Tashi Dorji’s Expansive World of Experimental Guitar

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Growing up in Bhutan in the ’90s, guitarist Tashi Dorji discovered lots of different music. But playing it wasn’t so easy. “We didn’t own amps; we didn’t even know how to acquire one,” he says of his various short-lived high school bands. “A friend of mine had to build one. We had a cover band that played everything from classic rock to Nirvana to hair metal. Anything we heard, we wanted to play.”

Things changed when Dorji moved to America in 2000 to attend college. Seeing so many people play their own music inspired him to set off on his own path. “I met punk rock kids at college who took me to DIY shows, and it was so mindblowing,” he recalls. “That led me to everything else.” Self-taught on guitar, Dorji at first wrote his own music, then veered toward improvisation. “When I first heard people like John Coltrane and John Zorn, I was profoundly affected,” he says. “I was like, ‘Whoa, these guys just play?’ I had always been a very anti-authoritarian kind of person, and that idea was really appealing.”

Since then, Dorji has built a impressive catalog, both as a solo guitarist (switching between acoustic and electric) and in collaboration with many of today’s most interesting improvisers