Thursday, November 08, 2012

Kundun by Philip Glass


For some of us literary types the month of November holds the promise of writerly abandon in the form of National Novel Writing Month. If you choose to partake in this event or you are just looking for music to set a contemplative mood then I recommend the soundtrack of the film Kundun composed by Philip Glass.

Kundun, directed by Martin Scorsese, tells the story of the 14th Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet. Philip Glass’ film score transports you to the ether of the high Himalayas and the journey of the Dalai Lama from young boy to a country’s leader. Though you may know a bit about the story while you listen to the mesmerizing music, it is not necessary to get a full enjoyment of the sound.

Glass’ minimalist approach to composition is present in the swirling repetitions of strings that rise and fall, complemented by the expansive Tibetan horns that cut through the softer sounds like moonbeams through the night. You may feel a call to action while being mesmerized by the circles of sound.

Perhaps the music tracks will inspire as you go along a journey of sonorous discovery. A nice musical score can heighten the experience of writing a novel or watching the squirrels play outside or sketching random nothings on a notepad.

Kundun is a nice companion to have as you go along your meditative way. Find it at the library today.

Philip Glass has many recordings available. Two selections that continue in a similar introspective atmosphere  as Kundun are Glassworks and the soundtrack for The Hours.

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