Western Music Made by Buddhists

A place to post videos, pictures, and any other sort of Buddhist or non-Buddhist media.
User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Former staff member
Posts: 3893
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:09 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by 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).


Former staff member
Posts: 9423
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by DGA » 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.

Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by 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

phpBB [video]
Edwards: You are a philosopher. Dr Johnson: I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.

Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:15 am

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

the FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON - Clear Light Of Reality


User avatar
Posts: 1429
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by 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:

phpBB [video]

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

phpBB [video]


phpBB [video]

Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by odysseus » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:47 pm

Artist: Buddha Monk f/ Popa Wu
Album: The Prophecy
Song: Blessings of the Buddha
Typed by: Cno Evil

[Popa Wu]
Yeah Y’all
Buddhism, is thirty five thousand years old
Buddha, the twenty-fourth scientist, manifest through his supreme wisdom
His culture
What brought forth the equalities of his Buddhism
With a knowledge that he manifested, was through his own reality
And had to be cast out, cause it was so real
He brought forth his own reality, a' how he was going to win this won
Because in reality, the warrior always lives through death
There's no death in man
At the beginning of time, man came to existence of himself
All it was is life
Cause from life, brings life
Buddha bless me
Buddha seen an everlasting life, of his own reality
How he gonna master his own universe
The sparks and friction of the Buddha Monk
Was conquering in destroying the death
Buddha bless me, Buddha bless me
The reality, the reality, the science of the sparks and friction's
Well the spark was the knowledge in his mind
And through his wisdom, they all realize
Understanding told him to see through his third eye
By being G-O-D, he's seen his reality
Arm leg leg arm head, Buddha bless me, Buddha bless me
Can I see? I can the forest from the trees
And it brought forth my reality
Buddha bless me, Buddha bless me
Yeah let me give you a little Jew
We have all agreed as the Sun of Man there is only one God
And we wasn't losing no time, searching for that, that does not exist
We knowledge the cipher that we existed in
And brought forth are own reality
So now we understand the cipher, and what and how it was made
In the beginning, God said let there be man
And let the man bring forth light
Through his wisdom, he manifest his own cipher
To be in the sad person of that ability
That the civilized is held responsible for the uncivilized
And must be punished by the old mighty Buddha Monk
Buddha bless me, Buddha bless me
So I took it into psalms eighty-two
Chapters sixth, seventh and eighth
It says he Buddha, is the God of the most highest
Rise and take your place
And show the using and in hurting the universe
Buddha bless me, Buddha bless me

[Buddha Monk]
Open your eyes, have knowledge to bring forth the truth
And the truth is life {*laughing*}
{*bees buzzing*}

phpBB [video]

Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by odysseus » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:52 pm

phpBB [video]

User avatar
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:02 pm

Re: Western Music Made by Buddhists

Post by Loren » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:59 pm

Still my fav, this vid was posted on Kalu Rimpoche's Santa Monica visit blog.
phpBB [video]
Thank You and Ok!

aka Lorem

Post Reply

Return to “Media”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests