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Austrian musician seeks inspiration in Tibet

Watt makes prayers in the Jokhang Temple of Lhasa, capital city of Tibet. Photo: CNTV

Known for rich highland features and a profound culture, the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China attracts tourists from around the world. The Austrian Watt is one of them.

An enthusiast of Eastern culture, Watt has been to Tibet three times since 1999, the most recent in 2011.

Watt, whose Chinese name is Wen Jie, has been inspired to write music each visit. He described himself as a "musical note" with a free soul each time he comes to Tibet. During his last trip, he wrote a song called Gao Gao Gao, which means "high" in Chinese, to mark his third visit to the highland.

Born in the Alps, Watt majored in Eastern culture in college and developed a deep affection towards the Tibetan Plateau.

Watts notes how much Tibet has changed since his first visit. Then, it took him two days by bus to get to Lhasa from neighboring Qinghai Province. Today, both are easily accessilbe by train or plane.

In 2011, he spent more than two months in Tibet, the longest of any trip.

"I just want to get a deeper understanding of ancient Tibetan culture," said Watt.

During his stay, he often visited local folk artists and showed up at various cultural venues.

While taking in performances in Lhasa, he was fascinated by Tibetan costumes and unique folk arts. At one show, Watt ran into the famous Tibetan composer Dr, Joka, who later brought a Tibetan version of Gao Gao Gao to the public.

If you happen to visit Tibet at the right time, you may find Watt strolling through the lanes and alleys of Lhasa with a musical instrument in hand, playing solo in front of the Jokhang Temple or singing aloud in a natural setting as if no one were listening.

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