Scene News: TENGGER 天郷 텐거 Seoul family band play The Curtin Friay night!

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Mistletone proudly presents the first Australian show by travelling Pan-Asian musical family, TENGGER 텐거/天郷. Catch mother / father / child team ITTA, MARQIDO and RAII at THE CURTINthis FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22with special guests YL Hooi + DJ Noise In My Head. Tickets on sale here.

You can also hear TENGGER perform live to air on Triple Rthis Thursday with Lauren & Simon on Breaking & Entering, 4-7pm.

  • “TENGGER 天郷 텐거 are a South Korean/Japanese family who make gorgeous peaceful spiritual psychedelic music together. Created with minimal ingredients, their sounds seem to possess vague elements of everything from Komische to New Age and drone music, yet never adheres to one particular sound world. Using harmonium, voice, and toy instruments combined with analogue synths and heavily reverbed vocals, their music has an otherworldly quality that seeps deep down inside your very being” – CYCLIC DEFROST (read the interview hereTENGGER 天郷 텐거: “Nothing Would Make Us Happier Than If Our Music Can Bring Healing.”)

TENGGER‘s tour coincides with their self-titled 13th album, to be released by We Are Busy Bodies next week. Check out the intoxicating new single, “EUNHASU”, offered with reverent respect to “the earth and the sky”:

흘러, 흘러, 흘러 flow, flow, flow
(* EUNHASU 은하수. It means Milky Way in Korean) 

The music of TENGGER is a heady mix of ambient, new age, electronic, psychedelic drone created by itta(South Korea) and Marqido (Japan), along with their son RAAI, whose musical and dance energies express a cosmic, life-affirming sense of wonder. The family’s yearly pilgrimages inform every aspect of their art, exploring travel as spiritual experience, and the sound between the space and the audience. From their home base in Seoul, with regular pilgrimages to their studio in the highlands, this family affair features the couple Itta (Indian harmonium, vocals) and Marqido (synths and electronics) and their young son RAAI (toy instruments, vocals, synth, and dance), who joins them on stage for a melting pot of brilliant, heart-centred, magical music.

Music designed to induce enlightenment”– THE FADER
“Clear and bright, fed by the deep wells of feeling TENGGER have drawn from the natural world” – PITCHFORK
“From field recordings to krautrock to something they call ‘aural hang-gliding’, TENGGER have truly put their stamp on psychedelic music” – UNCUT
“Like stepping through a glowing portal and gasping at the wonders of another world” – STEREOGUM

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The new album sees the globetrotting family trio exploring their origins, using the motion of wind and waves as sonic inspiration. TENGGER’s interest in cosmology is reflected in their mystical outlook and lyrical approach. In their words: “the sound starts from the breaking dawn, and circulates around until the night sky and the milky way.

TENGGER2023-1-683x1024.jpgThe band writes: “The sun, the rain, and the things that grow on the ground make up our bodies and soul. Both can be compared to a mirror. Humanity (on the earth) looks up at the sky; the sky looks at us Illuminate each other and influence each other. Change is happening every moment.”

(lyrics and English translation)

무엇인가를 찾고 있다면 if you are looking for something

무언가 역시 우리를 찾고 something is also looking for us

서로를 비추는 Illuminate each other

Starting out as a duo called 10, itta and Marqido changed the group’s name to TENGGER (“unlimited expanse of sky” in Mongolian) to inaugurate the birth of their son in 2012, to mark the expansion of the family. TENGGER also means ‘huge sea’ in Hungarian. 

Having won global critical acclaim for their previous albums and appearing at international festivals such as Le Guess Who? curated by Moon Duo, TENGGER were scheduled to showcase at SXSW 2020. When the pandemic forced SXSW to cancel, Itta and RAII returned to Seoul and Marqido travelled to his homeland Japan, when sudden border restrictions between Japan and Korea forced his separation from Itta and RAAI for seven months. As The Wire magazine reported,

For young Raai the separation was particularly tough. “He was crying every night,” recalls Itta. “We talked every night by video link, but Raai wanted to hug his father. These days he’s working hard to express his emotions about this situation – actually he started composing when he was six – so he’s writing lyrics and melodies about what he wants to do. For example, he wants to watch the beautiful ocean with his father and mother.” RAII’s compositions resulted in his debut EP, which was released for his 9th birthday (!), listen here / read an article about RAII and TENGGER in the Korea Times.

For most of the year ,Marqido remained stuck on the large island of Shikoku in southern Japan. Shikoku is famous for pilgrimages around its 88 Buddhist temples. TENGGER have done this pilgrimage multiple times, and restored a rural house on the pilgrims’ route for artist residencies. Originally named Kumakogen (meaning far in the highlands), TENGGER rechristened it Studio Kyurt (a blend of Kumakogen and yurt).

Last year, TENGGER’s 7th studio album Earthing was released via Melbourne label Ramble Records.  The family shared: “Staying at Studio Kyurt, walking nearby, climbing mountains, gazing at waterfalls, or reaching the ocean, we observed a lot of things. And then we could receive the message from nature,There is nothing divided and we are connected all in the life circulation. Paying respect to “Now”, the time of living with sharing the message with you all audiences through music.”

TENGGER:website | Facebook | Instagram

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