Music

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    WATCH Buddhism's "Singing Nun" Paid Member

    Last Sunday NPR's Weekend Edition program featured an interview with Ani Choying Drolma--otherwise known as Nepal's "Singing Nun." Drolma, a Tibetan Buddhist nun from Kathmandu, has become an international sensation--touring the world and performing traditional Buddhist chants and songs in the U.S., Brazil, China, Singapore, Russia, and France. During the interview Drolma discusses how her abusive father drove her to join a Buddhist monastery, her love of country music legend Bonnie Raitt, and the advice Drolma's teacher, Tulku Urgyen, gave her when Buddhists criticized her for singing traditional Tibetan Buddhist songs in public. Later in the interview, friends of Drolma's discuss the tremendous impact that she has had on the community: More »
  • Is Radiohead’s "Lotus Flower" a Buddhist lotus flower? Paid Member

    This guest blog post comes our way from Keepaway's Nick Nauman. See our short interview with him here. In the video for Radiohead’s new single, “Lotus Flower,” Thom Yorke dances. That’s it. He just wriggles and gyrates with an intensity that reminds me of the more physically engaged Buddhist practice I’ve seen in super-cool video esoterica and Indian monasteries. He looks like an art nerd doing his best impression of Charlie Chaplin as a lama dancer. Have you ever seen a really deep Tibetan start to fly? Thom Yorke’s twitchy boogie seems to go for that rigor-cum-spasmodicism.  More »
  • Compassion Music: 5 Questions with Keepaway’s Nick Nauman Paid Member

    I recently got together with Nick Nauman, a college friend from a semester in India. We ate burritos in Brooklyn. He’s a famous musician now—or on his way, at least. Back in 2005, we were students on the Antioch Buddhist Studies program, staying in Bodh Gaya’s legendary Burmese Vihar. For our independent study projects we both traveled to Sikkim, where he spent a few weeks learning how to play traditional Tibetan wind instruments. I remembered this when he told me that his band Keepaway—a trio made complete by band mates Mike Burakoff and Frank Lyon—was getting some attention and good reviews. I asked: “Is there a Buddhist influence on Keepaway’s music?” He answered “yes,” and I took out my notebook and tape recorder. More »
  • High-Flying Shaolin Monks at Sydney Opera House Paid Member

    Starting tomorrow, 17 Buddhist monks from the Shaolin Temple in China will put their martial arts skills on display at the Sydney Opera House, when they star in the acclaimed contemporary movement piece Sutra. Bryce Hallett at the Sydney Morning Herald has the story: Directed, choreographed and performed by the Moroccan-Belgian dancer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the East-meets-West collaboration fuses contemporary European dance, the martial arts feats of 17 Buddhist monks from the Shaolin Temple in China, an ingenious set of wooden boxes by the British sculptor Antony Gormley and an original score by the Polish composer Szymon Brzoska. … More »
  • Concentration and Flow with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo Paid Member

    In an interview published yesterday in the LA Times, Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo discusses the band's upcoming "raw and emotional" album Hurley, experimenting with different vocals, and the creative ways he keeps fans on their toes during performances (at a recent show, he found himself serving beer at a bar in the back of the venue.) When the interview turned to cultivating a peaceful mind through Vipassana meditation---which Cuomo has practiced for seven years---the singer said that exercising his mind helps to focus his concentration and flow during Weezer's performances: More »