvignon
would you, would you?
piece I wrote for Zack and Kate, On
Top of the World, was created entirely using sounds
gathered in places we visited together in 2001 (Nepal, Tibet,
and China proper): children, drums, workers repairing the
Jokhang, donkey bells, prayer wheels, musicians, monks chanting
and blowing conch shell horns, chimes, chimebells, the summons
gong at Deprung, doves launching into flight...
a secret pleasure to give back to them sounds they so patiently
(and at times, impatiently) waited for me to record as we
zigzagged towards Lhasa and beyond.
lovely as I like to think this track is, in all honesty it
could not compete with the loveliness of Zack and Kate's wedding:
and it cannot compete with the loveliness of their marriage.
and to remind them of the road.