Shenpenn Khymsar

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Shenpenn Khymsar



JOURNEY OF A DREAM- The first Tibetan Documentary of Heavy Metal and Buddhism

...Though I am currently very busy with my music, filmmaking and activism, I do plan to write a book about the philosophy that guides my life. I have played around with a few possible titles, including A Tiger with a Lion’s Heart, which is a phrase I often use to describe myself. I feel as though I have the strength and fierceness of a tiger, but underneath the tough exterior is a heart that embodies the pride, courage, and integrity symbolically associated with a lion. When I talk to people about these ideas, they tell me how refreshing and inspiring they are to their own lives. We can all become tigers with a lion’s heart, practicing the harmony of strength and courage, fierceness and integrity, wisdom and compassion....

...It doesn’t take long into a conversation with Vancouver-based director and activist Shenpenn Khymsar to discover that he approaches his passion for heavy metal music in a similar manner to his work backing the Tibetan cause.

For Khymsar, the genre, like the long-suffering plight of Tibetan refugees around the world looking to free their country from Chinese rule, is a perennial underdog that requires passionate activism, constant re-evaluation and the occasional infusion of new blood.

“It’s such a misunderstood genre,” says Khymsar in an interview outside the Globe Theatre Saturday evening after the screening of his documentary, Journey of a Dream. “It’s a very, very intelligent musical genre and, as I say in the film, it’s the only genre that has the most dedicated fans. Musicologists have said that if Mozart, and Beethoven and Paganini and Bach . . . were alive today, they would only want to play in progressive metal bands, because nothing else would be interesting. The only problem is, for such an intelligent genre of music, I feel like it needs more intelligent representation.”....