Bhutan will be represented in the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) world conference at Limerick, Ireland from July 13 -19.

Kheng Sonam Dorji will be presenting his research on traditional music of Bhutan to music scholars from across the world. He will also perform at the conference.

The annual world music conference is for people from different countries to share their knowledge on music. ICTM is a non-governmental organisation that provides a forum for people of different cultures and contributes to the peace of humankind.

Kheng Sonam Dorji said the invitation is of importance, as it would highlight the unique and vibrant culture of traditional Bhutanese music in an international forum. “Traditional music is deeply rooted in every aspect of our lives. Music can awaken our mind and senses and through lyrics and melodies, we learn who we have been for centuries. This is why I am thrilled to represent our country,” he said.

Apart from presenting Bhutanese folk music, he would also be attending a meeting of liaison officers and representatives from across the world. He said that the meeting is for people who are interested in learning traditional music of different countries. “It’s a huge honour and recognition for our country and for me to be representing Bhutan feels great.”

Kheng Sonam Dorji is the founder of Music of Bhutan Research Centre (MBRC). The registered civil society organisation documents, preserves, and promotes traditional music of diverse regional and ethnic groups in Bhutan. It also provides a platform to traditional performers and musicians.

The biggest challenge in working as a music researcher he said, was finding facts of music, as it was never recorded before. He would be presenting his research, which he has been doing for the last nine years on July 15.  “It is our dream to host the ICTM world music conference in Bhutan one day,” he said.

Rinchen Zangmo