Asian Electronica Music Messages of Truth from Tibet In PARIS
Of Buddhism, we know at once too little and too much. In blindly applying the conventional images of non-violence, tolerance, and self-discipline to a 2,500-year-old spiritual philosophy, do we in effect undermine its principles and beliefs? (France, the European nation most affected by this phenomenon, counts some five million followers of Buddhism.)
What to say of the universe of Japanese music, itself also mysterious and often stereotyped? We are buffeted by conventional wisdom and pedestrian fantasies of mangas, violence, or eroticism, but also of cutting edge creativity, unlimited musical experimentation, and other challenges to the accepted order.
At first glance, these two worlds, one spiritual, the other material, would seem to have nothing in common. A synthesis seems impossible even. And yet, a group of Japanese musicians has gone to the heart of Tibet for a unique experiment: to meld the chants of Tibetan monks with the electronic music of Japan. The result is without peer: an album of Asian colors where the differences of these two cultures meet to produce a rich whole—without pretext or plan, just out of curiosity and pleasure in the encounter.
The boundaries of the sacred are breached, the limits of electronic music are pushed back, in a voyage as bold as it is mesmerizing. Take the journey of the Jobutsu Project. A Wild Journey, A Human Adventure, A Musical Wager
"Jobutsu"means "to become a Buddha" in Japanese. It was into the heart of the Buddhist world that a handful of Japanese musicians traveled a few months ago, ready to live a fascinating spiritual and musical odyssey. And as implied by the title of their album, they went into the heart of Buddhism in order to grasp its ideas and impulses before putting them into music.
"One day" recalls one of them, "I had this idea with some of my friends to study the verses of Buddha, the sutras. These sutras, there are more than 300 in Tibetan Buddhism. The process of death is not only once of the better known among the oldest, but also one of the most beautiful. It teaches us to live in harmony with our surroundings. This sutra dealing with reincarnation comprises three parts and lends itself perfectly to musical interpretation".
After a long journey across China, we came to Lhassa, the spiritual center of Tibet. Despite altitude sickness (we were at 4,000 meters), we were spellbound by the spirituality of the place, permeated by vibrations (vibes?) that made us forget everything.
Our recording began at five o'clock in the morning, in the Thurnan temple. No less than 38 lamas had just begun their reading. How can you not be overwhelmed by the vibration of their deep voices? The recording finished, we undertook the second phase of the project: blend our music with the Buddhist incantations thanks to a three-dimensional, bi-aural technique.
Never will we forget this voyage. We were able to discover secrets of the Tibetan culture with the eyes of initiates and to give birth to this unique album ! an album of awakening. And awakening is at the base of all Buddhist philosophy