(LISTENING TO THIS MIX ON HEADPHONES IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)
DJ Fundi's new mix, episode #31 here at the Podcast Cafe, is inspired by the Dalai Lama -- the Ocean of Wisdom, Holder of the White Lotus, protector of the Land of Snows and an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, Buddha of Compassion. It is a Lament for Tibet, and is dedicated to the merit of all Tibetans who are enslaved in their own homeland.
I made this mix during the Dalai Lama's recent visit to the Pacific Northwest, a time that coincided with the worst violence in Tibet in decades. I was feeling both inspired and joyous at His Holiness' close proximity to Sunnyland Studio as well as burdened, angry and helpless as the Chinese government was arresting, torturing and murdering Tibetans in their villages and monastaries. I think this musical mix reflects the yin and yang of these two emotional poles.
Much of the music comes from the Himalayan region, and includes chanting rituals from Tibetan monks, traditional Nepalese songs, long-form Indian ragas and Chinese folk music. There is also music that I felt had an affinity to the prayer I am making with the mix, music that I was often surprised to hear how natural it blended with the unusual Himalayan vibe: a Celtic singer singing what sounds like a lament, ambient tracks from Tortoise, Cylob and Plasmalamp, medieval European choir songs and Toumani Diabate from Mali playing the kora.
Mickey Hart, DJ Cheb i Sabbah and Wayne Shorter also make appearances in this pilgrimage across the spine of Asia.
I have posted podcasts of the Dalai Lama's talks in the Northwest at www.podcastcafe.org/radiofreefundi. I wrote a story about the Dalai Lama's visit to Seattle for the Cascadia Weekly newspaper; it also discusses author Pico Iyer's new biopgraphy The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. You can view and/or download a pdf of the story right over here. Another story I wrote about the Dalai Lama's 2004 visit to Vancouver B.C. is available here.
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