To mark the 100th anniversary of the Tibetan Declaration of Independence, Universal Music Group/Decca announce the signing of the Gyuto Monks.
The Grammy-nominated Gyuto Monks of Tibet live in exile in Dharamsala, Northern India. Recently on tour in Australia with His Holiness The Dalai Lama, who also resides in Dharamsala, the Monks recently traveled to the UK for the first time in 40 years to perform at the UKs Glastonbury Festival on June 27. While there, they also created a ceremonial Sand Mandala, a Tibetan Buddhist tradition of building a symbolic picture of the universe out of colored sand which, on completion, is dissolved and returned to the waters of the earth.
Thupten Phuntsok of the Gyuto Monks commented: We were honored to be invited to take part in the worlds premiere music and performing arts festival, at the spiritual center of the site.
The Dalai Lama said The work that the Gyuto Monks do in the west has my full support.
No strangers to the stage, the Gyuto Monks sold out Londons Royal Albert Hall in 1973 and have performed in concerts around the world, from New Yorks Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House, and across America touring with The Grateful Dead.
The oldest of the monks who performed at Glastonbury is one of the original exiles from Tibet. At the age of 78, he was among the 80 Gyuto Monks who managed to escape the atrocities by crossing the Himalayas, following the Dalai Lama into India when the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959. Over the years he has worked with Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, Phillip Glass and George Lucas.
Their new album, Chants: The Spirit of Tibet, is produced by Youth, the bassist for the post-punk rock band Killing Joke, whose production and remix credits include Primal Scream, U2, Erasure, Depeche Mode and The Verve.
Youth said of the music The Monks exemplify, in their mystical chants, the essence of Tibetan Tantric Wisdom and the profound philosophy of the Dalai Lama. This is a musical system intentionally designed to alter your consciousness towards an illuminated and enlightened state.
In addition to this, The Orb widely known as the inventors of ambient house from the late 1980s are remixing the famous Buddhist chordal chanting, which has become the Buddhist musical trademark. The LP is co-produced and mixed by Tim Bran whose production and mixing credits include The Verve, La Roux and Scissor Sisters.
Released internationally, the album was recorded at the monastery in Dharamsala, a remote former British hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. It combines the Gyuto Monks distinctive chanting and the finest Tibetan musicians, with the aim of transporting the listener to another world.