Singing Ice: Ladakhi folk songs about mountains, glaciers, rivers, and steams

Schuppli, Susan. 2022. Singing Ice: Ladakhi folk songs about mountains, glaciers, rivers, and steams. [Artist's Book]

Singing Ice.pdf - Published Version

Download (11MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This song book emerges out of an encounter with Morup Namgyal in Leh, Ladkah, a well-known folk singer whose music practice has contributed to the revival of Ladakhi and Tibetan cultural traditions. Also known as the “Song Collector” Morup Namgyal has been saving and singing traditional folk songs that reflect the changing environmental conditions of Himalayan mountains and its peoples.

After listening to his many stories some of which were accompanied by his plaintive singing, he opened up his archive to us—a handwritten folio of songs now long forgotten that are stored on faded scraps of paper gathered while travelling throughout the region in the 1960s. These songs and their chronicles of environmental change are fated to disappear like the glaciers that Mr. Namgyal sings about in his soulful words of mourning and loss.

Item Type:

Artist's Book

Additional Information:

Singing Ice: Ladakhi folk songs about mountains, glaciers, rivers, and streams is the result of a collaboration between Morup Namgyal and researchers Susan Schuppli and Faiza Ahmad Khan with assistance from Jigmet Singge and Kunzang Deachen at Local Futures Ladakh.

Meant to be sung aloud, these folk songs were collected by Morup Namgyal over many decades. The selection, brought together in this book, was scanned, transcribed and translated in 2022.

Translated from Ladakhi to English by Tashi Morup and edited by Niyati Dhuldhoya. Ladakhi text edited by Khanpo Konchok Phandey and Kunzang Deachen.

Watercolour Illustrations by Jigmet Angmo.

Designed by Radha Pandey, Singing Ice has been printed on natural shade high bulk book printing paper at Printworks, New Delhi in an edition of 500 copies.

This songbook would not have been possible without the support from The British Council Creative Commissions programme 2021–22.


folk songs, Ladakh, mountain villages, receding glaciers, climate change

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures
Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


July 2022

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Jan 2023 12:52

Last Modified:

05 Jan 2023 12:52


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)