Long Tibetan horns
Played by two young Buddhist monks
Haunting at 4 A.M.
These long Tibetan horns called dungchen are used in Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies. It is the most widely used instrument in Tibetan Buddhist culture. It is often played in pairs or multiples, and the sound is compared to the singing of elephants.
We camped for about a week outside the Thyangboche Buddhist Monastery during a festival called Mani Rimdu. Every morning about 4 A.M. they would play these horns. Usually, at this location in the mountains and at that time of the morning the entire area was engulfed in a misty cloud…..like a dense fog. Imagine lying in your sleeping bag inside your tent inside of a cloud….floating in and out of consciousness……. half awake….. half asleep….. and hearing these horns being played…. It was very very eerie, other worldly, transformative and wholly peaceful.
Tsuitrim Allione described the sound: “It is a long, deep, whirring, haunting wail that takes you out somewhere beyond the highest Himalaya peaks and at the same time back into your mother’s womb.”
Here’s are some brief YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIiM7qOHkrk