- Title: Dalai Lama marks 85th birthday with album of mantras
- Date: 6th July 2020
- Summary: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (JULY 01, 2020) (REUTERS) SOUNDBITE (English) MUSICIAN AND INNER WORLD CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER JUNELLE KUNIN (SAT NEXT TO HER HUSBAND AND MUSICIAN AND AND INNER WORLD CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ABRAHAM KUNIN), SAYING: ''I think His Holiness really speaks to the oneness of humanity and that we are all brothers and sisters, he looks at the common, denominate, us as a as one human race rather than a more divisive sort of approach. I mean, and the album there's a track called 'Humanity', and he talks about the dangers of a them and us mentality and how we need to see each other as one human race. And I think that's so poignant for right now. But also there are mantras on the album that are purposeful and serving us in developing courage and providing protection and helping serve going through the dying process. So one of the mantras His Holiness chose specifically to help us at that time. It's just so helpful. You're so powerful.''
- Embargoed: 20th July 2020 04:27
- Keywords: Dalai Lama Inner World Junelle and Abraham Kunin Tibetan spiritual leader album chants new music
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- City: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- Country: New Zealand
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA00ACLO7DJT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: He gets a rock-star reception around the world and now teachings and mantras spoken by the Dalai Lama have been recorded and set to music for an album due to be released on his 85th birthday.
The record came about when musician Junelle Kunin, a student of the Tibetan spiritual leader, approached him with the idea - and much to her surprise he said yes.
''I thought I'd have to try and convince him.'' she told Reuters in an interview from her home in Auckland, New Zealand.
''That moment of recording him, my goodness I was shaking like a leaf before I went in there,'' she said.
Kunin did the initial recordings for ''Inner World'' at the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala in India in 2015.
Speaking about the experience she said that the Dalai Lama was ''profoundly present and expressive about the benefits of music.''
''He said music can help people in a way that he can't, and his whole purpose is to help people. So it was a perfect marriage for him, you know, with music,'' she said.
Once back home Kunin worked with her musician husband Abraham to compose music for the 11 track album, that features seven Buddhist mantras, including ''Compassion''.
''It's an incredible honour. But it was unbelievably, daunting like the trust and responsibility, was immense,'' said musician Abraham Kunin.
''We really had an enormous responsibility and that has always been loud and clear in our hearts and minds and everything that we've done,'' added Junelle.
The pair have spent five years working on the project which the say is especially relevant now.
''On the album there's a track called 'Humanity', and he (the Dalai Lama) talks about the dangers of a them and us mentality and how we need to see each other as one human race. And I think that's so poignant for right now,'' said Junelle.
The wife and husband team worked with around 25 musicians around the world on the record and said they have pretty much been given a free reign to do what they want, checking in along the way, but never being asked to make any changes.
Junelle hasn't spoken to the Dalai Lama since the record has been finished, but has heard that he's happy with what he has seen so far.
''Our main driver was to try and help him to reach and help as many people as possible. And so I think so far we've been really pleased with the response. And it is fulfilling his wish.''
''Inner World'' will be released on July 6th, with a booklet and artwork to accompany.
According to a promotional video for the album, when asked why he accepted the request to make the album, the Dalai Lama answered: "The very purpose of my life is to serve as much as I can."
(Production: Sarah Mills)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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