Tashi Dorji conjures incredible sounds from a prepared acoustic guitar. His spirited improvisations—recorded live without any loops or effects—evoke a composite of influences from Derek Bailey to Mauritanian pulaar to the traditional music of his native Bhutan.
"Growing up in Bhutan with little access to music except random bootlegged cassettes and shortwave radio, I listened to anything i could find," Tashi Dorji writes in an email interview. He learned guitar by ear because "we didn't have music school, TV or internet back then in Bhutan, so we had to use a lot of imagination and improvise what we thought we heard off of a tape player."
Tashi Dorji arrived in Asheville, North Carolina as an international student in 2000. He quickly fell in with the vibrant punk rock community, which flowed into free jazz, noise, experimental and other avant garde music. The Appalachian mountain town has become a real hub for experimental music.
Collaborations/Collaborators and releases for the future are:
Duo projects with Guitarist Shane Perlowin (Ahleuchatistas), drummer Thom Stanton, Ryan Oslance (Ahleuchatistas) and many many more. Tashi Dorji makes meticulously crafted sounds that conjure spirits, wrestle demons and tame wild beasts. As beautiful as they are cerebral, his acoustic works are reminiscent of Indian raggas, improvisational jazz, and a step beyond Fahey’s Americana.
Which was the first musical sound do you remember?
bells bells bells on cows,bells on horses, bells on mule...lot of bells
Why do you need music? Can we live without music?
life force, possibilities, imaginations, endless.
I don`t know who can live without music.
So, why do you love the guitar?
Democratic, sonic possibilities, it`s emotive, rich
Which work of your own are you most proud of, and why?
I enjoy most of what i have done and it keeps moving, influx, it`s unstable, hybrid and i think thats the most i am attracted about playing music, its always changing.
How do you experience time? How do you experiment with time?
Time is limiting.
Why and how do you use extended techniques in guitar?
Pure sound adventures.
What’s the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar?
I like old guitars.
What are the challenges and benefits of today's digital music scene?
Its great. Its accessible and immediate.
What do you like from playing alone?
I love playing both solo and in a group.
A valuable advice that someone has gifted to you in the past?
Listen play Play Listen
What's your fetish device in the sound chain?
I play a lot of acoustic.
Sometimes i like using metal thumb picks.
When i play electric i like using Boss Loop station or delay or a volume pedal. Fender Delux amps are great
Which living artist would you like to collaborate with?
I don`t know, I collaborate with lot of people and i am sure i will collaborate with lot more in the future.
Why? because its a great way to make music, build new friendships and forge new territories.
What’s your next project about?
I am working on duo guitar improvisation music with my friend and a genius guitar player Shane Perlowin from Ahleuchatistas.
More solo recordings and few other duo collaborations with different drummers.
Its all open, anything is possible.
These are my upcoming releases
Solo Electric Guitar Improvisations cs on Blue tapes http://bluetapes.co.uk/
Solo Acoustic Guitar cs/cd on http://www.marmararecords.com/
Solo Guitar LP on Hermit Hut
Duo Guitar Improvisations with Shane Perlowin LP on Hept Sepht