Topic: Music

Uncovered heart: Musician Kenny Werner heals the wounds of tragedy, gives back to Buddhist Global Relief

For jazz pianist and composer Kenny Werner—whose quartet will perform at Buddhist Global Relief’s Concert to Feed the Hungry April 25 in New York City—music’s ability to lift people out of even the most crushing of circumstances is not at all an abstract concept. On October 2, 2006, Werner and his wife Lorraine received the […]

TEEN: Daughters of Buddhist composer Peter Lieberson making music of their own

With their second album, The Way and Color, coming in late April, now’s a fine time to introduce you to TEEN, a musical act made of four friends, including three sisters — Kristina, Katherine, and Lizzie Lieberson—with music in their blood. They’re the daughters of the late, famous Buddhist composer, Peter Lieberson. Watch the video […]

Tibet House’s 2014 benefit show: Iggy Pop, Philip Glass “join” New Order (video)

Not surprisingly, it was a fun, fun, fun, fun, fun time. In addition to the presence of Patti Smith, members of the National, the Drepung Gomang monks, and others, there was a special surprise for modern music fans. As Rolling Stone reports, Tuesday night’s gala concert at Carnegie Hall included a performance by the reformed […]

Hesse’s “Siddhartha” still inspires, in unexpected ways

Nearly 70 years after earning Herman Hesse the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, his novel Siddhartha continues to provide inspiration, in surprising ways and surprising places. Like in a maximum security Italian prison, and the mind of Billy Corgan. In Italy, singer and director Isabella Biffi initiated a program to produce musicals in the aptly named […]

What is the sound of one note? Giving 20th c. Zen composer Giacinto Scelsi a listen

Perusing a review of a recent performance by Miami’s New World Symphony, I came across this tantalizing biographical tidbit about one of the composers on the program, Giacinto Scelsi (1905-88), who seems to be emerging out of obscurity: “Scelsi (Count D’Alaya Valva), was an eccentric who suffered a mental breakdown and hospitalization from 1949-1952. The […]

Notes neither right nor wrong: Herbie Hancock’s first Harvard lecture

In composer Herbie Hancock’s first of six lectures on “The Ethics of Jazz” at Harvard University, he interwove anecdotes about the wisdom of trumpeter Miles Davis with observations about the experience drawn from more than 40 years practicing Buddhism, the Harvard Crimson reports. Read about the moment with Davis from which “Hancock [drew] values of […]

Korean classical innovator Jin Hi Kim to perform multi-media “Digital Buddha” at the Met (Video)

Korean pop music—or Kpop as it’s commonly known—is a huge phenomenon in east Asia, with countless websites dedicated to parsing every minute detail of its teenage stars’ lives. So it came as a refreshing surprise when kpopstarz.com chose to feature one of Korea’s indigenous classical music virtuosos, Jin Hi Kim, highlighting her upcoming performance of […]

Herbie Hancock named honorary Harvard professor, will deliver “Buddhism and Creativity” lecture

Musician Herbie Hancock has been named Harvard University’s 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry, the BBC informs us, and as such will deliver a series of six lectures there next month on a variety of personal topics, including Buddhism. “‘I’ve been a practicing Buddhist for 40 years,” he said, “so there’s going to be a lecture […]

Patti Smith leads the way into 2014

Photo by Joshua Pickering.

Metal act Cynic let loose with Buddhism-influenced “Lion’s Roar”

If you like modern music (metal, specifically) and are interested in Buddhism, you may very well want to know what critically acclaimed metal/progressive music act Cynic is up to. So, what’s the Buddhist connection?.

Yob: Eastern spirituality remains an influence on doom-metal heroes

Doom-metal heroes Yob will soon be re-releasing a remastered version of their classic LP, Catharsis — but will be going with Buddhist imagery on the cover (left) this time. (Website Invisible Oranges has a sample track if you like this kind of thing, and have 18 minutes to spare.) Other YOB albums have had distinct […]

“Everything shimmering and golden” — read Laurie Anderson’s beautiful public words for Lou Reed

Laurie Anderson — musical, visual, spoken-word artist extraordinaire in her own right — was famously married to Lou Reed. Now, after Reed’s passing, followers of either or both of this pair of one-of-a-kinds have to wonder how she’s doing. Loving, gracious, and grateful in tone, her obituary for Reed, as published in the East Hampton […]

Magic & Loss: Lou Reed dies at 71

The death of Lou Reed — songwriter, guitarist, singer, poet, Warhol-Factory fixture, devoted t’ai chi student, cultural critic, curmudgeon, husband and creative partner of Laurie Anderson, inspiration to countless musicians and artists — was in the news everywhere yesterday. The story of his demise, some said, was greatly exaggerated — but it turned out that […]

Folk legend Peter Yarrow uses Dalai Lama poem for new anti-bullying song

As part of the effort in Japan to counteract bullying and the alarming suicide rate among its young people, a Japanese music executive has produced a song by folk legend Peter Yarrow (ex-Peter, Paul and Mary), whose lyrics come from a unique source: a poem by the Dalai Lama. The catchy “Never Give Up” mines […]

Philip Glass, Riyaaz Qawwali, and more gather to benefit Garrison Institute on Oct 24

On October 24, Philip Glass will be joined by a number of other notable musicians for “In the Spirit,” a concert of music from the world’s great traditions to benefit the Garrison Institute on its tenth anniversary. The show will take place at NYC’s Town Hall at 123 W 43rd Street, and will feature: The New […]