A Transcendent Journey Through The Tibetan Song Book

Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, & Jesse Paris Smith Present A Transcendent Journey Through The Tibetan Song Book

New album 'Songs from the Bardo' out today via Smithsonian Folkways


Shore Fire Media

Today, avant-garde creative force Laurie Anderson, Tibetan singer and multi-instrumentalist Tenzin Choegyal, and activist and composerJesse Paris Smith release ‘Songs from the Bardo’ via Smithsonian Folkways. This long-form, flowing piece was the brainchild of Choegyal, who wanted to offer a sonic and spoken word journey through the visionary text of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. By fusing modern compositional techniques with the mystique of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, this three-piece makes these visionary traditions more accessible to a new generation of listeners and to reveal the ancient wisdoms contained within. This transporting experience is meant to draw the listener into the present moment and provide a framework for inner exploration.

Stereogum praises the album's first single "Lotus Born, No Need To Fear", "the seven-minute track ebbs and flows under Anderson’s voice — receding into silence, settling into a meditative rhythm, briefly flaring up before drifting off into the background again.”

Of the album’s “Jigten”, Rolling Stone says, “Choegyal sings text from the Bardo — the Tibetan Book of the Dead — over a contemplative backdrop of dranyen (a long-necked lute), orchestral strings, and piano. It’s a slow crescendo that suggests more joy than mourning in its beauty.”

The AV Club echoes that the album’s track “Listen Without Distraction,” is a song that bids the listeners to “give up pride, aggression, desire and envy... singing bowls ping and strings saw as Anderson describes a host of otherworldly beings tempting the spirit to stray from its path. Don’t give into them. Stay focused on Anderson. Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”

'Songs from the Bardo' Track List:

  1. Homage to the Gurus
  2. Heart Sutra Song - Gone Beyond
  3. Awakened One
  4. The Three Jewels
  5. Brilliant Lights
  6. Listen Without Distraction
  7. Gong
  8. Dancing With the Crescent Knife
  9. Jigten
  10. Natural Form of Emptiness
  11. Lotus Born, No Need to Fear
  12. Dividing Line
  13. Moon in the Water
  14. Awakened Heart

More info: orcd.co/songsfromthebardo


Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the "National Museum of Sound," makes available close to 60,000 tracks in physical and digital format as the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian, with a reach of 80 million people per year. A division of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the non-profit label is dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among people through the documentation, preservation, production and dissemination of sound. Its mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document "people's music" from around the world. For more information about Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, visit folkways.si.edu.


Official website: folkways.si.edu

Facebook: facebook.com/smithsonianfolkwaysrecordings

Twitter: twitter.com/folkways

Instagram: instagram.com/smithsonianfolkways

September 27, 2019 3:10pm ET by Shore Fire Media  

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