Western Music Made by Buddhists

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Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:17 pm

Jikan wrote:Even if we are limited only to the tradition referred to as "classical," the Serious Tradition of composers and orchestral arrangements, we have significant contributions made by persons who identify as Buddhists or who are influenced by Buddhist practices (or by Buddhists).

Case one: John Cage. Taught at Naropa Institute (his poor reception there in 1974 is documented in the book ). I've not read this book, but I understand it discusses his music in the light of his Zen practice: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594203407

Case Two: Philip Glass. Practicing Buddhist since 1966. Interesting interview: http://www.tricycle.com/interview/first ... n?page=0,0

I bring this up to point out the obvious, that Richard Wagner is neither the most recent nor the most unproblematic example of a composer who espoused some kind of commitment to Dharma. Surely there are others. For myself, if I had several consecutive hours to set aside for music, I would surely choose Einstein on the Beach or the Qatsi films (I've seen all three) over the Ring cycle.

There are other Buddhist or Buddhist-influenced composers in the modern art music (aka "serious" or "classical") tradition of Cage and Glass, though I can't remember off-hand who they are. Partch may be one. Ron George was definitely one.

As for Wagner vs Glass, I really can't think of anything which could induce me to listen to the whole of the Ring cycle. In fact, someone would have to pay me lots of money to get me to listen to more than five minutes of it. On the other hand, Glass's soundtrack to Kundun is one of my favourite soundtracks (followed by the 'qatsi soundtracks and (non-Buddhist) Tous les matins du monde).

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Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Postby Jikan » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:20 pm


Apologies: in the OP I forgot to mention that the book LOKA is where Cage's poor reception at Naropa was documented. Rick Fields is the author, or more properly the editor of the anthology. It's an interesting artifact.
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Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Postby udawa » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:31 pm

On the classical side, there is also the late Peter Lieberson, who composed the chamber opera The Warrior Song of King Gesar, as well as this piece about the six realms

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Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:15 am

Don´t know if they are Buddhists, but nice song:

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Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:07 am

Nighthawk, Odysseus, and Dzogchungpa, it seems that Jay-Z was into Nuwaubianism in the early nineties:

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Now he's supposedly in the "Illuminati".

Anyway, Jay-Z never did anything this nice (and neither has Wu-Tang Clan for that matter):

Akbar – Live Long

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