Topic: Music

Video: Imogen Heap goes to Bhutan; inspired musicmaking ensues

She went to Bhutan for “the amazing scenery, to meet people I didn’t know much about, and to discover a new culture,” says musician Imogen Heap — and sure enough, all of this has come into play in her new music. In this behind-the-scenes clip behind the making of two new songs and their videos, […]

One very loud “Ocean of Wisdom” — and now a nomination for Canadian Album of the Year

If you were going to present Buddhist-influenced ideas by way of music, you probably wouldn’t think of a genre called “tech-death” as being the ideal vehicle for doing so. But it sure seems to have worked for Gorguts. (Yes, “Gorguts.”) The stalwart band released their LP Colored Sands (referring to the main ingredient of a […]

Listen: “Bodhisattva”, “4 Noble Truths” among surprising tracks on José James’s new album

Singer José James, known as an up-and-comer in the jazz and soul worlds, has not only ventured in eclectic musical directions for his fifth album, While You Were Sleeping (out on Blue Note June 10), but has included two tracks with intriguing titles to the Buddhist observer: “Bodhisattva” and “4 Noble Truths”. Regarding the former, […]

And now for something completely different: Tibetan Buddhist monks breakdancing to Beasties

(Or, at least, people dressed as Tibetan Buddhist monks. This video is from Friday’s special event in Union Square, in order to promote the third annual “MCA Day,” which took place on Saturday to honor the memory of Adam Yauch. Click here for more on MCA Day.)

MCA DAY: The third annual NYC celebration of Adam Yauch happens this weekend

This Saturday, March 3rd, is the third annual MCA DAY, a daylong celebration of the life of the late Beastie Boy and Tibet advocate Adam Yauch featuring music, art, and more; a gathering of Buddhist monks in Union Square today (Friday) will create buzz for the event. Click here to visit MCA Day on Facebook for […]

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 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?.