Tenzin Chopak was on the road to a musical career, when another calling took him on a different path.

Tenzin Chopak was on the road to a musical career, when another calling took him on a different path.

The singer-songwriter, who’ll perform Saturday night at Wellfleet Preservation Hall, spent five years in monastic life, and is in his second go-round as a musician after a 12-year hiatus from performing.

Since his return six years ago, Chopak has released five albums: “Speak Like Water,” “Rockwood Ferry” and “Mask Maker,” under the group name Rockwood Ferry; and two more-recent recordings, ”Awful Good” and “Alone in the House,” under his own name. Chopak is working on a new album due for release this fall.

The son of a minister, Chopak was raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It was there that his love of music was nurtured.

“When I was about 5, I liked to sing a lot and my parents put me in a choir,” Chopak recalls. “My father and my mother both loved music and had a lot of music in our house. They also took me and my brother to see lots of different kinds of music (performed). So even outside the church environment, there was so much appreciation for music and art.

He adds: “I think falling in love with music was probably being exposed to it. I was exposed to live performances by some extraordinary musicians. I saw how those artists performed and how it made me feel. Without having any concepts, I just had the feeling that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to have that effect as well, that I could share that feeling with other people.”

As a teenager, Chopak was on his way to becoming the musician he wanted to be but a growing interest in Buddhism proved more compelling.

“I got interested in Buddhism and met some very good Tibetan teachers and my interest grew from there. I met the people who became my main teachers in ’96. And then in 1999, with my teachers’ permission, I traveled to northern India, where the Dalai Lama and several monasteries and a whole Tibetan community are exiled. I went there to study Tibetan language and also I became a monastic,” says Chopak.

He was given the name he now goes by when he was ordained. Tenzin means “holder of the Buddhist teachings” and Chopak means “supreme or unsurpassable dharma” (and “dharma” means “the teaching or religion of the Buddha”).

After an eight-month stay in India, Chopak returned to the United States to live as a monastic at his teacher’s retreat in upstate New York.

“I was a monastic for close to five years, and then I went back to being a lay person and continued to study and practice,” Chopak says. “I was playing music at home sometimes, but I wasn’t playing in front of anybody. I wasn’t thinking of pursuing it.”

But performing slowly slipped back into his life.

“I was interested in learning how to play the banjo. In 2011, I got a banjo and before I knew it, I was writing songs again. I was writing songs on guitar and I had a friend who was a banjo teacher who teamed up with me and then another friend on violin,” Chopak says. “Then all of a sudden I had a band. By 2012, I was back performing again and that became my focus.”

A singer with a voice of crystal clarity and fragility, Chopak creates compositions that are often a complex mix of influences that can include chamber music, folk, electronica or Americana, to name a few. Added to that is his poetic lyrical imagery.

“Most of the times, the songs are personal,” Chopak says of his writing. “Often, the songs are either reflections on some experiences (my wife and I) are having or I’m speaking to her. There’s been a few times when I’m speaking humorously with her voice. Like in the album ‘Awful Good,’ there’s a song called ‘Drive’ and that’s sort of a humorous song about me being a bad driver.”

As to whether Buddhism enters into his writing, Chopak says he tries to keep his personal beliefs separate from his public performances.

“I think (Buddhism) must touch everything I do,” he says. “However, I don’t mean to put that on anyone else. That’s my own private thing. I don’t ever mean to say something about this other than what universal ideas are expressed through the music.”