Khokpo Improvisations released

June 20, 2014


Here is a CD of musical improvisations based around the khokpo, a Tibetan instrument. Khokpo is the word for dramyen in Bothi, the dialect of Spiti. I visited the Spiti Valley in the Himalaya in 2010. (Here is a book about that trip.)

The CD is free for download in AIFF (uncompressed) and MP3 (compressed) formats here, along with printable CD case art:


If you care to, please make a donation to the Jamyang Foundation, an education project for Himalayan women.

If you would like a CD mailed to you, send me a message.


For Padma Dorje 1’47: khokpo


Autumn * 3’18: khokpo, bubul tirang (Hindi: बुलबुल तरंग literally “waves of nightingales” — an autoharp), vocals, electronic percussion, synthesizer


Julay! Julay! 2’17: khokpo


Streets of Kaza 3’23: khokpo, synthesizers, field recordings from Spiti


Spiti River at Nako 3’15: khokpo


Pua Lililehua † 3’02: khokpo


Yaks on the road 2’29: khokpo


Old Manali 3’02: khokpo, guitar, bass, drum machine, piano


For Padma Dorje (phase) 1’13: khokpo


Fortress monastery 2’09: khokpo


High mountains & blue skies 2’40: khokpo, Korg Monotron, guitar.


Great Translator 2’32: khokpo


You Try ‡ 2’47: khokpo


Music from improvisations on the khokpo. I was lucky to receive one, made by a local craftsman in 2010 in Kaza, the provincial capital of Spiti, in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Lyrics and music by Jon Ciliberto.‡

* My version of “Ston gyi lu (Autumn)”, from the album Ladakh: Songs & Dances from the Highlands of Western Tibet
† Hawaiian song, written by Mary Puku’i & Kahauanu Lake
‡ Padma Dorje playing (and trying to keep from drifting out of tune!) the instrument; recorded at his house in Kaza, Aug 2010.

Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia
Dec 2013 – Jan 2014


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