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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Know any good chants?

I was sifting through a big shelf full of CDs yesterday, looking for something I hadn't heard in a while, to inspire me - or at least keep me awake - while I made beads. I was tired and sort of lazy, so I really needed a kick in the pants. One after the other, I passed up old favorites because I'm just bored with all the same old stuff. Someone recently recommended Orient-Occident, which I ordered, and have been listening to a lot. It's ancient music from Afghanistan and Turkey, from 1200 to 1700. Old! Cool! Wonderful! I added it to my "yes" stack. Then I found a quirky one by local Santa Fe band, Busy McCarroll. Another "yes". I needed one more to fill the cheapo CD changer I have in the studio. Then I spotted one I knew I'd never listened to before. It was the Dalai Lama, chanting... given to Rick, because he meditates, and he would "get it". But I know he had never listened to it either. So I took it with the others, and loaded up the CD player, with that one first.

Have you ever heard this kind of chanting? It' hard to describe. It's low and droning and circular and soothing and energizing. Eventually, even though it was the same thing over and over for almost an hour, it became something like melodic to my western ears, and I began "humming along". I started to feel lighter somehow, and happier. My beads took that on too, and when Rick came home with armloads of groceries, he looked at me, listened to the chanting for a minute, grinned, and just said, "hm!". Later he told me I was sort of glowing... maybe he made that part up.

A few years ago, we saw the Drepung Loseling Monks from Tibet perform here in Taos. They were wonderful. A little different from what I was listening to yesterday, but I recommend seeing them if you get the chance (chants!). And if you're already into this stuff, and have some favorite chant CDs, please share them with us here. I'm ommmmmmm my way to the studio now!


Anonymous said...

Kim, I know what you mean. When I was stressing at my old job at Tulane, I used to listen to Native American flute music and have the same type of Zen experience. I need to bring more music into my life - I can listen to CDs on my computer here at NNMC, but I never think to bring any with me. Thanks for the inspiration!


Anonymous said...

windham hill put out a gyuto monks CD in ...1987? that one was my intro to tibetan chant and it is eternally incredible. easy to om along to, too!

and ;) altho it isn't exactly meditative, check out the gorgeous chant and drum samples on "ill communication" cd by the beastie boys!

since some of these chants are prayers for healing, i have been known to drive around with them on the car stereo at top volume ;) with the intent of blessing everyone within earshot.

so glad you are enjoying that vibe!